Can I get landlord advice on this

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    Can I get landlord advice on this

    Hi there

    I've had good advice here before so would value your thoughts. I'm a tenant.

    I am in a first floor flat and over the last 4 years I have often been woken in the early hours by vibration. It's been a puzzle to work out where it's coming from, although the most likely
    source, my immediate neighbour, is the only person who wasn't interested in talking about it or being helpful and has alluded to it being his shower.

    I have coped with it in a fashion for years, but during this lockdown I've also heard cracking in the walls which is water hammer from hot water running. He's not showering at 4am at the moment, so I'm probably more awake and can hear more.

    My landlady was very supportive on the issue, but there's really little she can do if it's not her flat (I understand that) and she advised me to contact environmental health, but they said they cannot prove it's coming from him and there's very little they can do. They also didn't know what it could be, when I told them two different plumbers have said it's most likely water hammer their reply was 'well we're not plumbers so we wouldn't know!'

    If I asked environmental health to send the neighbour a warning, they would. I've just been too reasonable by saying that I can't prove it's him and I just want them to talk to him and ask to check his appliances. They won't do that.

    It's water hammer for definite, most likely coming from his shower, it's a simple problem causing huge disruption to my life. I'm wondering what can he do about it if I try and approach him again. I know he'll be really annoyed, he has made it clear all along (mainly from non verbal responses, he's not a talker) that he doesn't want me to talk about it. But I'm thinking if there is a solution, I could offer to pay for it to be solved. Or does he not want to talk about it because it can't be solved? Its frustrating not being able to talk to him about it because the only alternative is to put in a complaint to environmental health, which they've said they will act on, but then he gets a warning not to create a disturbance with his shower, but that means he can't use it, and it would create bad feeling.

    Anyone any thoughts? Thanks.

    #2
    I wouldn't worry about bad feeiing, he doesn't seem to.
    Is his flat rented ? If so find out landlord and complain.
    Are the flats leasehold ? If so a possible breach of the lease.
    If it's not your landlady's flat why are you paying rent ? I think she should be in and look after her tenant. You are paying for a flat that is not subject to this disturbance.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks, he owns his flat. The flats are leasehold, I've spoken to the management many times, they didn't want to know. Now there's new management and she was very helpful and said she'd try and sort it out. There was a leak coming from one of his pipes (outflow from toilet) that she'd already noticed on one of her visits, so she said she'd ask for that to be repaired and see if things improve. They didn't. The management are mainly responsible for the communal areas, outdoors, but she said she'd always help with things like washing machines causing vibrations, etc..............but if this is water hammer, the only solution is not to use his hot water until it's fixed. And I've no idea how water hammer is fixed. Maybe that's where I should look next, because I'd be willing to put my savings up to pay for it if it solves the problem.

      I rent from my landlady, when I said not her flat, I meant that the disturbance isn't cause by anything in the flat that I rent (which is her's). She's also very unwell these days, she's had a stroke, there's no way she can do anything during lockdown. She's tried talking to this neighbour herself and she told me she felt that he was lying and witholding information.

      He's actually a friendly neighbour as long as you don't discuss the problem, lol.

      Comment


        #4
        Part of the problem is that he's probably not affected by the problem, because most often the vibration is caused by switching something off.
        But they will be affected by fixing it - the most common cause is loose piping, which means pulling walls out.

        This is probably not the best time to be considering intrusive work by tradespeople in someone's home.
        I wouldn't contemplate it if it were my home right now.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          We used to have 'Water Hammer' at a previous home, It was on the cold feed, it was caused by the mains water pressure so we successfully turned the stopcock down.

          Comment


            #6
            Fully understand the situation and value the consideration you have shown. If you are looking for advice from the trade I've always found Screwfix forum, look for plumbing when you get on.
            I think the best line is, as you are doing, work with property manager. I suspect it is a breach of at least 2 covenants. If he is generally friendly I was wrong, keep it that way.. However, be sure to look after your interests.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Hollywood View Post
              We used to have 'Water Hammer' at a previous home, It was on the cold feed, it was caused by the mains water pressure so we successfully turned the stopcock down.
              thats a good point

              Comment


                #8
                You need to get your landlady to look at her lease to see if any terms are being broken (neighbour's leas should contain same terms as your landlady's lease), and if they are, then to raise it with the freeholder.

                If for any reason your LL is unwilling or unable to look at the lease, then I believe that you should be able to obtain a copy from the Land Registry, which you can then check for breaches.

                I believe that your LL would still need to approach the freeholder, as the freeholder has no duty to you.

                Comment


                  #9
                  jpkeates,

                  Pulling walls out is not an easy job then. I agree also not requesting anything at this time, I was thinking well after......but I doubt anyone would agree to anything as intrusive as that. He did say to me, 'I can't help you, you'll have to get someone in to pull your floorboards up to see what's causing the problem.' He doesn't want to know and I suspect probably because he has an idea what it would involve. The thing is I'm a reasonable person, if something is too difficult to fix I would have to just live with it......I've always only tried to discuss it, but unlike the other adjoining neighbours, he won't.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hollywood,

                    Thanks, so possibly if I get talking with him after all this, I could mention it and suggest it might require turning the stopcock down. He'll clam up the minute I try to raise the subject though, which is the most difficult part of all this.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      scot22,

                      Thanks I will check that out this week. Yes, he's friendly, its such a shame because if you talk about anything else he's all for it. If you try talking about this you're a mad female and he just wants to be gone.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        MdeB,

                        Very interesting. My LL said she couldn't find her lease, she's not been well, but she said she'd given her permission for me to talk to the management. I will go back and have another chat with them and ask if it's possible to see the lease.

                        Someone mentioned to me that ultimately responsibility lies with the freeholder, but when I asked who that was, it turns out the freeholding is split 8 ways for each owner of each of the 8 flats. So the neighbour where this is coming from is also a freeholder. I've never been in such a crazy situation, lol.

                        I don't think I will get anywhere with the neighbour, so it will be down to 2 things I think, whether I want to make a complaint via environmental health, which will cause the problem to stop temporarily but it will start again, plus terrible bad feeling (and it's not my style to take such drastic action, though by not talking he's asking for it), or speak to the management again, but they are limited in what they can do. Or move.

                        I'll try the management first, it's just so strange not to be able to solve it, even if it can't be fixed straightaway, to at least pinpoint the problem with a helpful neighbour would be a start.

                        Thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by CaraJane View Post
                          it turns out the freeholding is split 8 ways for each owner of each of the 8 flats. So the neighbour where this is coming from is also a freeholder.
                          That's very common.
                          When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                          Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There of course is another alternative option..... move. I know it sounds a bit drastic for water hammer but it would annoy the hell out of me getting woken up every day, if it does cause you a lot of issues like you say and the current situation is getting nowhere then its either move or simply accept it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If, as seems likely, he is breaking the lease the Management should enforce the covenant. You are entitled not to be subject to this nuisance.

                              Comment

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