Quiet hours are those hours in which a resident is expected to keep noise down to a whisper so as not to disturb his neighbors. Campgrounds, RV parks, dormitories, apartment buildings and even condominium and homeowners associations are just a few examples of agencies that often include quiet hours in their occupancy agreements.
So why have quiet hours in the first place? While some tenants aren’t disturbed by loud noises and parties at night, neighbors with small kids, ailing spouses, or 7am jobs might feel otherwise. Quiet hours assures residents that a particular campground or apartment complex quiets down at night so that kids and grownups alike can get a decent night’s sleep. Quiet hours do vary but most are set between 10pm to 7am on weekdays, 11pm to 8am on weekends.
Why quiet hours should be included in a lease agreement
One of the advantages of owning rentals is that you as the owner can set certain standards that the renters must abide by. Quiet hours are one such detail that a landlord has complete control over and should be included in every lease.
1. Quiet hours send the message that a landlord cares about neighborhood quality. A landlord who sets quiet hours demonstrates a consideration in maintaining a peaceful neighborhood. This consideration goes far with the neighbors who in turn won’t mind keeping an eye on things and informing the landlord of unusual activity.
2. Homes and apartments with designated quiet hours are easier to rent. This is particularly applicable in multifamily units and homes designed for multiple roommates. Even roommates like the assurance that there won’t be any partying allowed after 10:00.
3. Quiet hours lowers the risk of damage to your home. Teens and college aged adults rarely throw parties in homes with established quiet hours. Making your home inconvenient for parties will reduce the risk of property damage brought on by unruly drunks.
4. Encourages orderliness. It’s been my experience that rental units with establish quiet hours seem to be much more orderly than ones that don’t. Orderliness is important in preserving the value of your rental properties and keeping them attractive for future tenants. Orderliness also lowers the risk of your rental being tagged by the police as a “nuisance property.” In certain municipalities, chronic nuisance houses can have their occupancy permits withdrawn for a designated period of time; in some cases, as long as 6-12 months during which the rental must sit vacant while the cycle of chronic unruliness is broken.
Including a “quiet hours” clause in your rental is not at all difficult to do. The clause can be fitted under the subheading OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES OF TENANT with a notation that quiet hours are to be observed at the specific times of the landlord’s choosing during the week and weekends. This small step will save you money in the long haul and spare both you and the neighbors a lot of grief.