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  • FIRST POST
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 12:16 PM
    • 85Posts
    • 7Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Noisy Neighbour - Not sure what to do next
    • #1
    • 11th Feb 18, 12:16 PM
    Noisy Neighbour - Not sure what to do next 11th Feb 18 at 12:16 PM
    Hi,

    This is a long story that has spanned approximately 3+ years now. I have had an ongoing issue with my upstairs neighbours noise. The main issue is the impact noises I can hear, which are primarily from heavy walking. The sounds go on throughout the night and this makes it hard for me to sleep.

    I have had sound recording equipment installed by the council, and they deem it to be 'day to day living noise'. The council have suggested using 'The Noise App' to record the sounds again, but if this provides no evidence then the case will be closed.

    My concern is, 'The Noise App' does not record impact sounds, therefore does not accurately represent what I am actually hearing. I made a short video to hopefully demonstrate the point.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUBE8XW-stA

    Also, a recording of other sounds recorded over a short period of time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUBE8XW-stA

    Ultimately, I don't think the council will offer any more help, and I am unsure of what steps I can take next.

    Any advice welcomed.

    You can read more about all the details, as to what I and the council have done, here:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5792297
Page 2
    • ashe
    • By ashe 11th Feb 18, 5:34 PM
    • 519 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    ashe
    have you considered an external microphone to record the sound properly? attach it to the ceiling.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 5:37 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    I know its a 'may' and agree with the rest of your comments.

    I suppose what I want to know is the legal aspect. For example my tenancy agreement stipulates that I must have carpet fitted, I must not make noise between 11pm and 7am, and no pets.

    Yet my neighbours have no carpet, have 2 dogs and 5 cats, and regularly make noise that disturbs me between 7pm - 11am. They rent (paid for - they are on benefits) from the same council as I do, so why are the terms mentioned above that are in place for me, not being enforced on them, I assume they must have the same tenancy conditions ?

    I am also questioning the validity of their noise recordings, and would like to know more about the specifics of what is deemed to be a disturbance / nuisance? As I have tried to show, thud / boom sounds which are my main complaint are not recorded. If I record a long sequence of thud sounds by banging a wall then they are not recorded by The Noise App, therefore I submit this 'evidence' to them, they then listen to it and dont hear anything!

    Also the method of recording - you have to press a button to record the sound. Due to the nature of the sounds, they are sporadic and random - this means capturing the sounds is difficult - but as mentioned above, it doesnt accurately record the sounds anyway.

    For example here is some sound I just recorded from upstairs now using my own SPL meter App (Decibel X). You can clearly see the noises that I am talking about. However, playback this recording in The Noise App and your hear absolutely nothing. It's not to do with a faulty device not recording the sound, its the fact The Noise App is recording a waveform and not the SPL levels.


    I would hope with the above things mentioned, I could make some legal argument that a) the council are not enforcing the terms of the agreement on my neighbour, b) the method used by the council for recording these noises is not fit for purpose, c) are they subjectively determining a nuisance or are they going by a specified set of parameters, and if so, what are these.

    Sorry for long reply.
    Last edited by Jimmy_Boy; 12-02-2018 at 7:38 AM.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 5:40 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    have you considered an external microphone to record the sound properly? attach it to the ceiling.
    Originally posted by ashe
    Yes I have. But my understanding is that you cant just submit your own evidence to take action, you have to use council approved equipment / software. Maybe im wrong. If I could submit my own evidence using an SPL meter then I would be more than happy to do so, but I dont know if they would allow it - something for me to ask.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 11th Feb 18, 5:53 PM
    • 11,930 Posts
    • 16,799 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    For example my tenancy agreement stipulates that I must have carpet fitted, I must not make noise between 11pm and 7am, and no pets.
    Originally posted by Jimmy_Boy
    Are those clauses from your tenancy agreement from when you too were a social tenant or are they clauses from your leasehold agreement with the freeholder from when you exercised your right to buy?
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 5:58 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Are those clauses from your tenancy agreement from when you too were a social tenant or are they clauses from your leasehold agreement with the freeholder from when you exercised your right to buy?
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    They are the clauses from my leasehold agreement with the freeholder from when i exercised my right to buy.
    • melanzana
    • By melanzana 11th Feb 18, 6:18 PM
    • 2,477 Posts
    • 6,928 Thanks
    melanzana
    It must be dreadful situation if this noise is driving you mad. It may just be you and you may be quite sensitive to any noise, whereas it wouldn't bother others.

    I think it is very bad form that the neighbours would not accept your offer of carpets and underlay. Nor would they use the rugs supplied either. They sound a bit odd to me, but then there are lots of people who only seem to care about themselves.

    May have already been asked but are they not obliged by the lease to have soft coverings on their floors? And if so, are there any consequences if they don't?

