Tenants want to end lease early due to noisy inconsiderate neighbour

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    Tenants want to end lease early due to noisy inconsiderate neighbour

    Our tenants, a professional couple, moved into our one-bed first floor flat 3 months ago and have been complaining about the noise from upstairs ever since. Apparently, the neighbour is playing games all day long on a volume can be heard by our tenants as well as doing some sort of exercises involving jumping and skipping.

    Our tenants have taken all the reasonable steps to try to resolve the issues directly with upstairs occupants but their plea for some peaceful enjoyment has been repeatedly ignored. It got so bad that they had to involve the policy and the local E&H councilor but none seemed to have any effect on neighbour's behaviour.

    As a landlord, we have been trying to get in touch with the owner of neighboring flat through the management company but the message doesn't seem to get across. Due to data protection, the management company is not willing to share the owner's contact details.

    Recently our tenants emailed us and expressed their intention to end the lease early by offering to cover the costs to find new tenants. They signed a two year contract with one year break clause, and therefore are liable for the rent until Nov 2021. We are very sympathetic about their situation. But our concern is that the next tenants would also end up in the same situation if this matter is not resolved for good.

    A little bit of the background: We have been letting that flat for several years and had never in the past received any complaints re noise. Most of our previous tenants stayed for two years. The last tenants ended the lease a little bit earlier so they could travel to Japan just before the lockdown. We live in another city, and due to COVID and the lockdown, we haven't been able to visit the flat and assess the noise level ourselves, so all of the evidence are provided by the tenants. The last time we visited the flat was only a few days before the current tenants moved in, on which occasion we spent one whole day in the flat and cannot recall hearing any noise as per described above.

    Has anyone experienced similar issue? What would be our best course of action at this stage? Also if worst comes and we suffer financially as a direct result of this neighbour's noise, would we have a ground to pursue legal actions against the owner/occupants?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice.


    #2
    My council which is in inner London has a noise complaint service. They say that you can report excessive noice to them if it is during their prescribed hours. I think after 11pm in the weekday and 1am sat, Friday and Sunday. Even though I have never used it ..the process is as follows although I don t know how effective it is. your tenant reports noise on a hotline at an unsociable hour as it’s occurring and they actually send a person out to hear it in your flat. I m sure they can’t answer all complaints they get on a Saturday but then I think they send u recording devises and you keep a log book dates and times. Then they assess the evidence and if they find it with merit send a warning to the guilty party. If they do it again they escalate the warnings and after so many complaints, and due process they get a fine. After that I m assuming they get another fine. As I said I think my council have a very good policy however I can t tell you if it actually prevents another person making excessive anti-social noise. Some people just don t care... you can check the land registry for name and address of owner of flat. You could write directly to them and make them aware of the issue. But given how long it takes for them to evict section 21 I can t see u getting much joy from that. I believe you can use s.8 for asbo there again I have no experience evicting through s.8 asbo clause. You also have to persuade their landlord to care about having anti-social tenants. Maybe they won t care if they are getting their rent.

    I can t see how you can possibly sue the owner for the behaviour of their tenants. They are not responsible for their behaviour even if it was criminal.

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      #3
      I have had ' some ' dealings with this type of situation as part of my day job, i would not get your hopes up too much for a quick or even any solution to this. The tenant upstairs could simply be using their home as most of us would, jumping and skipping sounds like his or her daily exercise routine in the pandemic. The games noise, again this could be heard because the sound insulation between the floors is not up to the latest specification, is this flat purpose built as a 1 bed or has it been converted from a house ?

      I would also be careful in terms of taking any action on the tenant in the other flat, if you come to sell the property in the future you will have to disclose this to any future buyers........ would they buy ?

      There will always be some noise transmission between flats, it is in the nature of the dwelling, some people are super sensitive to noise, if the previous tenants have not mentioned anything about this and the same guy/girl as been living next to them for all that time then maybe the issue is with your current tenants being very OCD about 'any' noise, i dealt with a couple just like this where any noise at all was a real issue..... heaving walking was stated as an issue !

      There are some people you will never satisfy.

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        #4
        I'd be mindful that we're in a lockdown, so people are at home all the time, when normally most of us wouldn't be.
        It's quite possible that the upstairs neighbour hasn't been at home in the day before, so the volume of the games would never have been an issue before.

        I'd decline their offer of an early termination and blame the pandemic, so you might be able to reconsider in June if the problem doesn't simply go away when everyone starts going back to normal.
        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).

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          #5
          Your problem will be that you will have to tell any prospective tenant (or buyer if you sold) of the problem in advance, and that will put most of them off. I think your best bet might be to hold the current tenants to the contract in the hope that things calm down by the time it comes to an end.

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            #6
            Take note of the above...... i can assure you that going down any kind of legal/police route could knock thousands off the value of the property and make it very difficult to sell, think very carefully about this. The tenant can take action but you cannot get involved, the declaration when you sell is based around any dispute YOU have had with any neighbours....... you have not, the tenant has.

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