Dealing with Noisy Neighbours
Hi. I used to live in a flat in Oxford with my (now) wife. It was our first rental property together and we were really pleased to have found it. It was far and away the nicest place in our budget that we had seen - it was big enough, in a good location with good cycle routes and bus services into the city, and it had a great big garden which we loved. But it also came with a problem which was that it was the downstairs flat in a converted house and there was no sound insulation - and I mean none at all, zero, zip, nada sound insulation between the upstairs flat and ours.
When we first moved in there was a couple upstairs that were about to move and quite frankly we could not be bothered to kick up a fuss when we knew they would only be there for another couple of weeks. We thought they were just inconsiderate and that the noise issue would be no more when new, nicer neighbours moved in to replace them. The upstairs flat then remained empty for about 6 weeks, maybe 2 months and in that time we really loved our place. Then a young newly wed couple moved in upstairs. They were very pleasant and when, as soon as they moved in, the noise started bothering us we mentioned it to them and they made a conscious effort to keep quiet. The thing was neither they nor we understood the true extent of the problem. After several weeks of us asking them to keep it down and them saying they were doing their best we finally grasped how bad the lack of insulation was - the fella was upstairs on his own with no T.V. or music on, his mobile phone was sitting on their coffee table on silent and my wife and I were sitting downstairs reading the paper when we heard his mobile phone (and I mean we really clearly heard it!) vibrating on the table! It was at this stage we realised that the problem was fatal!
What to do about noisy neighbours, and approaching your Landlord
We had exhausted all possibilities with simple solutions to the noise problem coming through the ceiling from the upstairs flat into our flat. There was just no way that negotiating with our neighbours upstairs could help the noise pollution problem. We had already raised the issue with the landlord over the phone and he had (understandably) told us to talk to the neighbours about it. Understanding, as we now did, that that was never going to resolve the issue we wrote to the landlord explaining the extent of the problem, informing him that it was completely unacceptable to us and offering a couple of ideas for solutions that we had thought of - namely laying nice thick carpets upstairs or installing some kind of sound insulation between the flats. We also asked his ideas on the problem. His response was that it would be too expensive and we needed to find our own solution. The second letter we wrote was a little more, erm, direct shall we say?! We explained again that we had tried and failed with simple solutions to the noise pollution from our neighbours, that the problem was structural and therefore his responsibility and also that if failed to resolve the issue which was completely intolerable to us that we would need for him to either allow us to break our lease without penalty or find us suitable accommodation in another of his properties. After the third letter our landlord got the message that we would not give up, that the noise pollution problem with our neighbours was not something we would ever accept. He showed us another flat he had on the market but it was just too small so he allowed us to break our lease without penalty. We moved out after six months of living there. It was a real shame for us though - we had really enjoyed living there until our neighbours moved in but unless the landlord had invested in soundproofing it was not somewhere we could have stayed. We actually really lucked out though - we moved out just before leaving for a worldwide trip lasting a month, so didn't have to pay any rent while we were away and then when we got back we found a really nice place really quickly so it all ended well in the end.
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"I know exactly what this couple went through because I have the same problem. I have been In my house for 6 1/2 years and for the past 5 1/2 I have gone through this with the neighbours up stairs from me. I have complained to the local housing association and still nothing has been done it's time everyone who lives in this environment came together and complained for their housing to start to soundproof their homes so that decent people can live in peace and quiet."
"My advice to all make an appointment to see your local MP. Having gone through similar, stressful experiences for 3yrs the local authority did nothing to help my situation. "
"Personally, I cannot believe it took you so long to realise that it wasn\'t your neighbours that were causing noise problems, but that is was a structural problem of the house. I have been at the receiving end of abuse because I never \'kept it down\' when I was living above someone in a converted flat, even though I originally had a good relationship with them to begin with. It ended up being that I had to literally tip toe across my rooms because the neighbours were so abusive. We ended up moving away shortly after. So some advice for you. If you have a good relationship with your neighbours and have asked them to keep to down a few times, then it is a problem with the flat. Don\'t keep bothering decent people about things that have nothing to do with them."
