Before You Sign a Lease

Landlords- Before you write a lease

If you are a landlord, you need to protect other tenants from being disturbed by a new neighbor. We can help you incorporate the necessary language into the lease, as well as provide suggestions for how to make sure the new tenants do the proper soundproofing. This applies especially to commercial tenants whose operations make noise. These include restaurants, nightclubs, gyms and dance studios, retail stores with speakers for music or announcements and any business that uses machinery. You may also have a tenant like a recording studio that may make noise itself, but has a need for low noise coming in from other tenants.

In one case, our client was a landlord on 16th street who had a high-end stereo store as a tenant, with other tenants above. We provided the lease soundproofing provisions, and then provided architectural review for the store to make sure the work was done right. Result : No noise problems at all.

Tenants- Before you sign a lease

If you are a tenant, especially one whose business makes noise, you should have us review the sound provisions of the lease to make sure you can comply with them. If you can’t, you may be evicted. If your business is sensitive to noise, such as a recording studio, you may want lease language that limits the noise made by neighboring tenants.

We had a client whose recording studio operation was being disturbed by vibration from the gym next door. In the lawsuit that followed, we presented testimony that showed the vibration from the gym to exceed the provisions of the lease. The gym was forced to close. Although it worked out well for our clients, we think this should be a cautionary tale for any business that makes noise; Have an expert evaluate the space and the lease before you sign it.
See Pilot vs.Sutton.