What is a Noise Violation?

Repeated noise violations may be in breach of your lease agreement.

Most property rentals have noise clauses written into the leases. A noise violation is any instance in which the noise levels at an apartment exceed what is appropriate as deemed by the lease.

Many landlords consider any excessive and/or late-night noise that’s disruptive to neighbors to be noise violations. Most cities and towns have noise ordinances, which are statutes that prohibit sound above a certain noise threshold. If you’re in violation of your town or city’s noise ordinance, you’re almost certainly in violation of your lease’s noise violation.

How to know what constitutes a noise violation

Noise ordinances usually mandate the times, noise levels and types of noise that are allowed or not allowed per the ordinance. If a loud neighbor is bothering you, look up your locality’s noise statutes to learn about what is legal or illegal.

Types of noises that could be a violation

  • Loud music
  • Barking dog
  • Yelling or screaming
  • Home improvement work

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What to do when neighbors are being too loud

Dealing with an extra-noisy neighbor? After taking a deep breath to calm yourself, knock on their door to politely ask them to be quiet. If that doesn’t help and you suspect loud neighbors may be in violation of your locality’s noise ordinance, you may have grounds to file a complaint with the police.

People may be in violation due to the level of noise they’re making or the times of day they’re making it. A police officer may use a machine that measures decibel levels to determine whether the noise exceeds legal limits.

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What is an Assisted Living Community?

Get by with a little help from your friends (and family too, of course)

An assisted living community is much like a standard apartment community, except it’s specifically for people that need in-home medical or personal care.

Assisted living communities offer independence for their tenants while still maintaining access to necessary care.

What kind of costs are associated with assisted living communities?

Assisted living communities typically cost more than an apartment or home without additional services. But, someone seeking extra in-home care would likely already be familiar with that idea. You might like to know what exactly the extra costs cover, however.

Assisted living communities often include meals, medical care, housekeeping, recreational care and a number of personal care services. The list of amenities can vary greatly from one community to the next, so you should always check into the specific services offered at a community you’re interested in.

Why or why not live in an assisted living community?

As we mentioned, there are extra costs associated with living at an assisted living community. But, for many, these costs are worth it, sometimes even necessary.

Pros of assisted living communities

  • Care specific to the resident’s needs
  • Not a clinical setting, feels more like a home

Cons of assisted living communities

  • Additional costs
  • A structure that some very independent residents may not enjoy

Who is eligible to live in an assisted living community?

Anyone is eligible to live in an assisted living community, regardless of age. Because of their nature, assisted living communities are prime for anyone needing an extra level of care at home. Whether a senior citizen or someone much younger, an assisted living community could be the solution.

Some assisted living communities even offer multiple-room units, like the unit pictured, for roommates, partners or guests.

2 bedroom floor plan2 bedroom floor plan

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What is a Washer and Dryer Rental?

It’s the kind of rental that could really save you time and frustration.

A washer and dryer rental is exactly what is sounds like: Companies offer you the ability to rent a washer and dryer for your apartment.

There are a number of companies that offer this service for people who might not want to spend thousands of dollars by purchasing a washer or dryer for a rental unit.

Is this service for me?

There are a number of things to consider. Some apartment buildings are so spread out that it might be worth it to rent an in-unit washer and dryer so that you don’t have to lug your clothes back and forth long distances. And, some complexes don’t offer washers and dryers at all, so doing laundry is a huge chore that must take place at a laundromat.

Having your own washer and dryer will save you an exorbitant amount of time. Don’t forget to consider the cost of this service. Some companies might offer reasonable pricing, so it’s worth it to check out.

washer and dryerwasher and dryer

Pros of a washer and dryer rental

  • Don’t have to leave your apartment to do laundry
  • Can do laundry whenever you want
  • Extremely convenient

Cons of a washer and dryer rental

  • Possibly expensive
  • Paying for something you can’t keep
  • Only a short-term solution until you move

How to find a rental service

Use Google to search for washer and dryer rental services in your area. You can compare pricing and decide if it’s worth it for you.

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What is a Business Center?

A place where you can get a little work done.

Business centers are office spaces open to an apartment’s tenants that include the use of at least some desktop computers and usually access to printers, scanners and photocopiers. Some business centers are also equipped with mini-kitchens and complimentary coffee, tea and snacks.

As new apartment developments continue to add more amenities to their complexes, many are offering business centers in them to create added conveniences for their tenants.

Benefits of having a business center in your complex

Business centers are especially useful for residents who require a quiet place to work at home and not enough time or money in a budget to create an adequate home office space, or even for printing jobs that aren’t common enough to justify owning their own printer.