    In the meantime, and I know you said ear plugs do not work well for you, but I can tell you these work for me sleeping beside an earthquake of a snorer, who now has use a cPap machine. You may have tried them already, but if not, what have you got to lose in the meantime?

    http://www.boots.ie/bioears-soft-silicone-earplugs-with-activ-aloe-3-pairs-10064078
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 6:35 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    I tried these:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000067NMJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    They didnt work for me, these may be better and could work possibly.

    It kind of ignores the other issue, the fact that it is hard to be at home and relaxed, and also concentrate. I like to do software development at home, which for me, requires a quiet environment to work in. I havent done this for a long time now, as I just cannot sit down, concentrate and get in the 'zone'.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 11th Feb 18, 6:50 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    It must be dreadful situation if this noise is driving you mad. It may just be you and you may be quite sensitive to any noise, whereas it wouldn't bother others.
    Originally posted by melanzana
    I think there is no question that after putting up with this for over 3 years, I am most definately more sensitive to the noise than others. I would like to add though, that I have lived here for 20 years with 5 different upstairs neighbours, not once I have made a complaint, because I have had no issues with any of the other tenants.

    These tenants are your typical 'cant be bothered' type. They have never worked in the entire time they have lived here. I believe they may be on 'Disability Allowance' due to them being ex-drug addicts, I believe they were moved here to rehabilitate. I know they dabble in drugs, and I also have my suspicions that they do some dealing too. The guy once asked me if I can get hold of any speed, as 'his missus cant get enough of it'.

    They have an alternating sleep pattern. He is up in the day, making noise while she sleeps. She is then up throughout the night (possibly on speed), moving around making a racket.

    Ive always said that I could probably handle it if the noise stopped at a certain time and I was guaranteed some quiet time, but the noise is sporadic 24/7.

    I also need to be a little careful how 'heavy' I get with my actions, as ultimately I am at there mercy. If I really peed them off, they could deliberately be obnoxious and make things even worse.
    • fay66
    • By fay66 11th Feb 18, 9:39 PM
    • 737 Posts
    • 2,043 Thanks
    fay66
    Why dont you just put in for an exchange
    Inland revenue 4500=
    Loan 2610/1988
    Pay day loans -1400 1st pay 16 march 50
    Credit card 1 -5100/4850 int froze
    CC2 -978
    CC3 - 500/548 cc4 165/200
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 12th Feb 18, 7:47 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Can you still do that once you've bought it?
    Originally posted by Penitent
    Not that im aware.

    Im thinking I have 3 options.

    1) Pursue the legal side - ie. Why can they not be made to have carpet (this would solve 90% of the problem i believe), and questioning the validity of the recorded sound material with regard to impact noise.

    2) Soundproof internally, regardless of whether I get permission to do so or not

    3) Remortgage for a Buy To Let mortgage to allow me to rent it out.

    I think thats the order that I shall do things. While I tackle stage one, it will give me time to save for stage 2.

    I have put off sound proofing internally as I have read (and it makes sense) that the best approach to the issues it to tackle the problem at the source, ie fitting carpet upstairs. Im going to be pretty gutted if I spend around 2,000 on sound proofing and it doesn't resolve the issue.

    I did speak to someone who said it you get no luck with the council, then you should try speaking to a councillor and/or MP about the problem, they could give the council a kick up the backside?

    Thanks for all the advice so far.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 12th Feb 18, 9:38 AM
    • 6,861 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    I would do as above. A formal complaint asking about floor covering and the rules and the councils failure to enforce or take any action. If that fails take the outcome to your local councillor.

    Do you speak to the tenants? Did they explain why they rejected free carpets? If they have bare floorboards the noise will be terrible. I think if the council wont push them to do anything working with the tenants may be an unwelcome option.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 12th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Thanks.

    The ironic thing about this whole situation is that we are civil to one another. However, regardless of what I say to them about the situation, it goes unheeded in any resolve of the issue, and then starts to become 'he's whinging again'. Unfortunately, the more you keep on about it without any resolve, the more the tables start to turn on me as being the bad guy, and them claiming they are being victimised. So, I have had to tread a fine line between speaking directly to them, and complaining to the council, in order for me to retain some weight to my argument. That's my feeling anyway.

    They told me they don't want carpet because it'll get covered in fleas, from animals that they shouldn't have their in the first place! lol
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 12th Feb 18, 10:51 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Just came across this regarding pets allowed in Cornwall council property.

    https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/media/23340345/pets-animal-policy-dec-16.pdf

    My and their property would be classified as "Houses, Flats, bungalows with self- contained gardens", I believe.

    I'm not sure what to make of that, seems they have more favourable terms with regards to animals. They have 2 dogs and 5 cats (last got told 5 cats by him, about a month ago).

