Did you know that the main reason neighbors can be against short-term rentals is because they believe these properties might disturb the peace and quiet of a neighborhood? Put yourself in their shoes – the last thing you’d want to feel is unsafe or annoyed because of excessive noise in your neighborhood. That’s likely why our research found that property managers rank minimizing disturbance to neighbors with early detection as the most valuable benefit of noise solutions.
But worse than annoying your neighbors, noise issues and complaints can actually damage your short-term rental business. For some, it’s not something they can come back from. So, it’s in every property manager’s best interest to keep on top of these issues before they go too far.
You may be wondering – how do you classify a noise issue? For short-term rentals, this usually means excessive levels of noise caused by too many people in the property – most often, this indicates an unsolicited party. Unfortunately, despite the house rules on your property listing stating parties are strictly off the table, these things do happen.
To show why noise issues should be taken seriously, we’ve listed the possible risks they pose to you as a short-term rental property manager.
3 major risk factors of excessive short-term rental noise
Risk factor one: damage to your business’s reputation
You’ve likely invested a lot of time and energy into gaining the trust of your short-term rental property’s neighbors, especially if you’ve had to appeal to the area’s Housing Owners Association before starting your business. Now is not the time to lose the faith of your community, not because of something as simple as some rowdy guests.
Unfortunately, sometimes guests break the house rules–perhaps, they allow too many people into the property or throw a loud party that disturbs the neighbors.The next thing you know, you’re receiving noise complaints from all the neighbors (or, even worse, the community council members!)
Consider Janet for a moment…
Janet had wanted a quiet night after a long day at work. She cooked dinner for her entire family, bathed, settled her children, and was finally able to relax on the sofa with her husband when the noise started. At first, she ignored it and turned up the volume on her TV. But then it woke her youngest, leading to a long night of restlessness for the entire house. You can’t blame her for reporting your property; you’d have done the same.
What is excessive noise? Anything higher than 70dB is usually considered disturbing. In a residential area, limits can be lower at around 55-60dB. It’s also worth noting that ‘quiet hours’ are usually between 10pm-7am.
Risk factor two: fines and permit removal
In addition to receiving neighbor complaints, it’s important to consider local regulations. Depending on where you operate, fines for noise violations can be hefty. Seattle, for example, will issue a civil infraction with a fine of up to $250 for loud house parties. If a second violation occurs within 24 hours, criminal charges will then be filed. And if you’re really unlucky, you’ll have your short-term rental permit taken off of you, meaning you’ll have no way to generate the property’s rent – and, thus, no business.
Some states have specific hotlines to call for short-term rental nuisances and others like Holmes Beach, Florida require property managers to display the following message in the property: “You are vacationing in a residential area. Please be a good neighbor by keeping the noise to a respectful level during the day and night. Excessive and unreasonable noise can deprive neighbors of the peaceful enjoyment of their private property.” Failure to advertise this can lead to a $150 fine regardless of a noise complaint.
Risk factor three: safety of your assets
Of course, another major red flag that probably came to your mind when we said the words ‘unsolicited parties’ was the damage risk they pose to your property and your assets. Excessive noise is a good indicator of unruly behavior, including house parties which can lead to the breaking of items, furniture, and anything else in the property.
Although your short-term rental insurance may cover some of the damage, the time it takes to replace items and restore the property is valuable booking time, costing you lost revenue.
What property managers can do about noise issues
Fortunately, innovative tech solutions have been designed to help short-term rental property managers combat such risks through preventive action. Introducing: proactive noise prevention technology. Firstly, let’s answer your immediate concerns – is it legal? Yes, absolutely. Is it privacy-safe? Yes. Noise monitoring technology doesn’t record actual conversations, instead, it monitors how loud the environment is.
The plug-and-play solution monitors indoor noise around the clock and will alert property managers when levels are exceeded, so you can take action before too much damage is caused.
Noise can become a major risk to your short-term rental business. The stakes are high for those who don’t have a way to proactively address excessive noise. Parties not only upset your surrounding community but can result in fines and permits being taken away. Get ahead of noise issues by installing noise monitoring tech for peace of mind and that all-important added layer of protection.
To find out more about proactive noise prevention technology, register your interest in our Smart Noise Monitor product here.