Upstairs Tenants Complaining About Downstairs Tenants: What Do I Do?

Dealing with tenants complaining about other tenants is a problem many landlords have and that is the question this week

Dealing with tenants complaining about other tenants is a problem many landlords have and that is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and he is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out the form below.

Dear Landlord Hank,

I have a question about two tenants.

I have a home I created into an Internal Accessory Dwelling Unit for another tenant to rent the bottom. The downstairs tenants complain about the noise that the upstairs tenants constantly make, and they complain about the car parking, although the contract specifically states the parking arrangement.

The upstairs tenants complain about the downstairs tenants always fighting and shutting doors.

What do I do in this situation? Do I talk to them in person or do it in writing? Thank you, — Agueda

Hi, Agueda,

Multi-family living is all about compromise, and sometimes messy situations.

If the floors and wall are standard wood construction, then soundproofing is usually an issue. I’d arrange a meeting with both tenants at the same time and talk about all the issues they are having and get everyone on the same page.

I’d also send the agreement to each one via email so you have written confirmation of the understanding. Some folks refuse to keep music down, etc. and I’d ask those folks to move if they can’t be considerate of their neighbors. Also, if you don’t have carpeting upstairs, maybe some throw rugs would dampen the noise. Good luck!


Hank Rossi

Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rental Housing Journal.   

Realtor lease renewal payments is a topic that comes up often with landlords, and is the question this week for Hank Rossi, Landlord Hank
Landlord Hank says about tenants complaining, “Multifamily living is all about compromise, and sometimes messy situations.”

Ask Landlord Hank Your Question

Ask veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi your questions from tenant screening to leases to pets and more! He provides answers each week to landlords.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Do I Have to Paint and Replace Flooring for a Long-Term Tenant?

Sign Up For Our Newsletter And Get Rental Housing And Apartment News And Helpful, Useful Content Each Week.

* indicates required

Who’s Responsible For Smoke Detector Batteries In Rentals?

Tenant Refuses To Return Keys After Leaving My Rental

A Tenant Poured Grease Down Drain Who Is Responsible?


A tenant poured grease down the kitchen sink so who is responsible for the plumbing repair is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank.
Photo credit SeventyFour via istockphoto

Top photo credit Srdjanns74 via istockphoto

Previous articleHow To Avoid The Pitfalls Of Centralizing Multifamily Operations
Next articleLandlord To Pay $185,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta.