Problem Neighbor- loud at 3 am

10 Replies

Hi BP,

I have a very nice rental house in a not so great neighborhood in Indiana that had a great tenant. The tenant (2 adults and 3 young kids) moved out because "they couldn't stand the neighbors". I found another great tenant (3 Adults, 1 newborn) and after a few months, they are complaining about the neighbor again. They both said the couple next door leaves trash all over their front yard and the biggest problem is loud music and yelling at 2,3,4 in the morning. The tenants don't want to call the cops due to retaliation fears. I don't know what to do but I don't want to lose another great tenant! Any ideas BP?

Thanks!

Brian

If no one is willing to call the police the problem is not going to go away and you will be forced to sell. Even if a tenant did opt to call and complain it would take a very long time to convince the annoying neighbour to move away. To be successful you would need to move into your rental property and do it yourself.

@Brian Horwitz - Are the problem neighbors owners of the home or renters themselves? And I assume there is no HOA. Does the City have a noise / disturbance statute and how is it enforced? For instance, in the City where my rentals are located, there is a "Neighborhood Improvement Services" department and an online portal to report trash, noise, etc... which will eventually result in fines and additional legal action.

I've had a noisy neighbor problem once myself, but it was tenants of another landlord, and we got it resolved between us.

Originally posted by @Jonathan Taylor Smith :

@Brian Horwitz - Are the problem neighbors owners of the home or renters themselves? And I assume there is no HOA. Does the City have a noise / disturbance statute and how is it enforced? For instance, in the City where my rentals are located, there is a "Neighborhood Improvement Services" department and an online portal to report trash, noise, etc... which will eventually result in fines and additional legal action.

I've had a noisy neighbor problem once myself, but it was tenants of another landlord, and we got it resolved between us.

No HOA, The neighbors are renters. I will contact the owner but not sure what to say. I will look into a noise statute but an old area of South Bend, IN is not likely to have that. I can call code enforcement about the trash so thats not a major issue.

Contact the owner of the rental property, explain the situation, explain the nuisance and maybe even bring up the damage it's done. Put pressure on the current owner/manager to deal with their tenant because the city and or police must have some code that holds the owner/manager liable, and hopefully any ordinance is enforceable - it must be. 

Seems like it's a chronic problem and if the current owner can't deal with it, go to the applicable city or building department about the hazardous and dangerous and unsanitary conditions the house is in. Who knows what else an inspector might find. If there are several complaints to the police, this will draw attention also. Use the proper channels to force the owner or manager to act.

@Brian Horwitz - The course of action suggested by @Eric Carr is correct... But in my case I had the benefit of both owners being local, so I had that initial conversation in person over coffee. As I'm also a property manager, I even offered to take over management of the property and find new tenants on his behalf; however, now being aware of the problem, he handled it on his own.

In your case, with your problem property also being a rental, if you are financially able, look into the suggestion of @David Wandel to buy the other owner out. Inquire as to what nuisance provision may be present in the lease and when it is set to end. But certainly take every course of action available to you with the city and police if the response you get is anything short of a guaranteed resolution.

@Brian Horwitz There are noise ordinances in South Bend that could be enforced but I have a tendency to agree with the group here. I would talk to the LL first and see if you two can resolve the issue together. If not, try to buy him out. If that doesnt work sell the place. Regardless of the neighborhood the police in SB have bigger fish to fry than noise complaints. Sure they will show up and go through the motions but I doubt any long term issues will be solved through this method.

Is this near a college campus? If so, loud music and noises are par for the course and would be a very difficult systemic problem for one LL to solve.

@Brian Horwitz I would sell the house. You can change anything, accept the location. Most likely the neighboring owner is also an out of state investor too. If they are getting rent, they won't care about the noise. You may be able to sell the property to them, with a tenant in place and with it cash flowing. In fact now is the best time to sell these types of properties before another recession hits.