Letting a flat with a noisy neighbour

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  • Kleyshay
    started a topic Letting a flat with a noisy neighbour

    Letting a flat with a noisy neighbour

    Hi all, sorry for the very long post but I am looking for some advice and want to give all the facts.

    Based in England, I bought an ex LA first floor flat and have let it out for the last year. It's a not a bad area at all with many owner occupiers and private rented as well as a few council tenants.

    After a few months I received a complaint from my tenants regarding loud music coming from the flat below. In the flat below, is a guy that is a council tenant who likes to smoke week then play music (his words !)

    I gave them advice of how and where to report nuisance noise but it continued. I then went to see the guy myself and he agreed to stop playing music at 8pm during the week & 10pm weekends.

    I didn't receive any more complaints, so I thought it was resolved, and the tenants moved out after 11 months.

    I spoke with the guy downstairs while it was vacant and I told him there would be a new tenant in soon and could he please keep the music down if asked, which he agreed.

    I also spoke with the council, who just said they had no previous complaints for his address. But they did make a record of our conversation.

    I let the flat again to a single girl & 2 year old child, last month, and after the first night I get an email complaining about the music. Again I tell her to follow the reporting procedures. I also agreed to go and see him but he was in total denial. He did say the council called him as there had been a complaint, but he didn’t seem bothered in the slightest and actually said he was the victim ! He then started getting very agitated and slammed the door in my face.

    It continued over the course of the next month. Then last weekend music was playing continuously for 3 days / nights. He wouldn't answer the door and neighbours were thinking something may have happened to him. Apparently the police were called but wouldn't come out, so a neighbour tried his door, which was unlocked, went in and turned the music off. He wasn't even in the property and had apparently just 'gone out' for a few days' !!!

    Eventually he did return later that night, had a very noisy verbal altercation with someone at 4.30 the next morning and my tenant could take no more and moved out. According to her, he threatened her and her child as she was moving her belongings out, and the police were called. Again they didn't turn up but logged the incident. Apparently he also rather aggressively insisted to one of the guys helping her move they give my telephone number. He then called me to protest his innocence, and he was getting very angry about it all and insisted I go around his flat with my tenant to sort it out with the 'fat b*tch'. I declined and hung up!

    I have now spoken with the council, to update them of the situation and try to escalate this up a notch and they just said they have only received 3 dates of excess noise submissions by the last tenant and they won't take any action based on that, and it's really a case of my word against his. They will need at least 14 days worth of submissions before they 'might act'. I told them the only way I could get that would be to camp out in the flat myself or hide the fact from the next potential tenant and hope he or she will submit enough evidence. Although they did confirm they had spoken with him and said they would call him and talk to him again.

    I then spoke with the previous tenants and they said it had been better but he was still playing music loudly, and had asked him to turn it down on a few occasions. They were very good tenants but they would not complain to me, to the local authorities or submit anything through the noise app as they didn’t want to be seen as moaning tenants.

    I had a chat with another neighbour downstairs that has lived there 20 years and she says she’s had a couple of run ins with him over the music and has complained to the council but not submitted anything on the noise app, but she 'might' do if it happens again. But she doesn't really want to get involved. I don't think the music affects her as much, as her flat is not joined to his.

    Although she now tells me that last night, 3 guys had smashed their way into his flat and left with a bag before the police got there and that she suspects he is somehow involved with drugs - although that's just her opinion. She wasn't happy. She is looking to sell her flat later this year to move in with her boyfriend, so maybe she is realising it might become a problem to her.

    I went there today and yes his flat's door and window have been smashed and are now boarded up but all is quiet. I suspect he wasn't there today.

    My flat is now vacant and I can't see the point in trying to let it out at the minute as no doubt the same thing will happen, and that wouldn't be fair on another tenant. But on the other hand I can't afford to have it sit empty.

    I have spoken with an acoustics expert, and he said he can set up a sound recording device for a week in my flat and give me a full report at a cost of £2500. I am awaiting to see whether the local authority will accept this as evidence and will act on it. Of course there are no guarantees any music will be played during that week and they could well be a waste of money.

    I have also looked into sound proofing the floor, which will help, but obviously has it's limits and at a cost of £3000.

    I don’t really know what my next move should be and it's obviously causing considerable stress. Any help or advice if anyone has any experience of this is greatly appreciated.

  • KeepTheFaith
    replied
    Originally posted by Kleyshay View Post
    UPDATE

    I then decided to advertise it again at a slightly reduced rent, and be upfront with all potential tenants. Naturally it did seem put a few off, but there were still some takers. A couple have now moved in, they didn't seem to fazed about the neighbour and have even signed a disclaimer that I have informed them of past and potential issues and there is no recourse towards myself. It also states they will inform the LA of any issues, following the correct procedures. Now this is all great in principle, but the cynic in me is obviously sceptical, but time will tell.
    Seems like a good result Kleyshay. Let's hope it works out long term.

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  • Kleyshay
    replied
    UPDATE: Thank you to the people that have taken the time to reply and it is much appreciated and I have taken some of the advice offered and learned a few lessons.
    I decided against the recording equipment route, as the Local Authority would not accept this as evidence.
    I also decided against the sound proofing for the time being at least, due to cost and the fact it might not be all that effective.

