Noise from flat above building management says that wood floor is ok - vague wording

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    Noise from flat above building management says that wood floor is ok - vague wording


    I am a first-time buyer, I have looked through the forums and read the FAQ's but I think my case differs from a lot that I've read through in the forums.

    I recently purchased a leasehold flat in west London and completed in June 2021. The flat itself is nice but the issue we are facing is that the noise from the flat above is unbearable at times. The issue we suspect is casued by the fact that the flat above has wood floor as most of the noise we face from there is the loud walking about within the property during antisocial hours of the early morning. We spoke to the building management and raised the fact that the flat above has wood floor as an issue. the management company (which I must add never call back when they say they will follow it up). They informed me, after I chased it for weeks, that there is no issue with the flat having wood floor as the lease doesn't forbid wood floor and no further action will be taken regarding that issue.

    I read through the lease which I would imagine would be the same for the flat above and on the last page, which says "regulations to be observed by the lessee" one of the said regulations is "The lessee will cover all floors of the flat with carpet and underlay or such other material as prevents the unreasonable transmission of noise to other flats in the building" The wording here is very vague as to what such other materials are exactly? but I imagine this is where the freeholder is concluding that wood floor is acceptable.

    So my question is what do I do now?

    The management company has said to me I need to raise a noise complaint so they can send a letter to the flat above. I don't see this doing anything because the noise is just from the person above just walking in their flat (possibly heavy-footed?). we have already tried speaking to the neighbour above and asking them to be considerate, but there is only so much anyone can tolerate.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Not knowing personalities involved makes suggestions difficult.
    Objectively I think you should consider raising a formal complaint and start the process to have the problem remedied.
    It is likely there is a covenant to prevent nuisance and annoyance.


      You should make written complaint about excessive noise to the management company and state whether the noise is heard in your lounge or your bedroom and what time ..

      You should point out the lease requires the floors to be covered by carpeting which absorbs noise and request the management company to ask the leaseholder of upstairs flat to cover the lounge floor with carpet and bedside rugs in bedrooms. ( and wear soft sole slippers.)


        I agree. My concern was if a formal complaint might make matters worse. I expect sss is tongue in cheek ­čśŐ


          Obviously try talking with them first ... otherwise does your lease have a mutual enforceability clause?


            Firstly you need to read and check your lease, What does your lease say about what can and cannot be put on the floors firstly? What does the lease say about noise such as - do the leaseholders need to be quiet at any particular times such as from 11.00 pm to 07.00 am etc? Does the lease include any wording about nuisance, regulations that all leaseholders need to respect and abide by? Is there anything in your lease that says you can make a complaint to the landlord and ask him to take action? indemnify the landlord as you would need to pay his legal costs which could be recoverable form the offending tenant, I would start keeping a daily record o what is happening and keep written records of everything moving forwards....


              The issue here is noise not wood flooring per se. Your lease will likely include noise nuisance clauses and/or regulations. You will arguably need to write to the management company as they suggested so they can take this up with the leaseholder of the upstairs flat. At least the agent is offering to take some action. You never know it may work and the lessee may make changes which reduce the noise.

              Incidentally I empathize as my upstairs neighbour has clearly changed floor covering to laminate or wood though will not admit this as it is not permitted by the lease. Fortunately, the person concerned is not too noisy so it is tolerable. However, I would worry were the flat to be sold and there were multiple occupants perhaps with children which would exacerbate the issue.

              Unfortunately, living in flats is often thwart with problems. Personally, I wish we could afford to buy a house with freehold as leasehold/freehold leaves much to be desired.


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