"Hi Guys, I feel for you all as I'm in a very similar position. Been living in my flat for about 3 years and over the last 3 months a new tenant has moved in who inadvertently boomed their music out at all hours and were constantly jumping over us as they played on their Wii. I complained to my landlord who were actually VERY good and tried their best to stop them, though again it turned out to be a soundproofing issue as they really weren't being as loud as it sounded. There was no way we would move as we spent a lot of time and money getting the flat exactly how we want it so we started to look at other options. 1) We work early so are in bed about 9PM - Best solution for this is to invest in earplugs, £3 for 20 on Amazon and these have made ALL the difference. Honestly, without these little beauties, we would of gone on a killing spree by now! 2) When we are trying to watch TV we can hear them above us - We invested in 2 TV headphones and a splitter that allow you to add up to 4 headphones that isolate noise. The best bit about this is you can watch movies in surround sound as loud as you like without disturbing anyone. 3) You can still hear them stamping on the ceiling - We realised having background music on detracts from the noise. If the house is silent, you are far more likely to hear the noise as it's all you have to concentrate on. The way I see it, rather than focusing on the problem, focus on a solution, it's more productive and will stop you going mad!!! Hope this helps =) X Admin: Thank you for this most pragmatic solution, I hope this can help someone."
"Hi, all this sounds terrible but I have the opposite problem. Council housed my family 2 young kids in an upstairs flat. I am constantly telling them to stop running stop playing with balls stop making noise. We don't have a garden so they cant get outside to play. Its not fair on my kids not being able to play in their own home. "
"Usually the case in rented properties I'm afraid, particularly in flats. You find a really nice place and it can be ruined by noisy neighbours >:("
"Hi, for 4 years I have had horrible neighbours waking me up after 1am drinking, slamming doors and shouting. I am working with the council and keep filling diary sheets and call police on occasion. It is only few people who are hard to tolerate everyone else are decent neighbours so I am not prepared to move again. I dont work yet but they\'re behaviour is very childlike and I feel the northumberland county council purely have had enough of me complaining! Any other ideas? I dont see why i should have to move, i had trouble before which was far worse. The nuisance neighbours are a bunch of selfish thuggish yobs who dont give a stuff about me!!"
"Hi, I am currently living in a modern semi detached property, and my neighbours have just recently moved away. They were great we didn't even though we lived next door to somebody. But unfortunately they moved away due to the fact that they couldn't afford to pay the mortgage. But now we have new neighbours who are a newly wed and have 1 small child which, regularly wakes up day and night 2 am 4am and 5am for about 15 minutes and cries and screams and rattles his cot like a psychotic maniac. Also they don't ever see to him to soothe him or to quieten him. As they are to busy watching there t.v until midnight on full volume, which you can hear every thing perfectly. I've haven't had a decent night rest in about four month now. And I think I'm going crazy. What should I do ? Any ideas help ?"
"We live in a terraced town house built in the 80's. Our neighbours on one side are great, really considerate and well mannered. The neighbours on the other side have two young children, and we may as well be living next door to the baboon enclosure at London zoo. We've spoken to them a couple of times about what sounds like their early morning door slamming contest- it starts at 6am even at weekends. Things have improved, although only from 6am to 7.00am (I know, we consider ourselves lucky), the rest of the day they are probably preparing for visiting time which brings it's own noise level! I would support any action to bring about new legislation on noise. The solution we are looking at is buying a detached house. Is there a couple out there looking to buy a terraced house, into dance music, and who have two large dogs? "
Zoo keepers united
"Any of you guys on here must join a group I've just opened on facebook. We have the same issues and have had for about 3 years. The private landlord is useless and has advised us to prove noiusence by geting an asbo against the tennant ourselves before he will remove them from the property. This would be at great expense to ourselves several thoushands of pounds.I want to get some legislation in place to protect the general public against these unscrupulous landlords who make profit out of others misery. Catch my group on facebook and I will try to do something about it. The group is called lets get legislation for irresponsible private landlords."
