My tenant annoyed I’m working and making noise

64 Replies

Morning all.. so here it is, 9:15am on a Sunday, I’m drywalling the kitchen of a half double I own and am rehabbing. I own the other half also. I waited until 8:45 to start working. My tenant in the other half just text me and asked if I could not make so much noise, she had to hear it all day yesterday (drilling and running electrical). I told her I’d move to other walls that aren’t opposite side of her kitchen wall but that she’d probably still hear but not as bad. Am I wrong? Do I call it quits for today or just keep going? If someone else owned this side she would probably not have been able to send that text..

@Theresa Harris

I don’t know of any morning quiet times here. I was here at 8 and kept quiet, but I did hear her kids running around. I will leave that wall go for today and work on others that aren’t opposite her walls. She should be working also so she’s able to pay rent on time...

In my city, construction code restricts that activity until 10 a.m. on Sunday.  Living so close to another - tenant or not - I recommend letting them know when you are planning on doing a construction project that might be generating more noise than not.  I get up really early (too early to admit it in an open forum) and I am my father's son in many ways - love a big project! - but I really don't like having someone intrude upon me so early.  So are you wrong?  Maybe an over-achiever...who could put a muffler on that drill/saw.  Wait until noon...not convenient but the stuff of good guys.

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

Morning all.. so here it is, 9:15am on a Sunday, I’m drywalling the kitchen of a half double I own and am rehabbing. I own the other half also. I waited until 8:45 to start working. My tenant in the other half just text me and asked if I could not make so much noise, she had to hear it all day yesterday (drilling and running electrical). I told her I’d move to other walls that aren’t opposite side of her kitchen wall but that she’d probably still hear but not as bad. Am I wrong? Do I call it quits for today or just keep going? If someone else owned this side she would probably not have been able to send that text..

Work needs to get done. Tenant will get over it.

 

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

@James Wise

My wife said the same thing.. and that it annoys her that she almost never pays rent on time.

 Then it sounds like you've got zero incentive to walk on eggshells for the tenant. Ignore the text and do your job. Slap a 3 day eviction notice on the tenant's door the next time rent is late. Tenant can either get in line or get put out. End of story.

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

@James Wise

You sir are a savage! Haha

 I evict probably 10 or so families a month. You get used to it after awhile. Gotta out savage the savages to make it in this game.

@Michael Noto

Already did unfortunately.

I should tell her the sooner I get this drywall hung the sooner I don’t have to hear her kids running around haha. Touché

@Matt M.

I'd usually go the extra mile here, Matt. Explain the situation and tell you you'll limit work on the the adjoining walls from 10-5 on Sundays. Since you're doing electrical and hanging drywall, there are limited serious noise components of the work. Try to keep the noise down by going to a regular variable-speed driver running slow rather than one of the fast-running drywall screw guns if you're using one. Use a utility knife and multiple passes for box cutouts instead of a jab saw or a Rotozip.

I don't think there's any question that you have the right to get your work done. But showing a willingness to work with the tenant here may get better results over time, make the relationship go smoother. So I would question the wisdom of going after that adjoining wall early on Sunday mornings.

On the other hand, if you decide to ignore her request (with all the implied insult involved in this), don't just ignore it, go all the way. There are plenty of unpleasant people in this world who mistake all kindness for blindness and only feel two emotions, contempt and dread. Bullying and being bullied is what they understand and are most comfortable with. They have a sharply limited understanding of degrees of escalating interpersonal conflict.

If you judge that this woman belongs in that group, hold nothing back and put the Fear of the Landlord in her. It's what she knows. It's all she knows. It's all she'll ever know.

Personally, I deeply dislike people like this and I try not to avoid having them in my life. I wouldn't hold on to her after the end of the lease period, especially in the duplex housing situation, where it's important that she work to get along with the person on the other side of the adjoining wall.

@Jim K. you are always so full of intelligent wisdom 

I am so close to getting this house done, final stage is the kitchen. Ok, I could have waited until 9 or 10, but I’m sure she still would have sent that text. I’ll skip the adjoining wall for today, I have proceeded with other walls, and am limiting screws to what will hold the sheet in place. But meanwhile, I’m busting my butt on a weekend (as usual) to better my future while the complaining tenant barely pays her rent on time. 

And Jim, I will continue to use my DeWalt impact screw gun and oscillating tool to cut out the boxes ;). 

@Jim K.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think I would have ever had the [email protected]$ to text my landlord about work noise. 6am, 10pm, yeah maybe, but not 9am. I’m sure it’s obnoxious, but it’s constructive work, not a loud party.

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

@Jim K. you are always so full of intelligent wisdom 

I am so close to getting this house done, final stage is the kitchen. Ok, I could have waited until 9 or 10, but I’m sure she still would have sent that text. I’ll skip the adjoining wall for today, I have proceeded with other walls, and am limiting screws to what will hold the sheet in place. But meanwhile, I’m busting my butt on a weekend (as usual) to better my future while the complaining tenant barely pays her rent on time. 

