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Old 01-28-2014, 07:29 AM
 
2 posts, read 41,984 times
Reputation: 14

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Hello,
I am a new landlord.
I bought my first duplex back in May 2013, and have had 3 tenants living upstairs for 7 months now.
The upstairs apartment had old, nasty carpet when I bought it so I decided to rip it out and expose the nice hardwood underneath.
However this has created a noise issue.

I had to move bedrooms twice in the first few weeks because one of the tenants would wake me up everyday at 5:30am when she goes to the gym.
My current bedroom is peaceful enough and I have been in it for almost 7 months now.
However I will be moving out and renting the downstairs apartment as well in a couple of months and I need to take care of this problem before having someone else live with the noise. That would not be fair.

The noise issue is from the bedrooms and stairs.
I thought of a few options:
1. Have the upstairs tenants install area rugs in their bedrooms and I will carpet the stairs and see how that goes.
2. I will carpet the bedrooms and stairs.
3. Kick them out when the lease is up.

I only mention kicking them out because most of the noise is generated from a single tenant that seems to have a general disregard for other people, as she wakes up at 5:30am to go to the gym and stomps around with her shoes on while getting ready and runs down the stairs. She would also start laundry as late as 11:30pm and as early as 5:30am until I told her not to.

Has anyone been in a similar situation before?
If you are a landlord, do you install carpets on the second floor?
What should I do?

Thank you!

PS. The house was constructed in 1929 and both apartments have three bedrooms
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Old 01-28-2014, 07:38 AM
 
912 posts, read 5,021,415 times
Reputation: 2065
Noise in a duplex has more to do with overall construction rather than a bit of carpet. You will hear noise no matter what you do, short of soundproofing the place.

Waking up at 5:30 to go to the gym is not "disregard for others", its normal life. Doing laundry at 11:30 is debatable, but still, this person may just no be aware of how much noise carries.

Bottom line.. you are living in a duplex. Noise is a fact of life.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
17,494 posts, read 29,445,318 times
Reputation: 25456
the first thing a LL should ALWAYS know is you NEVER EVER want tenants above you.


for this reason
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:20 AM
 
2 posts, read 41,984 times
Reputation: 14
Well, I certainly learned my lesson ...
Just wondering if I should do something so that whoever moves in downstairs is comfortable.
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,168 posts, read 41,230,033 times
Reputation: 68639
Moving around the apartment, doing laundry, and going up and down stairs is normal living noise and not a nuisance.

But, yes, it might cause problems with your next downstairs tenants. Have you spoken to the "stomper"? Do they know that their noise is a bit excessive? Don't assume that they know.

If you kick these tenants out, there is no guarantee that the next batch will be quieter. In fact, I would not be hopeful for quieter tenants.

I dislike carpet in rentals, but it is just about your only workable solution if you have upstairs units. If you put carpet in, use an upgraded and thicker carpet pad. It doesn't add too much to the cost and it makes a difference.

Consult with an insulation contractor to see if they can shoot expandable foam or cellulose between the floors Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't.
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,815 posts, read 29,670,858 times
Reputation: 38356
I wouldn't worry about it. She can't be taking that long to get ready to go to the gym.

You may find that most tenants expect a certain level of noise. If they've been living in apts, they know they'll be hearing each other come and go, vacuum, etc. Since the issue isn't loud parties or loud music/tv, this tenant seems like a real keeper to me.

Just put in the agreement that in consideration of other tenants, no laundry after x p.m.

Also, tenants love hardwood floors. You'll rent the units faster, and get more money for them with hardwood floors.

When you show the units, you could always just mention that they will hear their neighbors come and go, and walk around, though, there are generally no noise issues beyond that.

Tenants would ask me about noise in the apts I rented. I'd tell them there is street noise, and you may hear your neighbors come and go, but generally, it won't be any noisier than that, and to let me know if they have any complaints about a particular tenant. If it's unreasonable noise, I will address it, up to kicking them out, if necessary.

I have an upstairs neighbor here, and she is soooooo much quieter than my last place, where I also had someone upstairs. Neither play music or loud TV, but the last one stomped/paced back and forth 24/7. I can hear the lady upstairs walk around, flush her toilet, run her vacuum, but it doesn't bother me at all.

Bottom line: I think you don't need to worry about it.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 46,327,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post

I dislike carpet in rentals, but it is just about your only workable solution if you have upstairs units. If you put carpet in, use an upgraded and thicker carpet pad. It doesn't add too much to the cost and it makes a difference.

Consult with an insulation contractor to see if they can shoot expandable foam or cellulose between the floors Sometimes they can and sometimes they can't.
Speaking as an Architect, these two options are probably the only practical things you can do with an existing structure. Another option that can help is to susptend another ceiling below the existing ceiling, with acoustical separation hangers and acoustical bats to absorb sound between the existing and new ceiling. But the most cost effective solution and most effective thing you can do will probably be installing a thick pad and carpet over the second story flooring. There are other alternatives but they are usually more expensive.

You definitely should do something otherwise you can expect lots of complaints from future tenants who occupy the downstairs unit. The most frequent tenant complaints we see here in this forum is regarding noise from upstairs neighbors.
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Old 01-30-2014, 06:47 PM
 
27,929 posts, read 60,101,011 times
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One of the first properties I did was a four-plex...

Only one unit was rented so I took the opportunity to renovate.

Took out all the carpet and found 1930's hardwood that refinished great and was very happy about my find.

Also got rid of 1960's floor to ceiling drapes and put in mini blinds...

My problems started as soon as I rented the upstairs units... constant noise issues and the one original tenant even started to complain and she had been there for 11 years...

Just a case of no good deed goes unpunished.

To make a long story short I put in new quality wall to wall carpet over heavy commercial pad and floor to ceiling drapes... it really pained me to do this because the floors were exquisite.

Anyway, the combination of carpet and drapes took care of the noise complaints... had no idea these two things would have made such a difference...

Only other things I did was institute a time where laundering was not allowed.

At one time I managed another building with high turnover because it was next to a new freeway... I added amenities for deaf and hearing impaired and got reliable long term tenants.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 46,327,273 times
Reputation: 9463
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post

At one time I managed another building with high turnover because it was next to a new freeway... I added amenities for deaf and hearing impaired and got reliable long term tenants.
Creative problem solving!
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:38 PM
 
3 posts, read 13,336 times
Reputation: 11
I own a flat I have lived in it for 13 years. The landlord who owns flat above me has had few tenets renting it. I am fully aware of the noise of everyday living but the wooden floorboards have no underlay and they walk with shoes on as they own a pit bull staff that runs about they throw it's toys and it actually thumps and breakdances all over my roof is going to fall down I have high ceilings. They only take dog out once twice daily. The dog needs toilet and it jumping an bangs loudly and barks and whines I know it's not dogs fault. Healed boots walk back and forth up down I don't know where they go walking around flat all day.I try to block it out but it stresses me out I have high blood pressure and my daughter lives with me so I try to be calm and not go upstairs and kill them. my daughter doesn't want any problems how is it fair. My health is affected and I can't take anymore it's 24/7 even in ma bed they never shut up and I hear them talking please help me is there anything u can advise to resolve my situation.
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