"It's nice to know that so many people have that problem, because I live upstairs with my fiancé, and the complaints have been coming from downstairs. When we first moved in we were quite noisy, because we didn't realise how badly built the flats were, and they have told us to quieten down and we have. After a few days, they complained again about the noise, and we told them that we didn't make any noise, there was no music or even talking when we were in the kitchen (which is above their bedroom). For a month I couldn't use the kitchen past 11 pm, which was so ridiculous, because I tend to do my work at night. So after a while I started using the kitchen again, and they then have complained to our mutual landlord, who then sent me a letter of getting me letter of antisocial behaviour and if it happens again, the council will get involved!! I was so annoyed, I went to talk to the downstairs flat, because we seriously weren't making any noise, we would tiptoe around the kitchen, close and open cupboards quietly, and after talking to them, they realised that we weren't making that much noise afterall. But we couldn't find an agreement. What bugs me the most is, in the letter it states that we prevent others from enjoying an acceptable quality of life. And they ticked the box which stated EXCESSIVE NOISE. Honestly, I don't like being falsely accused, we don't blame the downstairs flat from complaining, I can imagine how noisy it is. But receiving this letter is not fair on us either, because we can't use the kitchen at night when we want, we pay full rent every month and are never late, so where is our quality of life? We can't enjoy ourselves, we're getting stressed out because of this problem which people can easily point fingers at us, because we are the ones using the kitchen. So both flats kept pushing the landlord to put in another floor, but they refuse, which is fair enough, they are not obliged to do that, but on a serious matter now, its neither our or the other flats fault. It's the non existing sound insulation between our flats. So instead of the landlord making such efforts sending me offensive letters, he should really get is finger out of his a** and fix it!"
"Unfortunatley it is a strange thing for me to say that I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one in this situation of noisy neighbours! It is not fair on all of us who try our best to be considerate to our neighbours when they are not considerate to us, even when you tell them politely that they are making excessive noise at 2-4am. I am currently a final year student living with my boyfriend on a top floor flat in Leeds. It is a lovely modern flat with laminate floors, so we try our best to not make a lot of noise for the flat below. We chose this flat as we were fed up living under noisy students for the past two years, and we thought it would be quieter out of the city centre... but we were wrong. Very loud music was playing from the 2-bed flat next door on the night we moved in. We kindly asked the girls to turn it down but their response was, "we are going out in half an hour anyway" and shut the door on us. The music was not turned down, and the screaming on the balcony of excited nightclubbers and stamping of heels continued. From then on they started slamming doors, windows, talking on their phones loudly on the balcony at 3am, maybe in spite of our complaint. We then confronted them again when they were holding a flat party at 12am with many lads there. They were very hostile and told us that they were 2nd year students (like I give a fig...) and it was freshers week... what a petty excuse, I thought. Me and my boyfriend did not appreciate the girls indecent behaviour (as well as the group of lads who tried and failed to intimidate my boyfriend), so we told them that they should understand that they were causing a nuisance, and if they continue we would take the case further with the Council. This warning did not stop them from making noise. The soundproofing is ridiculous on this modern flat... I can even hear them waking up at 4pm from their partying and they even had the nerve to complain that they could hear me hoovering at 11am! From then on they slam their doors louder to provoke a reaction... this has made me and my boyfriend feeling ill and uncomfortable in our own flat... it shouldn't be that way! We are a quiet couple from the Dales who would enjoy a nice quiet flat to get away from the noisy city... and also to concentrate on our final year studies. We have logged the noises and got the council involved but it is a slow process... and sometimes you wonder whether or not there is a conclusion to it. It does make you feel lost. Even worse, the flat below us have now begun playing loud music and hold flat parties at similar times... almost as if to compete with the other flat. I thought I would enjoy living in flats, but sadly these experiences have put me off (and there are no houses in our price range, distance, etc in Leeds. We have looked many-a-time). "
"we have very recently had exactly the same experience. i know it\'s the sound insulation and the local council will not deal with this issue. the new tenants upstairs have kept me awake for the entirety of their first night (last night) in their bedroom. I know they are loud at night but also know that normal domestic activities can be heard perfectly. i want to push along trying to get out of my contract as one sleepless night is simply enough in my eyes. we live in london and our landlord is difficult to get hold of. can anyone advise on how i can move things along so i can save myself from 3 more months of this??? i am presuming it comes under the part of the contract that states if the tenant feels uncomfortable in the property but i want to get it right so our landlord cant fob us off. Any help would be great!"
