Issue with next door tenants

Sue Greene asks:
(updated on Monday, March 07th 2022)

I am a home owner with tenants living next door.

For years we have had problems with the tenants.

Since Easter we are now being hounded with the pounding of basketballs.

I have contacted the owners and property manager who ignores the problem.

All she will say is the tenants have the right to live on their property.

In the tenancy act it states that the tenants must not disturb the neighbors. Surely with this noise they are making they are in breach of their tenancy agreement.

 

Our Experts Answer:

To a certain extent the property manager is correct that the tenants have ‘the right to live on their property’ but at the same time they should behave in a way that doesn’t interfere with the peace of neighbouring properties.

Section 40(2)(c) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 states; “The tenant shall not - cause or permit any interference with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of any of the landlord’s other tenants in the use of the premises occupied by those other tenants, or with the reasonable peace, comfort, or privacy of any other person residing in the neighbourhood.” 

It seems like the neighbouring tenants may be in breach of this section. 

Perhaps you could approach the tenants that are making the noise in the first instance.  If that doesn’t work, then I would suggest that you again approach the property manager and point out that the tenants seem to be breaching section 40(2)(c) of the Act.  The property manager should at the very least speak to the tenants but if he/she feels it necessary the tenants can be served with a 14-day notice requiring them to stop annoying the neighbours. 

If it can be proved that the tenants are intentionally making the noise to ‘harass’ you then it’s possible that their actions amount to an unlawful act pursuant to section 40(3A)(d) of the Residential Tenancies Act 1986 in which case exemplary damages can be awarded.

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