Jump to content

Sound proofing/flat issues - need legal advice

Recommended Posts

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

We?ve asked them to reduce noise nicely, pointing out to them that they don?t really live in what you might understand as a separate property (ie their floor is effectively our ceiling)... they don?t care. Lots of ?oh it wasn?t me it was x new housemate so I can do anything?

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 they?re concerned, their tenants can do whatever they like unless the landlords themselves (who don?t live here) feel it?s anti social. They don?t 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 don?t feel they?re obliged to do anything about the dire noise, despite us having a freehold relationship with them.

We?ve raised soundproofing with them since 2016 (can only be done from their flat), but they?re always dismissive.

I?m done. We are losing sleep and I?m 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 don?t 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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can?t help with the legal stuff, but I?d 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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 they?re being leased a property where they can?t have people home into the early hours without making anti social noise

In that situation, I?d 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....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 - https://www.lease-advice.org/faq/how-can-a-leaseholder-enforce-the-covenants-in-the-lease-against-another-leaseholder/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 haven?t 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 ?having to appease us? - I think because they?re 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.

It?s actually made things worse as folks bounce around on nice soft carpet.

But they don?t take the lease seriously. Doubt they?ve actually read it.

Said they hadn?t a clue about no pets clause when they granted permission about the cat recently.

Have done work on communal areas without our agreement

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

echoing peckhampam ? 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!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We can?t go any lower on the ceiling because of where the windows are relative to ceiling (close). Can?t replace windows obv - also in conservation area so wouldn?t get planning even if mad enough to do that.

Otherwise I would have done this a long time ago, and sorted out claims later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign In

Sign In

Or sign in with one of these services

    Search In
  • Create New...