"It's very soothing to hear that there are so many people in the same boat! We have an old lady and her husband (Americans) living above us in a very expensive area. We rent, they own, in a large house split into 2 flats without soundproofing. They are on American time permanently and carry on until 3 or 4am every night. I am a nurse and work shifts so you can imagine the time of the early shift when I need to get to the hospital. It drives us crazy and causes arguments between us which is really unnecessary as it is not our fight in the first place! Help!!"
"I purchased my semi detached home 12 years ago and at the time was unaware of the potential noise issue. The property was built in 1854 and had been extended by previous owners but no insulation was incorporated into the structure. My previous neighbours and myself became aware that there could be some sound issues and we both worked together to alleviate any problems. However, the property was sold and the new owner decided to let it out to a young family with 2 children under 5 and another baby on the way. The past 12 months have been an absolute nightmare with the youngest child screaming, shouting and banging against the party wall. Baby arrived in March which exasperated the problem. Now we have the long light evenings the noise in the garden, especially at weekends is unbearable. I have advised them that the noise is causing a problem and they do nothing to control their children or the noise level. I have also advised the landlord on several occasions and no action has been taken to alleviate the problems. This is beginning to affect my health and I am at my wits end as to how I can resolve this problem other than move. But then why should I have to leave my home because of an inconsiderate landlord and tenants who simply do not give a damn about anyone else in the vicinity. I cannot see that Environmental Health is the solution as eventially I will need to sell and do not want this registered against the property. I have looked at installed sound proofing but the cost at the moment is prohibitive and it will also reduce my already small room sizes further. Any advice would be much appreicated."
"I too live in a converted Terraced house in the ground floor flat, my neighbour is in a group and somethimes brings his mates round to practice, which means I can hardly hear the T V, he bangs around an awful lot and also falls asleep with his T V on loud, plays music loudly and shouts down the phone to people, I complained once to the letting agents who sent him a letter. A few days later the newspapers I had put out for recycling were set on fire, and I still believe that it was him but have no proof, but I had been putting them out for about 12 months with no problems. His noise started up again so I wrote him a polite letter explaining that I hear everything as though it were in my flat, and it went down a bit for a while, I find this man very intimidating as after the letter from the agents I overheard him telling his mates what he was going to do to me if he heard any noise from me. He also lies to them as I heard him saying that I was playing opera at 7 o'clock in the morning which was an out an out lie as 1)I don't get up that early and 2) I never play any music in the morning never mind opera. He does things like goes out pops back and puts things on like his computer games and leaves them running and goes back out, stands in his kitchen which is above my living room opening and closing the same drawer, I say the same as he never moves and it goes on for quite a while, then when he gets fed up he just laughs and goes into his living/bedroom which is above my bedroom. He goes to work about 5.30 in the morning and gets back around 2.30 in the afternoon, I try to keep my noise down when he gets home as I know that he goes for a sleep, I just wish that he would give me the same consideration. I am going to send him one more letter and if his noise continues will write another telling him that I will be getting in touch with the authorities. p.s. he is not young man but someone who should know better."
S really fed up
"If this is a real story then I would suggest using the Environmental Protection Act 1990 s.79 If you read that section carefully it discusses noise which is a statutory nuisance which causes "discomfort." It puts an onus on the person making the noise to abate the noise. You serve a notice on the person living in the property but you can also serve a notice on the landlord as well. Both notices have to be recorded but you have to do preliminary stuff like write to both parties outlining the issues and asking them to install adequate sound insulation. You can't just go to serve notice before allowing the other party to address the issue. Also, keep a diary of the noise and how it is "discomfortin." Also look at the WHO World Health Organisation where they cover a lot on the pschological issues with noise, especially at night if someone can't sleep because of noise disturbance. You can also get the support of the local council's Noise Team which should recognise the EPA 1990, although they are quite thick in the head with dealing with noise issues as they don't know all the acts and their specific uses. But, you only need a diary of at least 3 months no more. Your argument is showing the magistrate the pattern of noise. Argue that it is mostly at night which causes sleep issues and discomfort. "
chris from London
"Humans are social creatures and are not meant to live in silence. If you can't handle this noise please get a house. I have been living above the most psychotic woman for the past year who thinks that the landlord should ban me from having friends in my house after 10pm because it disturbs her. We don't make excessive noise but apparently she can hear our conversations. When I suggested she move out of the Victorian town house we live in that was never designed to be separate flats and get a house instead she accused me of intimidating her and threatened to get the police out to me."
