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messageSound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by BestBeast March 13, 09:53PM

We have lived in this flat for 10 years. One flat above us.

We are subject to awful impact noise and other noise from upstairs. I can hear normal conversations, let alone being woken when they crash in from the pub with their mates at 1-2am Monday morning.
Tenants slam the front door constantly, which is stressful and highly unpleasant. My son finds it disturbing/ daughter woken up by noise etc
Weíve asked them to reduce noise nicely, pointing out to them that they donít really live in what you might understand as a separate property (ie their floor is effectively our ceiling)... they donít care. Lots of Ďoh it wasnít me it was x new housemate so I can do anythingí

The lease on the property (ie that we own as joint freeholders, tho we have 2/3 share) has specific clauses related to noise restrictions (ie no music after 11) but landlords do not enforce. As far as theyíre concerned, their tenants can do whatever they like unless the landlords themselves (who donít live here) feel itís anti social. They donít view the lease as important - grant tenants pets despite the no pets clause and expect us to just put up with it. They want to have as little to do with the flats as possible and donít feel theyíre obliged to do anything about the dire noise, despite us having a freehold relationship with them.

Weíve raised soundproofing with them since 2016 (can only be done from their flat), but theyíre always dismissive.

Iím done. We are losing sleep and Iím losing sanity - the stress of the continual conflict with tenants is becoming acute.

Can anyone recommend someone to give good legal advice here? Our solicitor advises on our rights, but not on how we can enforce those, and I need someone who can help me action. I donít see how we can move, as son is so settled at school and the cost of relocation etc. I need to find ways of staying here without dreading what the night will bring. Any help or recommendation v appreciated

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by Ole March 13, 10:52PM

I canít help with the legal stuff, but Iíd suggest keeping a diary of instances where the noise has disturbed your sleep and antisocial events with the date, time, and how it has affected you and your family (you might be already doing this)

Good luck, and I really hope you are able to get help!

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by BestBeast March 14, 08:18AM

Thanks Ole! Yes, I am, but probably need to get more organised

I do feel for upstairs - a lot of the noise is what you might expect to be making in your 20s/30s, but effectively theyíre being leased a property where they canít have people home into the early hours without making anti social noise

In that situation, Iíd be looking to reduce my rent tbh for not being open about the state of the flats when I signed up, but much easier to blame the mean and moany downstairs neighbours I guess....

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by Mazza6 March 25, 03:38AM

Hi there,

Who manages your building is it an individual landlord or managing agent? They should be writing to the owner of the flat quoting sections of the lease where they are in breach.

Even though they have rented the flat the tenancy still has to adhere to the terms of the lease.

If there are wooden floors and there is a noise issue, the terms of the lease will refer to floor coverings ie carpet and underlay. For any fitted would flooring the owner of this flat would have had to apply for permission (and there should be different constraints with this ie. Acoustic underlay, properly fitted etc..).

As evidence it is important to keep some sort of sound diary recording type of noise, time and date.

I feel you pain and hope this helps.

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by James Barber March 27, 02:40PM

Hi Bestbeast,
Sounds like a converted victorian house - so zero noise insulation between the floors hence the extreme problem.
Great advice from Ole. Noise diary so you can collect proof of severity of the problem.
Also worth seeking legal advice. I'd start here - [www.lease-advice.org]

Regards jamesvbarber@gmail.com
former Liberal Democrat Councillor for East Dulwich Ward (2006-2018)

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by BestBeast March 28, 05:52AM

Yes absolutely - zero. Thanks for link James!

All great point and sorry for not clarifying
We own 60% ish of freehold. Flat upstairs owners own the rest.
We havenít got a mgt comp, have tried to deal with stuff between us as and when.

We insisted on a carpet because they had bare floorboards, that lease specifically outlaws, caused friction but they did do it (not because it was a lease issue mind, saw email thread between them about Ďhaving to appease usí - I think because theyíre thinking of a future loft conversion and want easy compliance on various issues).Sound proofing is obviously more expensive- we are offering to pay freehold share.
Itís actually made things worse as folks bounce around on nice soft carpet.

But they donít take the lease seriously. Doubt theyíve actually read it.
Said they hadnít a clue about no pets clause when they granted permission about the cat recently.
Have done work on communal areas without our agreement
Havenít reimbursed us for work on the front garden that should be jointly funded.
And do not pass on the clear noise restrictions in the lease to their tenants.

For us - whatís the point in having these safeguards? The noise/ pet issue is most difficult for us, but the rest suck too.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit was march 28, 05:58am by BestBeast.

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by Mazza6 March 28, 06:43AM

Thanks for clarifying, what works have they carried out in the common parts?

You therefore both have a share in the freehold company, they will need you on there side for any works requiring freehold permission.

In your lease does it require permission to sublet? This might be another angle to look out.

It does make it difficult that you are both members of a company as such (freehold co). Is the flat above tenancy managed by an agent. As you might be able to compliant to them to get through to the tenants in the meantime.

Good luck.

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by Peckhampam April 04, 10:39AM

I live on the ground floor of a converted victorian house. Why do you think soundproofing can only be done from the flat above? I sucessfully had my ceiling soundproofed and it made an enormous difference. It is not cheap so I would definitely talk to a lawyer who specialises in housing law to see that, if the landlord is not keeping to the lease, they can be made to pay for it?

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by IlonaM Yesterday, 01:00PM


The Noise Abatement Society has a lot of info on their website and you can also contact them for advice.

messageRe: Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice
Posted by lilyd Yesterday, 03:35PM

echoing peckhampam Ė i'm surprised you say soundproofing can only be done from their flat? we've just moved into a ground floor conversion where the soundproofing is in our ceiling, rather than their floor. this was put in long before we lived here, so perhaps it did require access to the upstairs flat at the time of installation. i can't speak for that.

of course, it does eat into the ceiling height in our flat, but to present the benefits anecdotally: i am currently self-isolating away from home and i can hear the upstairs neighbour where i am doing exercises, including near constantly jumping for up to an hour a few times a week, and it has made me all the more grateful that back at the flat we have soundproofing in the ceiling!

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