Can a landlord evict a tenant over noise?

Noisy neighbors in Santa Cruz can be a real pain, especially for landlords. There are steps you can take if the noise is coming from other tenants, including evicting the responsible parties if your other requests fall on deaf ears. The Balance recommends the following advice in this case, which helps landlords protect themselves as well as create a welcoming environment for all tenants.

Establish that the complaint is valid

While you should definitely take tenant complaints seriously, make sure the complaint is indeed valid. Some people are overly sensitive to noise and may be interpreting a normal level of sound as something excessive. You can address other tenants not involved in the issue to get their take on the matter.

Speak with the offending party

If you determine the complaint was with merit, the next step is to address the tenant at the center of the dispute. Approach them civilly and inform them that a complaint was made against them. Remind them of the terms of their lease, including portions relating to quiet hours and noise in general. If it’s a first offense a warning will usually be sufficient. However, if it’s an ongoing issue you may want to provide something in writing.

Take further actions

A Cure or Quit notice, which establishes a date in which the breach (i.e. excessive noise) must stop happening, can be provided if the issue is not resolved. The next step will be eviction. Make sure you’re fully aware of the laws in your state when taking this action, including the length of time the tenant has to vacate the property. You’ll also need to provide written notice in the correct manner to properly inform the tenant of their need to vacate.  

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