Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 28th Jun 17, 8:38 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Richard Z
    Nuisance due to laminate flooring
    • #1
    • 28th Jun 17, 8:38 PM
    Nuisance due to laminate flooring 28th Jun 17 at 8:38 PM
    Hello,

    I live on a privately rented flat (built in 2009)on the first floor. I've been living here since 2012 without any problems, but the landlord from the dwelling above, has decided to put laminate flooring which has significantly increased sound transmission. Basically, every footstep of the tenants sound like an elephant, and multiple steps sound like a thunderstorm. Because they get up at 5 am, I'm not able to sleep from that time. I've been using earplugs but I should not have to use them, and even with ear plugs the vibration on the walls can be felt.

    Actions I've taken:
    1 - Complained to the environmental protection agency of my local council. Result: EPA has not measured sound levels, but they have concluded that the nuisance is not a result of tenant abuse, it's a result of poor soundproofing so I should address this to the landlord.

    2 - My letting agency is the same as the tenant's above, I've complained to them, but they've told me the residents above are just doing their normal life and that the landlord is not responsible for the soundproofing of the floor, the development management company is, and I should complain to them.

    3 - I've complained to the management company, and they've said that the original flooring of this development is not carpet, it is laminate/hard flooring (a bit odd since the common areas are all carpeted). They've also said that a landlord can change the floor providing it meets the standards of the original flooring, they've offered themselves to investigate the issue and I've requested an investigation. I've asked what the standard is, and they've replied stating that no more than 64db can travel to the dwelling below with normal footsteps. They've offered themselves to investigate, however they seem very reluctant to do it, they don't reply to my emails anymore, which makes me believe they are either lying or just don't want to bother.

    I've tried to record the nuisance with my mobile, but the mic only does not pick low frequencies like a professional mic does. I've measured the db with an app (probably not very accurate), and on every step it picks 60db, sometimes 68db, however the phone is on a table far from the ceiling.

    Could anyone advise on my options here please.

    Thank you
Page 1
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 28th Jun 17, 9:36 PM
    • 1,204 Posts
    • 1,501 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #2
    • 28th Jun 17, 9:36 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Jun 17, 9:36 PM
    I think all you can do is persevere with option three. Don't let them hide. Email them, ring them and if you get no joy, send them a recorded letter.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 28th Jun 17, 10:09 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    • #3
    • 28th Jun 17, 10:09 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jun 17, 10:09 PM
    Well, I thought about that, I don't have any documentation proving that 65db is the required standard, and they can simply tell me they've carried out the test and the result was OK. Should they supply some sort of report?
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 29th Jun 17, 8:57 AM
    • 6,399 Posts
    • 5,172 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    • #4
    • 29th Jun 17, 8:57 AM
    • #4
    • 29th Jun 17, 8:57 AM
    Talk to the tenants about their early rising and loud footsteps. No one else will do anything as they don't live with the problem and doing nothing is the easiest and cheapest option for them.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 29th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    • #5
    • 29th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jun 17, 7:49 PM
    The agency sent me an email stating I cannot speak to the tenants directly, I can only complain to the agency. In addition, EPA asked the tenants to put some rugs, they've said they would but they've ignored.
    • sillygoose
    • By sillygoose 29th Jun 17, 8:40 PM
    • 4,124 Posts
    • 4,684 Thanks
    sillygoose
    • #6
    • 29th Jun 17, 8:40 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jun 17, 8:40 PM
    I do feel your pain, lived in a flat once with hard floors above. A young lady moved in who insisted on walking around in her heels at all times, I could track where she was in her flat to within a few inches. Discussion got us nowhere.

    How long left on your lease? sometimes its just better to move on.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 29th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
    • 1,204 Posts
    • 1,501 Thanks
    Aylesbury Duck
    • #7
    • 29th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
    The agency sent me an email stating I cannot speak to the tenants directly, I can only complain to the agency.
    Originally posted by Richard Z
    Rubbish. What authority do they have to police whether or not you can talk to your neighbours?

