Hardwood Floors in an Upstairs Unit

5 Replies

We are new to the landlord game and are having an issue with our first rental. It's a top floor condo that was our personal residence. We moved out and were able to find a renter easily. Awesome, right?

Well, we recently found out that our downstairs neighbor has been complaining nonstop to our tenants about noise. The building is an older 1960s apartment complex that was converted to condos. There's a ground floor level and an upper level. When we first moved in, we replaced the old carpet with hardwood floors. We double checked with the HOA and building property mgmt and there weren't any restrictions in the CCRs. The building magemnt suggested we use a cork underlayment to help with sound attenuation, which we did.

While living there, the owner below would complain about all types of noise problems - foot steps, toilets flushing, vaccuming, etc. We did our besst to best respectful. Fast forward to now, he's been constantly harrasing my tenants about the same things. Our lease requires rugs and the tenants have verfied they have laid down rugs. We aren't sure what else to do, other than suggest he look into sound supression in his ceiling. Many other upper units have hardwood floors. Any suggestions? We're in SF if that matters.

thx Mike

@Mike Riordan have a stern talk with the neighbor and tell them you appreciate their concern, but your tenant has equal rights to peace and quiet. Tell them that you will not tolerate this behavior, etc. 

Sound suppression for the ceiling, acoustic glue-up ceiling tiles, is another easy, cheap fix that should help a bit.

This is usually more of a problem when the upstairs people have little kids. They squeal, they shout, they move around, they drop stuff all the time, they fall to the floor, they made sudden noises to get attention. @Mike Riordan , is that really your issue here? You placed a family with multiple children over this guy's head? I could see why he wouldn't be ecstatic with your choices.

@John Warren I agree about the tenant having equal rights. This guys constantly complains about building and common are issues as well, so its not isolated to just my tenants. He's an owner and thinks he can flex some power over renters I guess. Thx for the suggestion. 

@Mike Riordan I have found that with difficult situations 90% of the time being professional but somewhat firm and confrontational is the only way to go. No need to be rude, but it always makes sense to be firm.