Tenant complaints regarding external pipe/boiler noise

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    Tenant complaints regarding external pipe/boiler noise

    Hello,

    I am a new landlord and I have recently let out my property to 3 tenants. Two of the tenants who sleep on the upper floor of the property have complained to me that they are woken up every morning to what seems to be pipe noises. The noise continues for a while and has a 'ping pong' sound to it.

    I asked my Management Company to send some contractors over to have a listen in order to assess where this noise is stemming from and what can be done. The ManCo were reluctant at first as they claimed that it has nothing to do with them. I put my foot down insisting it seems to be a communal pipe and they eventually sent some contractors round. I have two neighbors upstairs so we did some testing with both of them. The noise appears when both neighbors put their hot water on. The conclusion therefore seems to be that there may be a supply pipe feeding into both their boilers that is causing this noise (maybe it is old, maybe it has expanded due to heat).

    The contractors advised the ManCo and the ManCo have informed me that unfortunately there is nothing they can do. The only way would be to maybe cut open my ceiling and firstly identify where the pipe is, secondly attempt to insulate or even replace the pipe and lastly cover up the ceiling again. This seems cumbersome and onerous.

    I have spoken to my Lettings Agency and they have informed me that if the noise is coming from outside the confines of my personal property, then it is not my responsibility to take action. However the tenants are constantly pressuring me to do something about it. I am willing for their own comfort and my own piece of mind to resolve this issue. However i am no longer sure how... Also as the ManCo aren't willing to investigate further, all the costs will be on me.

    Should i get my own contractor to attempt finding this pipe and replacing it? Should I make the tenants pay for this work or should i put more pressure on the ManCo? Or should i just tell my tenants that my contract stipulates that the noise is not coming directly from my property and therefore i don't need to do anything about it.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice as this is causing me a lot of grief!!

    Thank You

    #2
    If the knocking sound occurs only when you turn on the hot water, it means that the water heater is set too high. The noise is steam rumbling through the hot water system. Turning the heat setting down may silence the pipes. A pipe that's too small to begin with or that has become clogged with scale or mineral deposits can be a big noise problem. It's almost impossible to clean clogged supply pipes, and you must replace pipe that's too small if you want to stop the noise. You can diminish the sound level of clogged pipes considerably by wrapping them with sound-dampening insulation.

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      #3
      Obviously I would want to help resolve this issue for everyone's peace of mind, but technically, if it is your neighbour's pipe, and it doesn't bother them, I don't think you can make them change/fix the pipe if they want to keep it as is, and I don't think it's your responsibility by contract (?). Tenants should resolve with neighbours directly, if anything, no? I am just guessing, but this seems to be the case as far as I know.. Anyone?

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        #4
        Originally posted by Sergio Keshishian View Post
        Two of the tenants who sleep on the upper floor of the property have complained to me that they are woken up every morning to what seems to be pipe noises. The noise continues for a while and has a 'ping pong' sound to it.
        Frequently caused by pipes expanding as they warm up, and can manifest itself in different ways - a common cause is rubbing where they pass through timber joists in notches or holes. I've cured this myself in my own home by wrapping the pipe where it passes through the joist, using a low-friction material like an offcut of flooring vinyl.

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