    Which approach do you think is most likely to yield a positive resolution? A friendly chat instigated over coffee and biscuits, or a complaint from the agency on your behalf? I know which I'd be more likely to be receptive to.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 3rd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Dec 17, 8:15 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    The tenants have not renewed tenancy, they have left. I've asked the agency to come and test themselves, and they have agreed that the noise coming from above does make this a pleasant place to live. They've told me they will speak to the landlord so he can take action. In the meantime, new tenants have moved in and the noise is even worse. I've still got approx. 3 months left in my tenancy, it's really inconvenient for me to move out, also it will be more expensive. I would like to renew but I don't want to renew until the noise problem is sorted. The fact this noise problem is affecting my life considerably is enough for legal action to be taken?

    Thank you
    • -taff
    • By -taff 3rd Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    • 7,172 Posts
    • 5,162 Thanks
    -taff
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    Noise from lamiate is a problem in flats, but who are you going to take legal action against? If the lease doesn't mention carpeting as a requirement, you're not going to get very far with that one.
    As for the decibel level, keep on at them, I iagine a letter from a solicitor saying they have failed to carry out part of their repsonsibilities might help, but this time, try writing a letter, not an e-mail.

    It's not unusual for flats to have solid floors, my old flat had those hideous grey streaky tiles, when I bought it, they had been carpeted over, I had to strip them off [nice black glue too] but I know some of the other landlords had just put laminate over them, yet the communal areas had been carpeted over too.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 4th Dec 17, 12:45 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    Noise from lamiate is a problem in flats, but who are you going to take legal action against? If the lease doesn't mention carpeting as a requirement, you're not going to get very far with that one.
    As for the decibel level, keep on at them, I iagine a letter from a solicitor saying they have failed to carry out part of their repsonsibilities might help, but this time, try writing a letter, not an e-mail.

    It's not unusual for flats to have solid floors, my old flat had those hideous grey streaky tiles, when I bought it, they had been carpeted over, I had to strip them off [nice black glue too] but I know some of the other landlords had just put laminate over them, yet the communal areas had been carpeted over too.
    Originally posted by -taff
    Hi,

    Yes, the lease does not mention that only carpet is required, however laminate flooring must meet the lease requirement (i.e. no more than 60db can be travel from the dwelling above).

    Something is really wrong with the floor but nobody wants to take action. Hence perhaps if the next tenant complains, I could have another voice in my favour in order to request compensation.
    Clearly the landlord wants to avoid costs, but he/she should not get away with this.

    What's really strange is that I've never had any problems before. I wonder if the underlay got compressed with time and it no longer absorbs footsteps properly.

    I'm also afraid that if I renew the tenancy I might be accused of accepting the condition, therefore lose in court.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 4th Dec 17, 9:12 AM
    • 6,399 Posts
    • 5,172 Thanks
    Norman Castle

    What's really strange is that I've never had any problems before. I wonder if the underlay got compressed with time and it no longer absorbs footsteps properly.
    Originally posted by Richard Z
    If the floor was recently replaced its possible the underlay was also replaced with a type poorer at insulating impact noise.

    Its also highly likely previous tenants were quieter.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 4th Dec 17, 10:48 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    They say it has never been replaced but I can't prove it. The fact that I barely heard the 1st tenant for 4 years makes me believe the property was carpeted.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 8th Dec 17, 9:52 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    Right, something bad has just happened.
    The new tenants have dropped something heavy on the floor just above my living room and I could literally see the ceiling vibrating and lights shaking.
    I honestly believe this flat block has been poorly built, hence it requires carpet on all floors but the property management does not care, they just want the money.
    It looks like that poorly built floor joists deteriorate over time and vibration (sounds like someone playing music with heavy bass) transmission becomes more noticeable.
    The use of laminate flooring just makes things worse, it should be totally banned except on the 1st floor.

    I'm still confused about the jurisdiction, at this point I'm not sure whether the developer is at fault, or the landlord. The landlord could do better but the problem is that there is no legal requirement for him to fit carpet.