    After numerous conversations with the Local Authority, about the situation, who informed me that the nuisance neighbour had voluntarily gone to them and admitted to everything. He told them he fears losing his Council flat and knows he has to change his behaviour and is willing to. From what I was told, he was entertaining a few unsavory characters at his flat which has resulted in all this. Hmmmm. Benefit of the doubt and all that.
    I did go to my property a few times and only heard music once and it was at a more than acceptable level.

    I then decided to advertise it again at a slightly reduced rent, and be upfront with all potential tenants. Naturally it did seem put a few off, but there were still some takers. A couple have now moved in, they didn't seem to fazed about the neighbour and have even signed a disclaimer that I have informed them of past and potential issues and there is no recourse towards myself. It also states they will inform the LA of any issues, following the correct procedures. Now this is all great in principle, but the cynic in me is obviously sceptical, but time will tell.

    Anyway once again, thank you for your replies, advice and suggestions.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kleyshay
    replied
    Originally posted by mariner View Post
    LLs can advise Ts on correct procedures but should not be involved with neighbour disputes.
    Why did you think a single mother with small child, was a suitable T, given the neighbour's alleged transgressions?
    Very good points Mariner. I suppose I thought I might be able to act as some kind of mediator / peace maker to resolve the situation, but you are correct, I should have never got involved. I guess I didn't really think that through letting to her and the possible pitfalls. Two lessons learnt. Thanks

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  • Kleyshay
    replied
    [QUOTE=KeepTheFaith;n1072377]Just a couple of thoughts.

    If you had the professional acoustic recording done when noone was staying there he could say to the court well noone was living there at the time so he wasn't being a nuisance to anyone. Indeed if he thinks noone is living there he may well make much more noise than he normally would.

    Yes that is exactly what the Local Authority Officer has said.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gandolf
    replied
    Hi
    Ive got a flat that's been rented no problem till last few months, same issues the leaseholders a waste of time and the police know him they are there often enough and landlord is private and not answering any contact from estate agents. My tenant now wants to leave hes been great so will let him. Must admit the noise isn't that bad yes you can hear it in flat but with tv on not really. Issue is hes always hanging around drinking etc Im not really sure what to do, will have to confront him and see how that goes cant see it being good. Lounge window is cracked bathroom is not a plywood window, wouldn't mind area is really good
    Hope you get yours sorted asap

    Leave a comment:


  • Hudson01
    replied
    This whole issue will either mean you need to charge less than the market rate for the flat (just to tempt them) or it could lead to the flat simply not letting if you disclose the noise issue which has been discussed, you would be putting yourself at a real disadvantage ....... but of course it's the ethical thing to do....... a nightmare.

    Leave a comment:


  • mariner
    replied
    LLs can advise Ts on correct procedures but should not be involved with neighbour disputes.
    Why did you think a single mother with small child, was a suitable T, given the neighbour's alleged transgressions?

    Leave a comment:


  • KeepTheFaith
    replied
    Just a couple of thoughts.

    If you had the professional acoustic recording done when noone was staying there he could say to the court well noone was living there at the time so he wasn't being a nuisance to anyone. Indeed if he thinks noone is living there he may well make much more noise than he normally would.

    Also someone with a 2 year old child will not be very tolerant of much noise at all. Whereas perhaps a young person nite owl type working in a bar during evenings (paying cheap rent) for instance may be less bothered. You should however give any prospective tenant a heads up of what to expect.
    ​​​

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  • DPT57
    replied
    Ex LA flats are usually cheaper than average for a reason

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  • Kleyshay
    replied
    Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
    Although this would normally be advised against, if you are unable to sell or let it, you could let it on a rent to rent basis to the council or another social landlord. Unfortunately this would probably make it worse for the good residents.
    Yes I did consider this and made an enquiry. The rent they offered was 60% of the rent I was receiving.

    Leave a comment:


  • leaseholder64
    replied
    Although this would normally be advised against, if you are unable to sell or let it, you could let it on a rent to rent basis to the council or another social landlord. Unfortunately this would probably make it worse for the good residents.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hudson01
    replied
    Very true indeed, but that's what the victim himself or herself ' felt ' at the time, if they feared they were about to be hit or struck then that is enough for a sec 39, for a section 47 to be brought then there has to be actual physical contact and indeed evidence (i.e a bruise or mark etc).

    Leave a comment:


  • MdeB
    replied
    Originally posted by Hudson01 View Post
    we could also have a section 39 assault (you do not have to hit or touch anyone for this to be proven)
    It is my understanding that "assault" is the threat of violence, and "battery" is actual violence (see https://www.legalmatch.com/law-libra...s-assault.html)

    Leave a comment:


  • Hudson01
    replied
    The noise i agree is not a Police matter but his doors getting bashed in and the possibility of further violence in the future is their business, as said he needs to go, his behaviour will not change and where ever he goes he will cause these issues, this is why i do not rent to anyone claiming benefits, i know there are those paying and working who can do this but the numbers are a lot lower. Just as an aside his aggressive behaviour is a criminal offence if the receiving party want to make a complaint to the Police, we could have one of the two public order offences (4 and 4a), if he does this outside or in the communal hallway, we could also have a section 39 assault (you do not have to hit or touch anyone for this to be proven), it all depends on if the '' victim'' wants to involve the Police.

    Leave a comment:

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