What About Noise and Parties in Las Huacas?
In the past month or two, the LHCA has had several homeowners ask us how they can avoid situations where their own renters throw parties, invite too many guests or strangers over, and disrupt the neighbors and wildlife. In short, there’s no 100% solution for taming rowdy renters, but there are some things you can do to avoid misunderstandings and make your “house rules” crystal clear.
Help Protect Your Home and Maintain Peace in Las Huacas
Your rental contract should always contain language that references the “quiet enjoyment” of your home, but you can also add other clauses if you want to strengthen your position regarding how renters use your property.
Require a reference. This is especially useful if they’ve rented in Nosara because you can talk directly to their past lessor.
Include house rules in the rental agreement that state renters may not hold “events” such as weddings, parties, raves etc. (AirBnB, VRBO and Homeaway also allow Homeowner to specify whether they allow “events”.) House rules may also place limitations on the number of overnight guests, prohibit smoking etc.
In the rental agreement, you can include a cut-off time for noise and music. 10 pm is the locally accepted ordinance for bar and restaurant music, and it’s reasonable to expect the same of homeowners.
You can specify that only people in the registered guest party may stay overnight on the property.
Include a clause outlining specifically that renter shall not use illegal substances or conduct illegal activities on your property.
You are allowed to state that breaking house rules will result in the immediate removal of the guests and the forfeiture of their payment or deposit. It’s up to you what to include and how strict you want to be. Generally, if your tenant sees these points in their contract they will understand, before their arrival, that they’re renting in a residential neighborhood that they’re expected to respect your property and the neighbours peace and quiet.
If you’re allowing your renters to host a party, let them know that they’re renting your home, not the whole neighbourhood. They must:
Be mindful of trash. Let your renters know that trash is picked up just twice a week, and must go into a trash cylinder in the morning on pick up day (not at night) to avoid animals tearing into the bags. Only trash that is properly bagged gets picked up. Recyclables are picked up once a week. These need to be rinsed and put in a clear bag on top of the garbage can.
Let them know neighbors will likely not tolerate noise after 10 pm or before 7 am. Ask then to be respectful if asked to turn down music, or take the party indoors and turn down the music to a level that it cannot be heard beyond your property.
Parking has to be off-road, and not block others driveways or public roads.
They are responsible for their guests’ behavior.
It is good manners to invite the neighbors .
You Can Catch More Flies with Honey… Usually
It’s worth asking your neighbor (kindly) to keep it down. Often they don’t even know they’re being a nuisance. Don’t forget to thank them the next day!
If that doesn’t work and they turn the music up instead, there’s little that can be done aside from calling the police. Their number is 2682-1215. Our security guards do not have legal authority in regards to noise, it is outside of their job description for LHCA. If you have prolonged issues with the same neighbor, you may have to resort to “denuncia” with the Ministerio de Salud. A denuncia is a formal report of illegal activity to a government authority. In the case of ongoing noise (usually from a hotel, bar, or in one case a skatepark), The complaint is for “contaminacion sónica” but denuncias can be filed for any number of things (illegal dumping, burning garbage, earth moving, road damage, tree cutting in a refuge etc). You
can read more about denuncias here:
We all hope it will never come to this legal proceeding. This information is not recommending this action. It is only a last resort. We hope that the above guidelines will help you should you be faced with a noise problem either as an owner or as a neighbour.