5 Tips To Prevent Noise Complaints In Your HOA

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Stop noise complaints in your HOA before they even begin.

Nobody likes a noisy neighbor. Noise complaints are the most common complaints within HOA associations, and can take months—along with an abundance of bad feelings—before they are resolved. Here are five tips to stop noise complaints within your community before they even start.

1. Create a rule that promotes a quiet environment.

It doesn’t have to be extreme, but should include hours when lower sound levels are required. Your policy will need to be specific enough for residents to understand it, but not so specific that they can find ways around it. For instance, stating that sound disruption that significantly interrupts sleep or peace is good. Stating that a homeowner’s band cannot practice in his unit during specific times may not resolve the issue.

2. Create enforcement rules regarding noise complaints.

Having rules in place is one thing; having the ability to enforce those rules in a way that is impactful is another. Along with your quiet policy, be sure to state the consequences of noncompliance. These usually increase for repeat offenders. The first offense may simply bring a warning. The second offense as a $25 fine. The third offense a $50 fine, and so on. Just knowing these fines are in place may prevent homeowners from breaking the rule.

3. Refer to city ordinances.

If your HOA rules and enforcement policies aren’t enough to prevent noise issues within your community, check your city and county’s noise “pollution” regulations. Most have rules around construction noise; radios, televisions and other sound devices; vehicle noise; and general noise. Your repeat offender may not pay attention to the HOA rules, but likely will pay attention to city rules and enforcement.

4. Develop architectural standards.

Typically these standards relate to exterior appearances of homeowner units. But in the case of townhome or condominium communities, the board can include standards related to floor surfaces or connecting walls. Hardwood flooring may be one owner’s dream and another’s nightmare. Ensuring any remodeling efforts that could affect noise between units are properly reviewed and approved can help reduce future noise complaints.

5. Communicate noise-related rules to your homeowners.

It’s unlikely that every homeowner in your community has read the association’s CC&Rs, by-laws and rules word-for-word. So remind them often of any noise-related rules, like the quiet hours and the need to submit remodeling plans, through newsletters, homeowner meetings and other means.

This article contains general information. Individual situations are unique.

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Source: Realty Times, Executive Council of Homeowners
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