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Can HOA evict my tenant because of "noise"?

jackwan1jackwan1 Posts: 20Registered User New Member
edited May 2012 in Parent Cafe
We have a 2bd/2ba large condo on the second floor of a four floor mid rise luxury condo complex. We have rented it out for many years. The recent tenant is a MD with one 2~3 years old Child, they have been renting for almost 3 years. The tenant is very good, pay on time, kept the inside neat and clean, do not play music, have no parties and they do not bother anyone. However, the first floor Homeowner directly under cannot stand ANY noise, even with children playing on top of their unit. Today, we received a complaint about noise upstairs from the homeowner below and they threaten to bring it to HOA. The problem is that the wife of the complaining party is headed on the HOA board, so we feel we will be mistreated.

I know it will be very difficult to evict such a tenant with that allegation, but what do you think our defenses should be? As part of the job, we have eviction lawyers lined up on retainer, should we spend the money to respond to this nonsense?
Post edited by jackwan1 on

Replies to: Can HOA evict my tenant because of "noise"?

  • my$0.02my$0.02 Posts: 901Registered User Member
    Deny "excessive noise" nuisance. Ask for objective (sound meter) documentation of any noise complaint. Demand that wife/complaintant recuse herself from any HOA proceedings.
    Make all demands in writing and document delivery using certified mail.

    In the event that the HOA board rules against you, you will have laid a decent foundation to prevail in a civil action.

    Your tenants might consider running a digital recorder to protect themselves from unfounded accusations.

    Google "definition excessive noise condominium."
  • busdriver11busdriver11 Posts: 7,935Registered User Senior Member
    It seems like there could be a discrimination case against you, if it appeared that you were evicting them because they had children. When does your contract with them expire? If worse came to worse and you were forced to evict them, at least if you just did it at contract expiration, didn't renew, they would have no case against you....I think. I guess you could raise the rent so much they decide to leave. But this stinks, if you have good tenants, you want to keep them, not kick them out.
  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,996Registered User Senior Member
    Read your HOA documents (Declaration, etc.) and the state statutes to see what they actually have the power to do.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Posts: 11,380Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with MP to read what powers the HOA has. Usually the only power they have is to fine you for whatever infraction has been committed and slap a lien on your property for unpaid fines.

    Has this "neighbor problem" been ongoing for a while? Can any adjustments be made that might mitigate the problem? (For example, is it noise at bedtime that is the major complaint?) No noise is not a reasonable expectation for someone living in a condo.

    Unfortunately for you, you may end up losing a good tenant who could end up moving out because of a pain in the tush neighbor. What's to stop this MD from deciding that it's time to move on to a house, now that Junior is getting older?
  • eireanneireann Posts: 1,373Registered User Senior Member
    No noise is not a reasonable expectation for someone living in a condo.

    No. If you have that big of an issue with hearing other people's sounds, you need to live in your own house. If you live in a building with multiple units in it, you are going to hear other people. The other family in my building is not loud, but I can hear them walking around or practicing piano. It's what I get for choosing to live somewhere where I have a family directly above me. I wouldn't say anything unless they were being very loud at 3 a.m. or something like that.
  • wis75wis75 Posts: 8,932Registered User Senior Member
    Some good advice given. Reminds me of our vacation condo years ago. A group of lawyers owned the one below us and basically timeshared it. One couple complained to us about the noise of us walking around above them one weekend- their "baby" was napping. No sympathy for them when I later saw them drive off in a top down convertible with their toddler. We also knew tired children will sleep through anything. There are reasons to live on the top floor of a building.
  • cobratcobrat Posts: 7,407Registered User Senior Member
    One cranky older neighbor called the cops on a neighboring family while I was home from college. I arrived back from running errands around 3-4 pm just to see the confrontation with my father.

    Once the truth came out that the cranky neighbor's issue was noise that normally comes from elementary school kids arriving home from school, the cops read the riot act on the cranky neighbor and told him that unless those kids were making excess noise after 11 pm on weekdays*....he had to put up with it as noise which comes as a normal daily part of life in a building with young families. They also told him that if he called again for such a "frivolous nuisance call", they'd arrest him for wasting their time.

    In short, if the kids are making normal noise during the day.......the downstairs neighbors usually have to suck it up because they do not have absolute rights to quiet during daylight hours. Even at night, some understanding should be extended to neighbors with young children...unless we're talking 55 & up residential communities.

    * In NYC, the curfew for excess noise which leaks out of one's dwelling to another is 11 pm according to the police officers and several tenants rights tracts in the NYC area.
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