"Feel a tremendous amount of sympathy/ empathy with all who've posted here. I moved into my new flat a week ago today and have many of the problems shared here. It's a basement in an old Victorian terrace and the noise from the neighbours upstairs is doing my head in. Every single footstep creaks the joists and transmits down through the walls. I hear conversations, TV, computers, sounds of bathroom activities, the lot, and to cap it off I'm awoken every night by snoring in the bedroom above mine. i eventually drop off again only to be reawakened some few minutes later. This goes on until he leaves for work at 8:00 ish by which time my day is tinned. I'm now really starting to get sleep deprived and being unable to concentrate, feeling jumpy and above all, exhausted. The problem is they're not noisy people - like some of the more unfortunate posters here have - they're just getting on with their lives but I hear absolutely everything because of zero sound proofing. Only been moved in a week but already i hate the place and despair as to what i can do."
"I am writing this on Christmas Day so you can appreciated how frustrated I feel. About a year ago I purchased a flat in our local area after years of trying to get onto the property ladder. In the time period I have had very quiet neighbours both above and below my flat. Then around October two new sets of tenants moved in. One set above and one set below. The set below started playing garage bass music until the early hours of the morning and holding loud parties. Thankfully the music would finish around 11:00 and they would go out clubbing. The first occasion I asked them to turn the music down they looked bewildered but agreed to it. The second time they refused and started to argue with me about it being the weekend so forth and it was their right to chill. The final straw was about 3 weeks ago when after a night out they started playing their music at around 05:30 in the morning. I called the council and logged the call (we have a special service where someone will come out and monitor the noise). My managing agents wrote to the landlords explaining that they were in breach of the lease and so far so good although I have not had any direct communication with the landlord I am just thankful that somebody got financially scared enough to do something about it. However my next issue is with the flat above me. The noise from their footsteps on the flooring is awful. Before October when they moved in I never heard a sound although there were tenants above me. The occasional bang/squeak but I barely noticed it. Now every evening all I can hear is them running across the floors. No voices phones/TVs etc but the constant thumps on the floor are making my heart skip a beat. Not to mention the running across the floor and jumping. I went upstairs to speak to them and the girl was very polite, very small (therefore normal footed) but I don't recall her wearing slippers (which may not help). She gave me the landlords telephone number and I could see the carpets were the same as mine and nothing major had changed. I spoke to the Landlord and he told me that he would talk to them and discuss it to see if something could be done as he had never had this problem before. Well I am writing this on Christmas Day two weeks later after a day ruined by the constant thumping on the floor by their feet. Can someone be more heavy footed than someone else? Should that make a difference ?! Why does someone need to run around the flat all day (which they seem to do when they are not at work) or constantly open and close the drawers? There was a guy up there before they arrived and I barely noticed he was there. Not just that the noise actually seems to have got worse. I am waiting for cracks in my ceiling as every now and again there is a god almighty thud and I have no idea what it is. (Apart from the fact that I vibrate along with the flat!!) It is not a door slamming. It has if someone has jumped and landed. I am now looking into sound proofing (why I found this site) but it is very expensive and I am keen to avoid having the ceiling pulled down. "
"I live in a converted groundfloor flat and remember being so excited when about to move in - buying new sofa and constantly thinking about living there until the first night we moved in and heard the the noise from people walking upstairs. That was the most depressing night of my life as soon as moved in wanted to move out. We were on a 2 year mortgage so we could not move out until that was up and that was a year ago. Our flat is now on the market and am desperate to move. I have hurled myself agaisnt the walls, punched the ceiling and nearly broke my wrist due to absolute frustration, anxiety and stress, not come home and gone to bed at 8.30pm with earplugs so I didn't have to listen to a noise which was at best irritaing to absolute soul destroying depending on what was going on upstairs. I have feared for my health and only yesterday thought I should go to the doctors to get anti depressants. I spoke to someone yesterday and she reminded me that it was just a phase in my life and nothing is forever. Reading what others have written I truely hope you get it sorted too as we deserve to live in a safe and relexed environment"
"My idea is to fine noisy neighbours or inconsiderate business a set fine each time they make noise. This will give power back to the police and should sort out the problem quickly. If you agree with my please sign my petition to the prime minister here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/NoiseFine/ I know it probably wont make any difference but we have to at least try. "
"The whole situation is absolutely ridiculous. I have been told that if I were in Council accommodation something could be done but because it is Private - nothing - same building structure though. With the Government taking cuts from anything that moves called rental/landlord/rent etc, it is surely time for them to do something about residents who live above suffering others. I have even OFFERED to PAY for the insulation above me so that I can get some peace and quiet"
"http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Noise-law1/ IF EVERYONE WHO HAS FACEBOOK OR BEBO PASTE THIS ON THERE PAGE WE WOULD GET MORE PEOPLE TO SIGN I HAVE JUST DONE THIS COME ON EVERYONE "
"My situation is so very similar to yours. I am living on the ground floor and although my neighbours (a couple with 2 young children)are aware of the sound proofing issue, they still continue invite all their friends and family with children to play football in the flat. This evening I counted 7 young children and 3 sets of parents. The noise was just horrendous. They were climbing and jumping off furniture, throwing items against the walls and smashing item on the bathroom and kitchen floors which are not carpeted. This continued for hours. I spoken to them on numerous occasions but it just gets worse. What can I do ?"
