Can You Get Evicted for Noise Complaints?

By PropertyClub Team
May 7th 2024
Living in close quarters can sometimes lead to noise disagreements. Whether it's late-night music or rambunctious gatherings, unwanted noise can disrupt your peace and tranquility at home. But can a few loud moments actually lead to eviction? In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of noise complaints and their potential consequences for your tenancy.

hash-markWhat Constitutes a Noise Disturbance?

While there's no single universal definition, a noise disturbance generally refers to unwanted sound that disrupts a person's ability to peacefully enjoy their property. Loudness is certainly a factor, but it's not the only one.

The duration, frequency, and time of day also play a role. For instance, loud music at 3 am is more likely to be considered a disturbance than the same volume during the afternoon.  Local regulations might even set specific decibel limits, though these can vary.

Ultimately, what constitutes a noise disturbance is a judgment call based on how the sound impacts a reasonable person's ability to live peacefully.  So, while occasional vacuuming probably wouldn't qualify, loud parties late into the night very well could.

hash-markThe Role of Your Lease Agreement

When it comes to noise complaints, your lease agreement is a crucial document. It outlines the rules and regulations you're expected to follow as a tenant. Specifically, the lease might have clauses regarding:



Quiet hours

Designated times when noise levels should be significantly lower.

Acceptable noise levels

Limitations on how loud noise can be at any given time.

Consequences for violations

The repercussions you might face for breaking noise rules, potentially including fines or eviction.

Remember, a signed lease agreement creates a binding contract between you and your landlord. By understanding the noise-related clauses in your lease, you can avoid misunderstandings and potential penalties.

hash-markHow Many Noise Complaints Does it Take to Get Evicted?

While a single loud party might tick off your neighbors, it probably won't land you on the eviction highway. Eviction for noise complaints is a more serious consequence that typically follows a documented history of disruptions. Here's what you need to know:

It's a Gradual Process

Most landlords won't jump straight to eviction. They'll likely follow a process that involves:

  • Initial Complaint: Your neighbor or the landlord themself files a noise complaint.
  • Warning: The landlord will likely reach out to you with a warning, reminding you of the noise rules and potential consequences. This warning might be verbal or written, depending on the severity of the complaint and your lease agreement.
  • Repeat Offenses: If the noise continues after the initial warning, additional complaints and documented warnings will follow.

Lease Might Specify a Number 

Some leases might explicitly state the number of warnings you'll receive before eviction proceedings can begin. This could be two, three, or even more warnings, depending on the specific wording.

Focus on the Pattern

Landlords (and potentially courts) are more concerned with a repeated pattern of disruptive behavior than a single incident. A documented history of complaints demonstrates a clear disregard for the rules and the rights of your neighbors.

hash-markLandlord's Responsibilities

While tenants have a responsibility to be mindful of noise, landlords also play a crucial role in managing noise complaints fairly and effectively. Here's what your landlord should be doing:

Fairness and Due Process

Landlords are obligated to address noise complaints in a fair and impartial manner. This means following established procedures outlined in the lease agreement and adhering to local noise ordinances. They can't single out specific tenants or take unreasonable actions.

Addressing the Root Cause

The ideal scenario involves the landlord investigating the complaint and working towards a solution that addresses the root cause of the noise. This might involve mediating communication between tenants or taking steps to improve the property's soundproofing (if applicable).

Maintaining Habitability

Landlords have a legal obligation to provide tenants with a habitable living environment. This includes ensuring a reasonable level of peace and quiet.  Excessive noise from other tenants can potentially violate this obligation.

Following Lease and Local Laws

As mentioned earlier, the lease agreement is a key document. Landlords must adhere to the noise-related clauses they've outlined in the lease. Additionally, they need to comply with any local noise ordinances that might set specific decibel limits or restrict noise during certain times.

hash-markYour Rights as a Tenant

Even though noise complaints can be a hassle, it's important to remember that tenants have rights too! Here's a quick rundown of some key points to keep in mind:

Right to Quiet Enjoyment

Most tenant-landlord laws recognize the concept of "quiet enjoyment." This essentially means you have the right to peacefully occupy your rental unit without unreasonable noise disruptions from neighbors or external sources.

Addressing Unfounded Complaints

If you believe a noise complaint against you is unfounded or exaggerated, you have the right to address those concerns with your landlord.  Provide any evidence you might have to support your case (e.g., witness statements, documentation of reasonable noise levels).

Landlord's Responsibility to Enforce Rules

The responsibility to enforce noise rules doesn't solely fall on you. Your landlord is obligated to take reasonable steps to address noise complaints and ensure all tenants comply with the lease agreement and local noise ordinances.

Seeking Resolution

If the landlord isn't effectively addressing the noise issue, you might have the right to withhold rent (depending on your location's laws). It's important to consult with a tenant's rights organization or legal professional to understand the specific steps you can take in such situations.

hash-markCan You Get Evicted for Noise Complaints FAQs

What Are the Expected Consequences of Noise Complaints?

While a single complaint likely won't result in eviction, repeated noise violations documented by your landlord could lead to fines, lease termination, or even eviction in severe cases.

How Can a Tenant Avoid Noise Complaints?

To avoid noise complaints, be mindful of noise levels, especially during quiet hours. Communicate with neighbors, use headphones for late-night activities, and consider rugs or furniture placement to dampen sound.

Can You Be Evicted for Noise Complaints?

Yes, you can be evicted for noise complaints, especially if you violate your lease or local laws by making excessive noise. However, you won't be evicted if you get a single noise complaint. You need to wilfully cause a problem and get multiple noise complaints before a landlord would consider evicting you for making too much noise.