Business centers are also great spaces to meet with a group of people. If your apartment complex doesn’t offer a separate event space, it may be willing to schedule blocks of time for use as a meeting space.

Pros of a business center

  • Free access to computers and the internet
  • Reduces the need for buying and maintaining expensive equipment
  • Saves space in small apartments

Cons of a business center

  • Maintenance of center can drive up rent prices
  • May not guarantee a wide range of equipment and features
  • Equipment might be poorly maintained or unreliable

Do you need an apartment with a business center?

business center in apartmentbusiness center in apartment

If your apartment space likely won’t have enough room for a home office but you need space to get work done, business centers can provide the perfect space for you to focus or take calls. Business centers are especially useful if they can be reserved ahead of time.

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What is an Apartment?

Is every rental considered an apartment? It’s not as straightforward as that.

An apartment is a self-contained grouping of rooms that comprise a single residence, usually grouped with many other similar units in a large building or in a side-by-side arrangement.

Why are apartments so common?

Apartments are one of the most common residences for renters. They’re quite common in most cities across America and are usually offered in various sizes — ranging from small efficiency apartments to apartments with multiple bedrooms or bathrooms within.

Apartments are oftentimes considered as “renter only” properties, however, many people do own individual apartments. Despite that, apartments are the choice of many renters because of the community, the cost-efficiency and the commonality.

Why or why not rent an apartment?

You do have other options when renting, but an apartment is the most common choice. Additionally, because of the precedent of apartments being the primary choice for renters, apartments often come equipped with everything necessary for a happy, healthy life. However, you should know the pros and cons of apartments before making a commitment.

Pros of renting an apartment

  • All of the amenities that come with apartment life
  • Often, utilities are included
  • On-site maintenance and support help

Cons of renting an apartment

  • Sharing a wall with your neighbors
  • Not always on the ground floor
  • Restrictions on things like pets, noise and cosmetic changes

What does it look like?

Apartments come in a variety of shapes and sizes, however, a standard one-bedroom frequently looks at least something like the image below:

apartment floorplanapartment floorplan

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What is a Clubhouse?

You’re paying for the amenities, so you might as well take advantage of them.

A clubhouse is most commonly known as a central building used for club activities. Depending on the type of apartment complex or neighborhood that you live in, the amenities offered by the association may be different.

For example, one of the most common amenities that a complex’s clubhouse offers is a gym. A gym is a great amenity to take advantage of, especially if it’s going to save you time and money by freeing you from a monthly gym membership payment.

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Other clubhouse activities

Other common amenities offered by an association’s clubhouse include locker rooms, conference rooms and event spaces. Some clubhouses even have game rooms and babysitting centers.

Nearby your association’s clubhouse is often the association’s pool and possibly tennis court and basketball courts, among other things.

Pros of a clubhouse

  • An easy way to gather with other community members
  • Great way to enjoy playing different sports or throwing parties for events
  • A central hub to socialize
  • Included in your rent

Cons of a clubhouse

  • You may not want to participate in any of the clubhouse activities
  • A portion of your rent is used to pay for upkeep
  • Not all apartments offer the same clubhouse features

The overall consensus

Use your clubhouse if you have one! It’s a great way to gather with friends and family, and it’s all yours to use.

Hang out by the pool, grill some food, or take advantage of the gym. If you have a clubhouse, you might as well take advantage of it.

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What is a Fitness Center?

An easy way to work on that New Year’s resolution.

A fitness center is an exercise facility that may feature several different amenities, including weights, workout machines like treadmills or stationary bikes, yoga or pilates equipment and other specialized machines.

Fitness centers that are offered as part of an apartment or condominium’s amenities can vary in size and features. For smaller apartment complexes, the center may only offer a few machines and sets of dumbbells or just a space to workout.

Larger apartments or condominiums might offer larger, more comprehensive centers outfitted with advanced machines, locker rooms and other features like saunas or steam rooms. While some fitness centers may be open only during certain hours of the day, many are open 24-hours to accommodate people with all kinds of schedules.

Benefits of in-apartment fitness centers

apartment fitness centerapartment fitness center

Fitness centers are an attractive amenity to many apartment- or condominium-dwelling tenants. Because the cost of having and maintaining a fitness center is usually included in rent prices or home owners’ association fees, they can reduce the need for costly gym memberships. They also help save time spent traveling to and from gyms or workout classes for people who workout regularly.

Some condominiums or apartments even offer free fitness classes like yoga, pilates or high intensity interval training (HIIT). These can be great options for people who find working out with weights monotonous.

