Noise insulation

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    Noise insulation

    Thanks for reading this question and hopefully, giving me some advice.

    I've lived in my ground floor flat for two and a half years now, pay rent etc and according to my landlord, am a ''model tenant. My landlord is ok in so far as he maintains the property well.

    I do though have a major issue with noise from the flat above. This is not loud music noise, or raised voices or anything anti-social at all. It's simply the noise of footsteps. I can hear every single footstep that my neighbour makes. Today for example, I heard him plugging in his iron and then as he shifted weight between I could hear the floorboards creaking: this was at 6.30am.

    I've seen the upstairs flat and it's carpeted everywhere except for the kitchen. The landlord has conceded that he needs to put some insulation in but has never acted. The last time he said this was over a year ago, but still nothing has happened.

    The property is a large Victorian semi. I'm not sure when it was converted but I'm fairly sure it was not before 1992.

    I am near my wit's end with this issue. I want my landlord to resolve the issue and I'm happy to put up with some minor inconvenience to resolve it. He has asked the neighbour to be quiet last month but my neighbour does everything he can to keep quiet: he takes phone calls away from my bedroom, he wears slippers when walking around etc.

    What do you suggest I do? I don't want to fall out with him but I am looking for ways in which I can show him I'm serious about this and to stress that it really is the landlord's responsibility to resolve it.

    Many thanks in advance

    #2
    When an old property is converted into flats there is invariably a noise issue between floors. Unfortunately the current fashion for "minimalist" furnishings and in particular uncarpeted wooden floors has substantially compounded the problem. Modern building regulations require a certain amount of sound insulation between floors but they probably don't apply here. You may care to discuss it with your local authority environmental health department and ask your landlord whether there is any chance of getting carpets fitted in the flat upstairs (if he owns it) but apart from that there is probably little else that you can do. From what yoiu say, it is obvious that the residents upstairs are doing their best to live as quietly as practicable.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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      #3
      Oh no!

      I know my neighbour is doing his best and we get on well. I don't want to fall out with anyone. Can my landlord therefore do nothing and be acting within the law?

      Thanks

      Comment


        #4
        Unfortunately, that is correct. The landlord would possibly have to repair the sound insulation if it broke down for some reason (vermin?) but he has no obligation to install additional sound insulation.

        Even modern flats, that meet current building regs, have noise issues - it is a given thing in flats. Your current property only has to meet the sound insulation requirements of the building regs (if any) that were in place when the building was converted.

        It may be that the landlord wants to help, but doesn't know what to do. There are sound insulation boards that can be attached to the ceiling and then plastered over. This would not be over expensive - probably less than £500 for your bedroom - and may make it easier for the landlord to achieve his target rents when he needs to find a new tenant. He has no obligation to do this though.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks

          Thanks very much for your help. I think I'm just going to have to go and find accommodation elsewhere.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by P.Pilcher View Post
            ...ask your landlord whether there is any chance of getting carpets fitted in the flat upstairs (if he owns it) but apart from that there is probably little else that you can do.
            The flat upstairs is already carpeted.

            Originally posted by alistair View Post
            I've seen the upstairs flat and it's carpeted everywhere except for the kitchen.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by alistair View Post
              Thanks very much for your help. I think I'm just going to have to go and find accommodation elsewhere.
              It may be worth telling the landlord why you are planning to give notice. If I were him, I'd want do something about a problem which is causing me to lose tenants regardless of the lack of a legal obligation to install insulation.

              Point him to this website
              http://www.soundreduction.co.uk/

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                It may be worth telling the landlord why you are planning to give notice. If I were him, I'd want do something about a problem which is causing me to lose tenants regardless of the lack of a legal obligation to install insulation.

                Point him to this website
                http://www.soundreduction.co.uk/

                Tell him that you are moving unless he does something in the flat and the flat may well be empty for several months. The lost income may be more than the cost of upgrading the sound insulating properties.

                Some landlords just done see this though so prepare to move (we have one landlord who refused to fit double glazing. The tenant was paying £475. Due to a drop in demand in this area the rent is now £400 and it took us about 5 months to fill the house (rough area). The lost 5 months rent would easily have paid for partial or full double glazing.
                Liability statement. My liability to you is not to exceed the amount you are paying for my recommendations or advice.

                I see a bright new future, where chickens can cross the road with no fear of having their motives questioned

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks

                  Thanks for the additional advice. I shall definitely try this and point out that he did say he would do something about it a year ago. However, I'm not sure it will inspire him! I've asked to meet with him three times in the last four weeks and he never turns up. He has not replaced a set of blinds or curtains despite making promises that he would do so 18 months ago. Similarly he has also not repaired an exterior wall which has caused my washing machine to break down due to damp invading from outside. He has also failed to secure the fire escape ladder for the flat upstairs to an exterior wall. Not sure he's going to commit himself to sorting out the noise problem.

                  I don't want to fall out with him as cooperative relationship is fundamental but is there any way in which I can encourage him to undertake the minor jobs. It seems tome that if you are a tenant who plays by the rules, you are disadvantaged.

                  Sorry for the rant.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This may help for the minor reairs http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._doing_repairs

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Some LLs are very good and some are very poor.

                      I would discuss this with the landlord and point out that he will always have trouble keeping tnts due to the noise.

                      One of my recent tnts handed their notice in stating they couldnt manage the stairs anymore, also the bath/shower was quite poor. He struggled with his Knees and Back so couldnt get up the stairs or in the bath very well adn the shower wasnt vey good as he couldnt lay down in the bath.

                      Offered to cut a deal on a power shower ( perhaps 50/50 ) and also have no objections to having a stair lift fitted. Would have lowered the rent as well. But he was adamant he would see a stair lift as a negative in his life.

                      So they are leaving next week and they have spent a fortune improving the house,they have been model tnts from day 1. Off to a bunglaow paying more than were they are now.

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