    Never though this could happen in such developed country as the UK.
    • Loanranger
    • By Loanranger 8th Dec 17, 10:24 PM
    • 2,004 Posts
    • 5,208 Thanks
    Loanranger
    Are you American? We refer to the floor at ground level as the ground floor. The first floor is the next floor up. If you refer to the floors incorrectly to the agent, landlord tenant etc, you will confuse matters greatly.
    • flissh
    • By flissh 9th Dec 17, 5:46 AM
    • 656 Posts
    • 1,369 Thanks
    flissh
    I'd move. I know its inconvenient but so is being miserable in your own home.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 9th Dec 17, 9:38 AM
    • 6,399 Posts
    • 5,172 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    The new tenants have dropped something heavy on the floor just above my living room and I could literally see the ceiling vibrating and lights shaking.
    I honestly believe this flat block has been poorly built, hence it requires carpet on all floors
    Originally posted by Richard Z
    Carpet with thick underlay will not dampen impacts heavy enough to move the ceiling. Your problem sounds like ignorant neighbours.

    I've got carpet and laminate in different rooms. In both rooms I can make the floor move and annoy the neighbours very easily.
    Try talking to your new neighbours about this.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 9th Dec 17, 7:30 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    Are you American? We refer to the floor at ground level as the ground floor. The first floor is the next floor up. If you refer to the floors incorrectly to the agent, landlord tenant etc, you will confuse matters greatly.
    Originally posted by Loanranger
    I'm Canadian, but I'm referring it as 1st floor because in this building the ground floor is the car park (similar to many Tesco Extra stores).
    • Richard Z
    • By Richard Z 9th Dec 17, 7:46 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Richard Z
    Carpet with thick underlay will not dampen impacts heavy enough to move the ceiling. Your problem sounds like ignorant neighbours.

    I've got carpet and laminate in different rooms. In both rooms I can make the floor move and annoy the neighbours very easily.
    Try talking to your new neighbours about this.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Dropping things accidentally happens, that's not the issue. I'm concerned about the structure, I've lived in many flats with concrete floor and felt no vibration whatsoever. It is simply not acceptable for a 10 year old building with modern standards to experience a vibrating ceiling.


    Also, I've been checking other flats within the same development and Iíve viewed one on the 4th floor, the floor really feels different, even with thick carpet I could hear wood squeaking on some parts of the living room. Fortunately the apartment above is carpeted.
    However this apartment is about £100 (per month) more expensive, and thereís no increase in space. It is just ridiculous that I have to move and pay more just to get rid of the nuisance which should be taken care of by the landlord.
    • owen_money
    • By owen_money 10th Dec 17, 1:52 PM
    • 401 Posts
    • 499 Thanks
    owen_money
    I'm Canadian, but I'm referring it as 1st floor because in this building the ground floor is the car park (similar to many Tesco Extra stores).
    Originally posted by Richard Z
    You live in a Tesco Extra store or am I missing something? I dont think I could live in a store, I would move.
    One man's folly is another man's wife. Helen Roland (1876 - 1950)
    • Icecannon
    • By Icecannon 10th Dec 17, 2:18 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    Icecannon
    Move, the chances they will pull up the flooring and replace with quality underlay and carpet is next to zero, a few mats won’t cut it either.

    Why you are even considering renewing your lease beats me, you are getting the run around, it’s easier to say no to you than fix the problem.

    Even if you get them to adhere to the regs, I doubt you would be pleased with the result, have you heard how loud 60db is? The odd noise at 60db might be tolerable but for a near constant noise such as footstep, 60db shouldn’t be allowed, it should and can be near enough 0db, if flats were made correctly.
    Last edited by Icecannon; 10-12-2017 at 2:20 PM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,687Posts Today

6,027Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a lovely weekend folks. Don't do anything (fiscally) that I wouldn't do!

  • RT @thismorning: With his last deals of the year, @MartinSLewis wishes us all a 'very merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and a wonderful and?

  • RT @stoneygran: @MartinSLewis I furtively used a pub toilet last night before getting on the bus and felt really guilty!

  • Follow Martin