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Travis Dumont
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Noise in an Up-Down duplex

Travis Dumont
Posted Feb 25 2024, 10:35

Hey guys I have a 2 family, up down duplex in NH. Tenants downstairs are complaining about noise from the upstairs unit (stomping, talking too loudly, etc). The upstairs unit has all laminate floors. I’m planning to buy area rugs to help with the noise but I’m wondering if anyone has any other suggestions to help with the noise. 

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Caroline Gerardo
  • Lender
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
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Caroline Gerardo
  • Lender
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
Replied Feb 25 2024, 12:32

Ear plugs, noise blocking machines, noise cancelling curtains could be purchased by the tenant.

Rugs will help.  

Does the tenant upstairs have children playing ball or a big dog? You can ask them to have quiet hours but pretty impossible to enforce.

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Theresa Harris
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Theresa Harris
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Replied Feb 25 2024, 15:08

Rugs will help, but I'd start by going over and having someone you know walk around upstairs to see how loud it is downstairs.  It could be the people are simply walking heavily or they could be making a bunch of noise.  It will also be louder if they are wearing shoes in the house.

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Travis Dumont
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Travis Dumont
Replied Feb 26 2024, 08:47

Thanks for the suggestions, all! I’m going to start with some area rugs and go from there. Any suggestions on type of rugs are padding that works best?

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Corby Goade
  • Investor
  • Boise, ID
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Corby Goade
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  • Boise, ID
Replied Feb 26 2024, 09:11

Honestly, that's just part of the deal when you buy up/down units. It's important to be extra cautions during the screening process and be clear with tenants about noise and shared walls. 

If it's a real issue, I'd probably just let the tenants break lease and move on. 

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Colleen F.
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  • Narragansett, RI
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Colleen F.
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Replied Feb 26 2024, 13:17

@Travis Dumont   Put in future leases that floors must be 50% covered by carpet (even if you buy them now it sends the message they have to stay down). Put carpeting on any indoor stairwells. It is a pain but makes a difference.  If you have slamming doors to the unit consider putting a closer on the door so it closes more slowly. This is particularly helpful when there is a common door to the exterior slamming.  Once You have done what you can you have to ask them to talk to the neighbor when it gets  loud.  Usually it either resolves or you have to let someone out of the lease. some people are really loud and some people are unreasonable in their expectations you just hope the right one wants out.