Pros of having a fitness center

  • Reduces the need for costly gym memberships
  • Saves gym-goers time traveling to other gyms or workout classes

Cons of having a fitness center

  • Renters or condo owners don’t have the option to opt-out if they don’t use the facility
  • Center may not be comprehensive to include everyone’s equipment preferences

Is having a fitness center right for you?

If you workout often and spend a lot of money on gym memberships or fitness classes, looking to live in a complex with a fitness center will likely be very convenient for you. If you rarely work out or have very specific workout preferences, it might not be worth it to seek out a complex where the fitness center that you don’t use is funded by required fees.

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What is an Independent Living Community?

This isn’t a nursing home at all.

An independent living community is a grouping of homes designed specifically to encourage independence and community among senior adults. The ideal resident of an independent living community is someone who does not need any live-in assistance and wishes to share a community with others in the same age bracket.

Can you rent in an independent living community?

Renting in an independent living community is certainly an option. While many homes in these communities will be owned by the residents, some will have owners looking to rent it out. Additionally, some independent living communities are made up entirely of rental units.

Why or why not rent in an independent living community?

An independent living community isn’t right for every senior adult looking to rent, but it is a good option for many. Here are some of the positives and negatives of renting a home in an independent living community.

Pros of renting in an independent living community

  • Plenty of socialization opportunity
  • All-inclusive living — no need for maintenance or landscaping
  • Safety is a primary concern of management

Cons of living in an independent living community

  • Costs more than other rental units
  • May be guidelines concerning visitors
  • Potential for stress related to leaving long-time home

What does a home in an independent living community look like?

independent living communityindependent living community

Homes in independent living communities can take on many forms. Some homes resemble suburban, detached homes in a shared neighborhood. Other homes in independent living communities look like standard apartments and are grouped together in a single building — like the apartments seen in the photo above at the Crossing at Waters Edge 55+ Independent Living Community Apartments in Moorhead, MN.

On the inside, homes in independent living communities are usually optimized for senior adults. This means features like wheelchair accessibility, extra-loud or visual doorbells, and handrails in the bathroom are usually included.

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What is a Property Management Company?

It’s not necessarily the same as a landlord.

A property management company is a loose term used to define a company that does — exactly what you might guess they do — manage properties.

Beyond that, a property management company handles much of what an individual landlord may traditionally take care of including collecting rent, tenant maintenance requests, vetting applicants and other similar responsibilities.

Does every rental have a property management company?

Not every rental unit is managed by a property management company. Many detached homes and even apartment communities are managed by the individual or company that actually owns the property.

If you don’t already know this information, you can find out whether an apartment is owned by a property management company or by an individual proprietor by simply asking your landlord or leasing agents.

What makes a property management company different than a landlord?

couple shaking hands with landlordcouple shaking hands with landlord

Property management companies are quite different than landlords. Let’s take a look at some of the major differences.

What a landlord does

  • Both own the building and manage the rental unit(s)
  • Typically involved in general rental operations
  • Oftentimes, directly accessible by tenants

What a property manager does

  • Paid by the property owner to manage rental operations
  • May be located in an off-site office in the same city as the rental or some other city entirely
  • May never interact with tenants

Should you rent from a property management company?

There are certainly pros and cons to renting an apartment from a property management company as opposed to an individual landlord. Having a personal relationship with your landlord can be mutually beneficial, but property management companies are often able to provide higher-end service.

In most cases, you should make a decision based on which unit you prefer instead of who owns it. However, if you find yourself needing to make a critical choice between renting from a landlord or a property management company, be sure to ask as many questions as you can and not commit before you’re fully convinced the unit is right for you.

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What is a Nursing Home?

A place for people who need 24-hour care available to them.

A nursing home is a living community for those who need to be cared with more help than what can be offered at home. This may include 24-hour nurse aides, therapy and meal preparation.

Why should I consider a nursing home?

nursing home carenursing home care

Nursing homes have staff that includes nurses and nurse assistants to care for tenants. Additionally, multiple forms of therapy may be available to tenants so they don’t need to look outside of the facility to receive proper care. Medical needs and meals are all taken care of in one comfortable place and there’s a social community of tenants all in the same stage of life.

Having 24-hour medical care is costly, though, and nursing homes aren’t cheap. The day-to-day living in a small community can become monotonous for some tenants and there’s not a lot of things they can do on their own, so they may feel that there’s a lack of privacy.

Pros of a nursing home

  • 24-hour care
  • Help from medical professionals
  • Social community

Cons of a nursing home

  • Expensive
  • Limited independence
  • Lack of privacy

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