Forum Home» In my home (includes DIY) MoneySaving

soundproofing cost and responsibility

New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

soundproofing cost and responsibility

8 replies 644 views
lara241lara241 Forumite
2 posts
i recently bought a downstairs flat. i had all of the surveys etc done but they didn't uncover the fact that the person who converted it hadn't put in any of the required soundproofing. We tried to address this with the council ( which had signed off the building works), but they want nothing to do with it. The family upstairs are aware of the issues, but still went ahead and installed wooden floors and bought three dogs which run around on the wooden floors all day. Ive checked the lease and it looks like there is nothing preventing them having wooden floors. I am wondering if anyone can tell me if the upstairs family is now responsible for putting in proper soundproofing? They do have something under the wooden flloors,apparently, but i think it is probably really cheap and obviously insufficient. We dont want any soundproofing work done from downstairs, as we have all of the original Victorian features and these would be lost.

Replies

  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
    33.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    lara241 wrote: »
    i recently bought a downstairs flat. i had all of the surveys etc done but they didn't uncover the fact that the person who converted it hadn't put in any of the required soundproofing. We tried to address this with the council ( which had signed off the building works), but they want nothing to do with it.
    How would a survey 'uncover the fact that the person who converted it hadn't put in the required soundproofing'? Like you, the person selling the flat wouldn't want any invasive surgery to find out what was or wasn't in the void. Surveys do not involve lifting floorboards, especially someone else's!

    The council signed off the building works as meeting building regs, or it could have been signed-off by a private company able to act in that capacity, but as it wasn't a new build, I'm not aware what standards would have to be met, if any. Perhaps someone with more experience here, like Doozergirl, will advise.

    I do know with older conversions, mitigating sound transfer is much more difficult than simply placing some sort of padding in the void. The building's walls and timbers play a role and may not be altered, especially if there are original features existing which people value, as you do.

    I've lived in Georgian flats, totally unaltered in terms of their structure, with no soundproofing added. I hardly ever heard a neighbour. It does seem to be luck of the draw with sound transfer, but you've been unlucky with the neighbour too and the terms of your leases.
    Sponsoring The Warning in 2020
    469fc3ds43h3.jpg
    Clapton, Hendrix, Page, Santana.....err... Kanami Tono?
  • edited 15 September 2019 at 7:57AM
    Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
    9.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 15 September 2019 at 7:57AM
    What noise do you hear from the dogs, claws on a hard surface?


    Is it a recent conversion and how do you know the correct soundproofing hasn't been done?

  • shortcrustshortcrust Forumite
    2.7K posts
    Eighth Anniversary Newshound!
    ✭✭✭✭
    There are indeed building regulations about impact noise through floors that would apply to a flat conversion, but my understanding is that a council can't enforce regulations more than 12 months after completion so it's a bit irrelevant now. Even if they could enforce now it would presumably be up to the current owners of the flats to do the required work.

    I really can't see how it's the neighbour's or anyone else's responsibility to 'fix' the soundproofing now. I think all you can do is get the work done yourself. If the ceiling features are really important to you then I suppose you could approach the neighbour and ask if they would be prepared to have the work done from their side. I think most people would require a pretty big incentive to put up with that level of hassle and disruption for something they probably don't see as being their problem.
  • FreeBearFreeBear Forumite
    5.4K posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    shortcrust wrote: »
    Even if they could enforce now it would presumably be up to the current owners of the flats to do the required work.


    Surely, this work affects the fabric of the building, so would be down to the freeholder to fix ?
    Her courage will change the world.

    Treasure the moments that you have. Savour them for as long as you can for they will never come back again.
  • shortcrustshortcrust Forumite
    2.7K posts
    Eighth Anniversary Newshound!
    ✭✭✭✭
    FreeBear wrote: »
    Surely, this work affects the fabric of the building, so would be down to the freeholder to fix ?

    Yes of course. I think I’d assumed that the flat owners have joint ownership of the freehold but I suppose that might not be so, perhaps especially as a lease has been mentioned.
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • cyberviccybervic Forumite
    578 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    lara241 wrote: »
    Ive checked the lease and it looks like there is nothing preventing them having wooden floors.
    Check your lease if there's any mention of underlay or sound deadening material to be use to avoid any nuisense or excessive noise. There was a court case won by downstairs flat last year as the judge ruled there was a breach of lease by the installation of new floors in the upstair's flat without authorisation of freeholder.

    You can also try to find out if the upstairs has any plan to sell in near future, if so, then mention it to them once you raise the issue formally they will have to declare to the noise complaint/issue to any potential buyers.
  • prosaverprosaver Forumite
    7K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    I hsd the same problem upstairs they had wooden floors installed and the neighbours upstairs used to have tap dancing parties every Sunday night , went upstairs to complain and it looked like really fun and ending up joining in, so it solved the problem. And lost a bit of weight too.. they all come to my place on Wednesday night, so ive ended up really fit
    #justsaying
    “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
    ― George Bernard Shaw
  • jamesperrettjamesperrett Forumite
    952 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    Unfortunately effective soundproofing of a floor/ceiling is only going to work if the floor and ceiling are separated. Anything less is going to end up as a disappointment when you realise that you can still hear the noise. So, if you want soundproofing you are going to have to accept that your ceilings will be replaced as I can't see your upstairs neighbours agreeing to their floor being raised.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support