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Ask Adam: Noisy Neighbors

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. I recently bought a property, and just discovered I live near renters who are there through the Section 8 program. It is a problem: loud music, late-night drinking and partying, open drug use. But they take good care of the property, so the absentee landlord doesn’t care. Is there any recourse for homeowners who are impacted by Section 8 tenants?

A. Dealing with noisy neighbors is not something that really requires my expertise as a real estate broker, but this is the third time I have gotten a question like this so I’ll do my best to answer it.

I don’t think that the tenants being Section 8 is an important detail. Noisy neighbors are noisy neighbors and should be dealt with in a similar manner regardless of whether they are renters or owners. Said differently, there isn’t an additional governing body that is going to be able to assist with this situation because they are Section 8 renters.

Whenever I have had a situation with any of my neighbors, I’ve found that reaching out to them directly was the best path. Most people are reasonable, and, as long as you approach them in a tactful and non-threatening manner, they are usually willing to work with you. Maybe you can get them to share a phone number with you that you can call or text when they start to get too loud.

If that doesn’t work then I would contact your condo association. They likely have rules in place to protect the residents against loud noise after a certain time of day. As a landlord myself, I have received complaints from the condo association before about my tenants. I brought it up to the tenants and it was never a problem again.

If all else fails, you can always report your issue to the police. Nobody likes to go this route, but if it is bad enough then you may have to.

I’m hoping some readers can share any additional advice they have in comments.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected] This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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