And Jim, I will continue to use my DeWalt impact screw gun and oscillating tool to cut out the boxes ;). 

 Biggest thing about this business that new landlords struggle with is who their tenants are in relation to their business. Almost all people just assume that the tenants are the customer and they take "the customer is always right" attitude towards them as that's just business 101. The thing is though that in this business the customer isn't the tenant. The tenant is more like the landlord's employee and you should treat the tenant as such. With employees you treat them with respect but you don't work for them. They work for you. You set clear rules and guidelines. An employees job is to help the business run better. If they can't comply with that a business owner should have no problem firing them. Treat tenants in the same way.

Originally posted by @Matt M. :


And Jim, I will continue to use my DeWalt impact screw gun and oscillating tool to cut out the boxes ;). 

LOL, uh-huh, the rest of the story! Plugs and muffs day over there.

@Jim K. work smarter not harder! Oy, wait til tomorrow when I fire up the 12” miter saw and table saw to do Pergo. Labor Day, huh? Yup I’ll be laboring. 

Originally posted by @James Wise :

Work needs to get done. Tenant will get over it.

Hopefully the OP will get over it when the tenant gets pissed off and moves out owing rent. Glad I'm not your neighbor.

 

@Matt M.

I was in a similar situation before. Needed to get the work done 7 days a week. Did you warn them ahead of time? That’s all I did. Do they work nights? The work has to he done. Apologize for the noise and plough forward.

Originally posted by @Michael King :
Originally posted by @James Wise:

Work needs to get done. Tenant will get over it.

Hopefully the OP will get over it when the tenant gets pissed off and moves out owing rent. Glad I'm not your neighbor.

 

If a tenant moves out while stealing rent they are a deadbeat. Getting to the point of stealing from the landlord was inevitable. If not this, it would be something else. A responsible adult living in a property with party walls understands that renovations make noise. 

 

Originally posted by @James Wise :

 Biggest thing about this business that new landlords struggle with is who their tenants are in relation to their business. Almost all people just assume that the tenants are the customer and they take "the customer is always right" attitude towards them as that's just business 101. The thing is though that in this business the customer isn't the tenant. The tenant is more like the landlord's employee and you should treat the tenant as such. With employees you treat them with respect but you don't work for them. They work for you. You set clear rules and guidelines. An employees job is to help the business run better. If they can't comply with that a business owner should have no problem firing them. Treat tenants in the same way.

Yeah, Jim, this is one of those things that I'll agree to disagree with you on. You are reducing a relationship that predates capitalism to employer-employee instead of provider-customer. The landlord-tenant relationship is ultimately neither of these. I've learned a lot more about landlording from reading Niccolo Machiavelli than Adam Smith.

@Anthony Wick didn’t warn her, but I’ve been here basically every other weekend since May. And during the day when I can break away, and after dinner. I’ve never done loud stuff when I come at night, and told her If my music bugs her to please let me know. She’s never said a thing before today. She doesn’t work nights either. I sure won’t hesitate to throw a 5 day notice up next time she’s late.. 

From the movie The Breakfast Club.. “mess with the bull young lady, you’ll get the horns” 

Originally posted by @Jim K. :
Originally posted by @James Wise:

 Biggest thing about this business that new landlords struggle with is who their tenants are in relation to their business. Almost all people just assume that the tenants are the customer and they take "the customer is always right" attitude towards them as that's just business 101. The thing is though that in this business the customer isn't the tenant. The tenant is more like the landlord's employee and you should treat the tenant as such. With employees you treat them with respect but you don't work for them. They work for you. You set clear rules and guidelines. An employees job is to help the business run better. If they can't comply with that a business owner should have no problem firing them. Treat tenants in the same way.

Yeah, Jim, this is one of those things that I'll agree to disagree with you on. You are reducing a relationship that predates capitalism to employer-employee instead of provider-customer. The landlord-tenant relationship is ultimately neither of these. I've learned a lot more about landlording from reading Niccolo Machiavelli than Adam Smith.

Well I don't know who Noccolo Machiabelli and Adam Smith are but I learned about landlording from being on the front lines managing 1,000's and 1,000's of tenants. I am going to take that actual experience over whatever it is that those dudes write about any day. 

Originally posted by @Matt M. :

@Anthony Wick didn’t warn her, but I’ve been here basically every other weekend since May. And during the day when I can break away, and after dinner. I’ve never done loud stuff when I come at night, and told her If my music bugs her to please let me know. She’s never said a thing before today. She doesn’t work nights either. I sure won’t hesitate to throw a 5 day notice up next time she’s late.. 

From the movie The Breakfast Club.. “mess with the bull young lady, you’ll get the horns” 

 You aren't playing Creed while you're working are you? If you are I take back everything else that I said and you should stop bothering this wonderful woman.