Noise Complaints: Who Is Responsible?

Should landlords be held accountable for tenants’ actions?

The landlords’ themselves are to blame according to more than half of real estate investors polled. Poor tenant vetting is the major reason cited.

“It is in a landlord’s best interest to perform a detailed background check on any prospective tenant to ensure that individual will follow the rules outlined in the rental agreement,” said Vanessa Roman, a real estate agent and the host of HGTV’s Reno vs Relocate.

Tenants regularly ignore municipal noise and liquor by-laws causing bad will in the neighbourhood, and especially with other tenants.  Experts suggest the focus should be on the upfront performance of due diligence when it comes to tenant selection.

Know your Municipal By-Laws

If there are indeed local by-laws that all civil adults should adhere to, then any landlord would be wise to include clauses within their leasing contract to indemnify them against any legal action taken by the tenant(s).

Landlords should be keenly aware of local by-laws, especially if a by-law exists, or is proposed, stating that landlords could be held responsible for their tenants’ actions. This would no doubt open up a can of worms that put landlords at risk, especially relating to serious tenant issues such as grow houses or meth labs.

Tenants have the right to live their lives making their own choices and decisions. However, like all of us, actions can have consequences. When a tenant, like any other civil adult in society, chooses to disobey local municipal laws, that individual should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As a landlord, you yourself, or through your property manager, should use the courts to enforce the laws and allow others peaceful, quiet enjoyment of their home and community.