Joint Freeholder refusing to sound proof

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    Joint Freeholder refusing to sound proof

    Hi - would be really grateful for some advice. I own the ground floor flat of a 2-flat victorian terrace conversion. I am also the joint freeholder along with the couple who live above me. The original conversion job was very poor quality and there is absolutely no soundsproofing between the two flats - I was unaware of this when I moved in - basically the estate agent lied to me and explicitly told me that there was soundproofing - and I believed him! In addition to that, they have exposed all their original wooden floorboards above all of my living spaces (both bedrooms and living room), which considerably aggravates the problem - I can literally hear a pin dropping. I have for the past 2 1/2 years tried, very amicably, to reason with them about getting something done about the noise issue as it is making my life hell (they have 2 young children who only know 5th gear when running around the flat - as kids do). I have always maintained that I am happy to pay 50%, and have brought people in to give me quotes, from everything to carpet underlay to having my ceilings ripped down and sound proofing put up under their floors. They have refused to agree to any type of resolution, saying that I am just being sensitive.
    They are now selling the flat and are keen to complete asap. Their laywer has contacted me as they require a signature from me to sign the joint freehold over to the new buyer. I know that they have not made the new buyer aware of the issue - I asked them and they told me they hadn't. I think he has the right to know that there are issues with the flat (and I don't want to be the first to tell him a week after he moves in), and I also think I have the right to a more peaceful life. I would therefore now like to refuse to sign the transfer the freehold until between the 3 of us we can agree upon a resolution to this problem. Can I do that? Do I have a legal leg to stand on or can they force me to sign? How should I approach it, do I need to get a lawyer? Should I try and speak to my neighbours first, or should I do it all in writing? I have tried to get hold of my local citizens advice bureau, to no avail. Can anyone help? Very grateful for any help or advice.

    Thanks.

    #2
    Choices:
    • All freeholders voluntarily agree to undertake such works.
    • You can force your fellow freeholder by obtaining a court order.
    • You buy the flat and do the works to your satisfaction.

    I think it would be unwise for you to make contact with the incoming freeholder and their solicitor at this point in time.

    Ask your current fellow freeholder if he knows whether the incoming freeholder has young children. That may help you decide whether to sign the document.

    If you refuse to sign the transfer document, your fellow freeholder may bring about a claim against you.

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      #3
      Isn't this your golden moment to get something done really quickly.

      I am fairly sure that if there is a dispute with a neighbor you have to disclose it, and in the current market the guy upstairs will want to resolve any issues that get in the way of a sale quickly, if you tell him you will make it an official dispute.

      [I have a similar problem - with no leverage]

      Paul

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        #4
        Yeah, it is, I really can't believe my luck actually. I'm not normally one for come uppance, but to honest they have made my life a misery for the best part of 3 years, and didn't give a sod about that, so they're not going to get away with palming this off onto me and the unassuming guy moving in. Not if I can help it anyway
        I was worried about them being able to raise a claim against me and forcing me to sign, hence the post on here. I have spoken to two laywers since who have given me some advice, and both think I should make it a condition of the transfer that the buyer is informed and a resolution is agreed. Both also, indenpendently of each other, said that they should be made to pay 100% as they are in breach (i.e. they didn't declare it, and of some nuisance clause) - don't quote me on this. They have offered to look at my contract for me to double check this. God it's good to have mates in the right places sometimes!

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