Breach of leasehold terms with floor that's causing noise; who to enforce?

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    Breach of leasehold terms with floor that's causing noise; who to enforce?

    My upstair's neighbour's lease requires him to provide "carpets, or such other suitable floor coverings", and it also has a "nuisance" clause. He has had his flat tiled. I am now being driven nuts by noise from above. Every movement results in impact noise transmission, and I'm going round the bend. Something as innocent as a chair being moved is torturing me, and so far as I can see, the tenant to whom my neighbour has sublet his flat is doing nothing unreasonable. (Carpets were required by the lease for a very good reason!)

    Both parties (me and the owner of the upstairs flat) are leaseholders, with a shared ownership housing association being the freeholder. There is also the added complication that the owner has sublet the flat, and there's a tenant in there.

    Does anyone know how I can get the terms of my neighbour's lease enforced? Legally, who, or what, can compel my tenant to remove the tiles again? What obliges the freeholder to do anything? (To date, the freeholder (i.e. the housing association) has done nothing, despite my requests.) The leaseholder of the flat now lives in America and is ignoring my messages, so I really need to understand what the responsibilities of both the freeholder housing association AND the leaseholder.

    Any insights would be truly welcomed!

    #2
    I suggest that you read the terms of your lease.

    Does it state the floors must be carpeted ? or you are entitle to quiet enjoyment in your flat ?

    I would recommend that you visit the local Magistrates Court and ask the court manager if to you can make an application to the Court for :

    Order on the Housing Association to enter the flat and install carpet over the tiled areas in the lounge and bedroom? and charge the cost to leaseholder of the flat ?

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      #3
      Under the lease, there are three possibilities:

      1. The relevant covenants in the lease are expressed to be not only with the landlord but also with the other leaseholders. If that is the case you can personally take action against the leaseholder, but not against the subtenant.

      2. The lease contains a clause which enables you to require the landlord to take action against any leaseholder in breach of covenant. However, such clauses are usually accompanied by a requirement that the leaseholder indemnifies the landlord in respect of any costs. You are going to have difficulty persuading the HA to take action.

      3. None of the above applies.

      If 3 is the case, and indeed in any event, there is the law of nuisance. First though, there be a nuisance. If, as you seem prepared to admit, the subtenant is doing no more than behaving normally, it I think it may be difficult to prove. When it comes to nuisance you have to sue the person causing the nuisance. Is it the leaseholder for not having carpets or the subtenant who is the one actually moving about?

      You are in the classic position of someone who has rights, but where enforcing them is difficult and time consuming and, above all, where you risk expense wholly disproportionate to any benefit which may be achieved.

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        #4
        Tilled floors in flats should be banned ..........

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          #5
          Originally posted by Neelix View Post
          Tilled floors in flats should be banned ..........
          Agreed. The solution is to increase the council tax!

          I should though mention that the flat I live in here in Spain is all tiles and no carpets which is the norm. I have lived in three different flats with a flat above and never had a problem with sound transmission through the floor above.

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            #6
            I was doing an EICR on a flat yesterday. The floor had been taken up and put back in many places and wasn’t really secured down - so every other step made a noise. It’s going to be carpeted BUT the floor is still going to move.

            the people downstairs are not going to be very happy

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              #7
              Thank you all very much for your replies. Lawcruncher , 2. applies. Why do you say I will have difficulty persuading the housing association to take action? I am prepared to pay their bills (bankrupting though they may be); surely the housing association has an obligation to enforce the terms of the lease, provided I do indemnify them for the legal fees... On what grounds could they legally refuse? Thanks so much for helping me understand this. I really am grateful.

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                #8
                Not all housing associations are difficult to spur into action but some are; the same can of course be said about any landlord. Apart from the expense, suing is time consuming. The association may not have the resources. You have to persuade them you have a good case. Noise is difficult to prove and in this case there is the question of who you should sue. If you do get the landlord to sue you cannot chose the solicitor. In this type of case you can soon run up a bill for thousands. Solicitors holding themselves out as experts reckon they need £400 an hour and three hours to write a letter of more than three lines - I only exaggerate a bit.

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                  #9
                  Thanks so much, Lawcruncher . This is very helpful.

                  Comment

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