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Noise Complant from neighbours


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Hello landlord lovers,

I have a place that has been rented out for 10 years or so, we have had around 8-9 differnet tentants.

Most tentants have left as the flat downstairs complain of noise (and have often complaned direct to the tentant), they (the neighbours) are a older couple, one in poor health.

I would like to wrtie to them in a nice but firm way that we have tried to damppen the noise but as its a very old conversion with out a big project and large spend we dont belive we can soften the noise of our flat any more.

Any advice would be gladly welcome.

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There is little you can do other than spend money on soundproofing. Its questionable wether you have to do anything. Downstairs has the problem. They are probably in the wrong property and need to move or soundproof their own place. There is no trick or magic bullet to fix your problem. Educate incoming tenants to 1. Keep noise down and 2. To ignore complaints from downstairs.

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Old property? with wood ceiling joist and plasterboard ceilings? The ceiling void is a sound box that allows noise to resonate through from above.

There is no easy answer other than fit a soundproof ceiling. Before doing that see if upstairs floor can be sound proofed. always the easy option to carry before sorting out lower flat ceilings.

Plasterboard ceiling sound proof boards 8ft x 4ft are available for around £8 each from merchants. Fill the ceiling void with fibreglass or commercial grade soundproofing material to reduce resonation of sound travel.

If a flat conversion has been completed badly then you will have the problem you have right now.

This may help you as a guide. http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-solutions/soundproof-a-ceiling/

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Provided the upstairs tenants are not acting unreasonably i.e. living normal lives then surely it's entirely appropriate to expect the downstairs residents to take the time and incur the expense of soundproofing.

Flats attract all sorts of people whose age/ lifestyles are not suitable to flat living. They shouldn't expect their neighbours to take action/ expense. Sure the problem can be fixed......BUT, the question is who pays!!!!!!!

I have a problem with a neighbour in Spain who thinks it's ok to carry out drum practice in his top floor apartment and play tennis against his terrace walls.

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thanks for the advice everyone. I thought this would be the case. The main issues seem to be with the neighbours them self, they have had issue with almost every tentant we have had in this flat. over the last 10 years, it riases its head now and again I just dont want to say anything to them without being sure.

I did ask them to keep a sound/noise diary and we could review it after a month or so to assess if the noise is what EH / Council would take as an issue, but I dont think they quite understood.

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As already mentioned the downstairs can reduce noise by using sounding proofing plasterboard. It may be a option to offer to contribute to the cost. The other option is to use a special sound proofing underlay under the carpets in your flat. I had that recommended with a similar problem but the problem was resolved so didn't have to.

Here's one I found with a quick search on google http://www.soundreduction.co.uk/Products/Soundproofing-For-Floors/Acoustilay/

But what ever you do it will not remove all noise unless you spend 1000's and then questionable, it is the nature of the beast with flats.

Just be upfront with any new tenants and tell them to ignore any complaints and give them guidance/rules on noise etc and maybe supply the downstairs with your contact details so you can open up a dialog with them for when the issue rears its head again.

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If the downstairs are harassing your T's they are the problem. Over 10 years they could easily have gone to the Environmental Health Dept with their complaint/s. By now the answer would have been found and probably would have been for them to learn to live with and tolerate other people. After all they can't reasonably expect your property to be empty because they don't like people in there.

My thoughts are to invite them to involve the Environmental Health Officer, and ring him yourself to make contact easy for him.

Tell them downstairs that if they cause harassment they will be reported to the Police (for what it's worth).

With good records of events kept by yourself you may also have options to sue for your losses and to pursue a section 82 claim against them.

It's hard to believe that most of your T's are so unreasonable, but I suppose it is possible.

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here is a draft of the letter we sent. just incase anyone else wishes to use it or improve it?!?

I have spoken to our current tenant in flat 2 this week, they have told us you had spoken to them about noise coming from the flat. In response please except our apologises if the tenant is causing any undue or Nuisance noise.

We understand noise can reverberate through the building from time to time, if you find the noise in at unsociable hours we recommend keeping a record of events and reporting these directly to the Environmental department at the local council and also keep us informed by way of a copy of the information sent.

We ask politely that you do not speak directly to the tenant about the issue as this can create unwanted tension between both parties, and as the tenant is a lone female parent would not want to see that she might feel uncomfortable in her own home.

As the flats were converted before the modern rules around sound proofing needs during building works were enforce under building regulations this I feel will always be an issue, unless a good deal of money was spent to bring it up to specification.

I have enclosed some details of the type of work that might need to be carried out to create a good level of containment, the best solution does mean major work in both parties flats as you will see.

We have a situation where I as the owner of the flat can carry out some remedial works, which I am willing to do, to soften the noise from my flat but these works would not be the best solution.

I can offer that I will install sound damping underlay under the carpets of my flat, this would take place over the next 12 to 18 months as the carpets are renewed in most of the rooms and landing area within the flat.

I hope this make a clear statement that we are willing to deal with the issues and support you as a neighbour and shared lease holder of the building.

If you wish to discuss the more advance options of the sound proofing that I have enclosed please let me know, we can arrange for a specialist to visit the whole block and assess the options in full. More information about the UK rules on sound reduction can be found here: http://www.soundreduction.co.uk (website)

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If honest I feel you go too far in your effort to appease.

Yes invite them to deal with the Environmental Health, a record of events is always good.

As you are no expert in the maters of noise insulation perhaps they should find their own solutions. If the Environmental Health feel that a contribution of effort from you is appropriate then they can say so. Maybe they may even act as a style of mediation here and that would have greater purpose than you bending over and it being considered that you didn't bend far enough.

First I suggest it needs to be established who has a 'reasonable' liability here, rather than a legal liability as that one can be much more difficult.

If the Environmental Health express your willingness to contribute toward a solution and that isn't good enough then stuff 'em.

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