    Also found this regarding noise nuisance. https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/housing/council-housing/anti-social-behaviour/#noise

    They don't seem to appreciate that the regular thuds / boom both day and night are a disturbance, they appear to only concerned about the type of noise that is loud and for a period time, i.e. Playing loud music.
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 12th Feb 18, 10:56 AM
    • 2,932 Posts
    • 5,932 Thanks
    Smodlet
    They told me they don't want carpet because it'll get covered in fleas, from animals that they shouldn't have their in the first place! lol
    Originally posted by Jimmy_Boy

    I was just waiting for this! I really do sympathise, Jimmy_Boy, as we are in a very similar situation, without the animals. To call the vile chav we live next door to an animal is to insult all animals. IMO, she is lower than fleas and ticks; they have no choice but to be parasites, she does.

    We used recordings made on our own equipment which the council had no problem accepting as evidence. Although the nature of the noise was rather different in the main, there was/is plenty of thundering about and crashing into things in there as well. Perhaps your council has other criteria but noise is noise, I would have thought. At least, if they are tenants, they might leave one day.

    Have you considered contacting the RSPCA and saying you are concerned about all these animals being forced to live in a flat? Do these tenants take the dogs for walks, ever? Do the cats have access to the outside? Have you seen them? Do they look healthy or mangy and half-starved? If the carpet would "get covered in fleas" do they even treat their animals for such? Neglect is now a criminal offence; the RSPCA fought for years to bring about a change in legislation to make it so.

    Really good luck and HTH.
    Last edited by Smodlet; 12-02-2018 at 11:18 AM.
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
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    I took it upon myself to investigate a trifle; it had custard, jelly, soggy sponge things...
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 12th Feb 18, 10:58 AM
    • 6,861 Posts
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    Norman Castle
    They told me they don't want carpet because it'll get covered in fleas
    Fleas hide in gaps between floorboards and skirting boards and can be prevented or treated. They may prefer hard floors as they are easier to clean. Cat crap?
    Exactly what are they walking on?

    Claims of victimisation show that they clearly don't understand the problem they are causing. They need to understand that they are the problem and their current behaviour is selfish. Explain this and the reason for refusing to fit carpets in your formal complaint to show you have tried to solve the problem and the their daft reasoning for refusing carpets.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 12-02-2018 at 11:04 AM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 12th Feb 18, 11:09 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    Exactly what are they walking on?
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Nothing, which is the problem, just the floorboards (chipboard?) the property was built with. That also means there is a lot of reverberation in their property because of no sound deadening materials, essentially amplifying sounds.
    • Jimmy_Boy
    • By Jimmy_Boy 12th Feb 18, 11:16 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jimmy_Boy
    I was just waiting for this

    Really good luck and HTH.
    Originally posted by Smodlet
    I think they love animals more than they love people, the dogs are taken for a walk by him, the cats have access to their open kitchen window - so I hear the cats landing when they jump form the kitchen window on to the kitchen floor. I don't think the RSPCA would have any case, as I think they care for them well.

    Another point is... the woman upstairs, who to be completely honest I think is the main issue as she is the heavy walker and she is the one up through the night - she never goes out, never, she is up there 24/7/365. What a life!?!?
    • PhilE
    • By PhilE 12th Feb 18, 11:46 AM
    • 280 Posts
    • 180 Thanks
    PhilE
    Your living next to council tenants who don't give a damn.

    Get out of there, that's the only solution.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 12th Feb 18, 12:12 PM
    • 6,861 Posts
    • 5,600 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Nothing, which is the problem, just the floorboards (chipboard?) the property was built with. That also means there is a lot of reverberation in their property because of no sound deadening materials, essentially amplifying sounds.
    Originally posted by Jimmy_Boy
    That is a major problem that the landlord should understand. Laminate flooring on foam underlay would be an improvement. Its ridiculous that landlords reject laminate flooring but allow floors to be left uncovered.

    Landlords often consider walking on the floor as normal noise and acceptable which it would be if carpets with underlay were fitted.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 12th Feb 18, 12:22 PM
    • 6,861 Posts
    • 5,600 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Just came across this regarding pets allowed in Cornwall council property.

    https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/media/23340345/pets-animal-policy-dec-16.pdf

    My and their property would be classified as "Houses, Flats, bungalows with self- contained gardens", I believe.

    I'm not sure what to make of that, seems they have more favourable terms with regards to animals. They have 2 dogs and 5 cats (last got told 5 cats by him, about a month ago).
    Originally posted by Jimmy_Boy
    Most flats have communal gardens. Clearly too many cats. Ask the landlord if 2 dogs plus 5 cats is acceptable. I suspect there is a maximum 2 dogs or 2 cats, not 2 of each.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
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