Sound Advice

By on Mar 19, 2023 in News

Making sure all parties understand and follow the “right to quiet enjoyment” by resolving or preventing complaints about excessive noise can help keep satisfied occupants, a good reputation and filled commercial and residential properties.

“Normal” noise includes talking, cooking and cleaning a property. Anything else, such as loud music, shouting, unruly visitors or dogs barking dogs past a certain time (usually 10 p.m.) and decibel threshold, has the potential to “lower the standards of the entire rental property and leave a landlord open to complaints from neighbors off the property, or file small claims for tolerating a nuisance,” along with spurring affected residents to seek court orders allowing them to leave without paying rent, says California legal firm Fast Eviction Service.

With regard to commercial buildings, a gym that leases space in an office building, for example, could produce an unpleasant surprise for neighboring workers. “The onus is on the person leasing the space to do their homework before signing,” says Aercoustics, an acoustics, noise reduction and vibration control engineering firm in Mississauga, Canada.

With the right preparation, noise issues can be managed. Steps that property managers can take to prevent or resolve unusual, excessive or unnecessary noise on a property include:

  • Researching your city’s noise-related bylaws.
  • Incorporating a noise clause into leases that defines the right to quiet enjoyment (an implied right in all 50 U.S. states), types of noise, noise limits, quiet hours and the consequences of lease violations.
  • Making the subject of noise complaints aware of the problem and offering the opportunity to resolve them.
  • Purchasing a decibel meter, which is inexpensive and provides an objective means to settle noise complaint disputes.
  • Being aware of lightweight floors that enable sound to easily travel among rooms and levels in commercial spaces.
  • Consulting an acoustic consultant when building or remodeling a property to evaluate how sound transfer can be minimized.

International Noise Awareness Day is observed on April 26. Learn how to keep noise from negatively impacting your hearing, health and quality of life.