"I am so in the same position, screaming child, banging on ceiling no interest from the managing agent or freeholder to put underlay down, so decide to try and get legislation changed, please sign my petition to number 10. Trying to change current legislation and the law would help so many people in the same position, pass to everyone you know. Your petition has been approved by the Number 10 web team, and is now available on the Number 10 website at the following address: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Noise-law1/"
"Im glad Im not the only one who has extremely noisy neighbours, about three months ago a family moved in with three kids (I think) and the vibrations of constant running almost every hour of the day except school time is excruciating and creates a great deal of anxiety. I noticed cracks in the ceiling - thats how bad it is becoming, I spoke to the mother twice and my wife once but to no avail. I have also written a letter - I cant understand how some people living in flats above each other can be so inconsiderate to others. We are at our wits end with what else we can do."
"I moved in to my 2-bed semi just under a year ago and apart for the odd barking dog and stereo from nearby it's been great. I had the perfect neighbour until he moved in with his girlfriend and rented out his house to a single mum with two teenage boys. The 17yr old is unemployed so spends his days sleeping but by night is constantly opening and closing the patio door which is vibrating right through to the bedroom..came to ahead last week when this was going on at 4am. I have spoken to the Mum a couple of times but get the feeling her sons are just too precious to be troublemakers so it continues. The 14yr is now drinking beer outside with his mates so I've decided now to sell..just hope all this hasn't greatly reduced my house value..now looking at a place in the country for the peace and quiet."
"Trying to decide whether to move house - because of noise. Absolutely at my wits end, tearful, panicky and lonely. I live in Belgium, where you have to give 3 months' notice to your landlord to move. But landlords expect you to rent within 1 month of seeing the property - so you can't find a new place until after you have handed in notice on your current flat, making it quite a gamble to move. And there are hefty penalties if you don't find a new tenant for your flat. And, hardest of all for me, I am extremely busy with work in the next few months and I just haven't the time. I live in an old (terrace) house that has been subdivided into flats. Since I moved in, a year ago, the landlord has been doing constant building works above and below, knocking down walls, creating new rooms, building extensions, laying flooring, etc. etc. This happens Monday-Saturday, and very occasionally Sunday, in breach of our tenancy agreement. They've even let one builder move in to one of their flats...so he can work even longer hours. For all that, the landlord is friendly and, I think, well-intentioned. He does apologise for the noise. But it just keeps on.. The soundproofing in the house is zero. All floors are laminate. The landlord has installed a friend of his in the flat upstairs from mine, even while the work continues. This friend is considerate about noise, which is great. But he smokes, and I can smell his smoke in my flat. Also, he seems to have the keys to my flat...don't understand why. Either the landlord must have given it to him, or our locks are the same (possible as it was once one house). He's probably a lovely chap, but I just find it a bit creepy. Downstairs, I also have new neighbours. They seemed respectable when they moved in. But now I find the son - in his 30s - plays incredibly loud music. This went on for some time today, at a volume which made it impossible for me to listen to TV on headphones. So I went down and knocked. No response. Knocked louder. No response again. Since the new neighbours moved in downstairs, I've been especially careful, taking my shoes off when I get in, using headphones etc. so as not to disturb them. I could complain to the landlord - again - but I seem to write to them every week, and I am afraid they will think I am paranoid! It's a particular problem because I work from home - or at least I could - some of the time. It's a terribly hard decision to make: to move or not to move. I might end up with the same problems again. I've noone to discuss this with. What do you think?"
"I am looking for people who have suffered from noisy neighbours for a an item on a television show. We want to give advice to viewers about how to deal with the problem. If you are someone who has or is dealing with noise problems then please give Ian a call on 02078277224. "
"I have bought a leasehold in a quiet leafy neighbourhood. 6 months into this the flat below has been rented to a couple with 2 young children. Gratefully they have to sleep sometime so no noise from 11pm to 7.30am. But outside these hours every actions creates some sort of noise. Banging doors (100 times a day), screaming kids (400 screams at very high pitched levels per day), wardrobe doors banging, even playing football in the flat.....you get the idea. I don't think older flats are designed for kids, but even with kids you need to consider everyone who live around you. I have mentioned it to the management company, they sent a letter, no difference. I have spoken to them, no difference. I have tried using my mobile to record the constant screaming, running, banging, but the equipment isn't advanced enough to capture vibration, etc... don't know what to do as the noise is generally between 7.30am and 11pm and outside generally accepted sleep time. but I work from home and it impacts significantly on my life!! I know spend weekend at friends, work in my kitchen [small & cramped] and also my evenings, with the radio on high to drown out the shouting, but this still doesn't mask the vibrations."
"I live in a 2nd floor flat, and its lke a living nightmare! I dread going home from work, because of the noise, which is mainly music. My whole flat vibrates - the radiators literally bounce! She does not care what time of day or night she blares it, and if it isn't music, its banging, shouting, fighting...you name it, it happens. It's a Housing Association property, and I have contacted them on several occassions, only to be told that certain levels of noise are acceptable. Yeah, you get noise living in flats, but I dont wanna be woken up at 2am, 3am etc with music pounding through my floor. I mentioned sound-proofing to the H.A., as these places are paper thin, and they refuse to do anything. The problem has escalated now - I was so cheesed off one night with her music, I banged on the floor, then she had the cheek to knock on MY door telling me to keep the noise down!! A few choice words were said, believe me. And what do my H.A. say? They want me to go to mediation!! That seems to be the answer to everything!! I refused - why should I mediate with someone who knows what the problem is, yet still carries on her music etc, without consideration for anybody else! And why should I have to take time off from work, for something which would just be a waste of time and energy. My Tenancy Agreement is not worth the paper its written on, saying that though, if I was to not pay my rent for a month, I'm sure the H.A. would soon be on my case! Oh, it's now 22.39hrs, and the music is pounding again.....looks like I'm gonna have a great weekend!!"
"I am amazed there are people living in the same conditions as us. We are council tenants in a 2 bed flat with private landlord upstairs. He moved a lady with 4 children (& their friends at weekends)into the 2 bed flat above us and the noise is horrendous. We have been in touch with ASBO dept and all council depts that will listen but no-one seems to care as long as the rent's paid. We have asked the council to soundproof the flat (obvious explanation to solve the problem) but they refuse to do this as it costs money! I constantly feel like I am taking a nervous breakdown. We pay full rent-upstairs doesn't- now we are looking to soundproof flat ourselves as council wont move us-adequately housed they say! This is how I found this page on internet-looking for help on soundproofing! Something by law should be done about this to help us all live in peace!"
"well i am glad i am not the only one, my parents had 2 flats and they where selling up i took on the smaller one and they sold the top one to a couple with a young child, before we sold the top flat we went through it an put down sound proof underlay and a basic but good quality carpet we tested it out with tv`s talking jumping around and there was virtually no sound at all,well the couple upstairs moved in a few months before me all was fine then i heard them doing some diy,and then i noticed there was a lot more noise especially foot steps and doors closing,well eventually at certain times of the day the noise was so bad i had to leave and go out,i made a nice complaint by letter just pointing out how things have got very noisy from above,i had no reply,6 months later i saw them load a a van up and they had gone with out a word, next thing i new i had a young couple expecting a baby in 4 weeks move in they also moved his parents in and they noise was horrendous then they got a parrot which his parents owned when they owned the local boozer so i had four adults living above me a new born child and a parrot who new every swear word on the planet and the local football chant "green army green army" i now have discover that the couple my parents sold the flat too have removed all carpet and under lay and replaced with laminate flooring the young couple now living there with one set of parents are related to the owners. i've had 2 bust ups about the noise and they retaliated with more noise and telling me i live in a flat what du ya expect. ive tried to contact the free holder but but the tenants upstairs wont give me a contact number or address. they also have a habit of coming back from there pub tanked up to the hills at 2:30 and carry on partying until 5am the last time i counted possible up to 8 people, i ended up getting up and hammering on my ceiling which in response i got a lot of laughter and more banging from above. i was just about phone the police when i heard there front door and there guests left. At the moment i feel worthless i hate coming home especially having to be in my flat in the evenings when the noise is at its worse, i've cotacted the EHO and they weren't that sympathetic, unfortunately the noise isn't every night, sometimes i get 3 to 4 days of bad noise then i might 2 days acceptable levels then a day of really bad noise and so you just cant pin it down to every night or just at week ends,oh and did mention the diy from 1730 until 2330 which they like to do on the odd occasions, anyway thanks for listening i thought i was on my own."
"i sympathise with you for what you went through. i am going through a similar problem in that the flat where i live in wembley is badly insulated to the extent that whenever a neighbour moves his or her chair across the floor (which drives me crazy with frustration) i can hear it even though i live at the top of a four flat estate. these smaller estates were meant to be the long awaited answer to the incredibly bad estates that were created in the 1960s. i had the misfortune of living on chalkhill estate from the late 1980's to early 2000 and believe me that estate was really bad. kids playing football in the walk ways which made it impossible to sit in my flat and quietly watch tv because i would be constantly disturbed by the shout of feet running and balls bouncing of the walls, as well as the kids shouting and screaming. add to that the people next door scraping chairs across uncarpeted floors day and night, plus coackroach investation, mice,and pigeons....it is a wonder i didn't have a breakdown? now i am living where i am now and slowly but surely it is starting to turn into a chalkhill estate part 2. i can sit here in my living room and hear the sound of kids running up and down in their flat next door. as well as the persistant chair dragger oh and i not long discovered that i have mice infestation : ( this is the reality of housing association and council housing in london today. but it need not be like this but when you have builders contractors trying to cut corners and save money and meet government targets, your always gonna have bad housing. bad in poor sound insulation, and bad in the lack of heat insulation. i bet if someone did a simple test on these estates to see if they are properly insulated, i would not be surprised if all failed because this is the standard in london. just like to expect to see staight uncracked pavements is too much to ask, likewise, to expect housing to be of sound quality is to expect too much. not surprising then that rates of depression and frustration are most likely higher in london than anywhere else where standards are high and maintained. "
"I have exactly the same problem as your daughter - I live in a leasehold flat which I own. An elderly lady used to live upstairs and it was lovely and quite. I admit she used to have her TV on quite loud as she was hard of hearing, but it didn't bother me that much. Then a new young couple moved in. From day 1 they have been making noise all the time. If it's not him stomping about, they're dropping things on the floor, moving furniture, loud TV, talking very loudly when they have guests and to top it off they've just had a baby who cries constantly. I have approached them several times over the last couple of years but they always seem to retaliate buy making an even bigger noise. As there is no landlord, it seems even worse, as there is no-one really to go to. For example, when they moved in, they went out one night. When they came home at 1:15 in the morning, they 'forgot' to put their new bed together so proceeded to hammer and crash at it for an hour! It is really getting on my nerves and I don't see why I should move after 6 years. I completely understand your daughters predicament and greatly sympathise with her."
"this sounds just like my daughters flat, except that she bought her flat leasehold. The previous owner had said she could 'occasionally' hear upstairs but boy was she lying!! You can as you say hear their mobile phone vibrating. They also have a one year old and laminate flooring all over!! its like the ceiling is coming in 24/7 its a nightmare and looks like she is going to have to move. She tried to discuss it nicely but once she did they just got noisier, ie putting his work boots on and stomping on the floor. nice people huh? "