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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Greetings, living in a flat which has an area covering 2 smaller

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Greetings, living in a flat which has an area covering 2 smaller flats on the floor below - one neighbor is complaining about "unreasonable" noise coming from our flat as they can hear us walk, while the other say they don't hear anything excessive of what one expects in these types of flats where the structure is all wooden. I live with my wife and a 2 years old child. The lady living below us and who is complaining sometimes receives a child (around 8 years old) and we can hear her running around. She raised the issue with the management company. The other flats are shared ownership and partly owned by the management company, while I own 100% of my flat shares (on a mortgage). When I bought it from the bank (confiscated from the previous owner), the flat was in ruin and I have fixed the flooring hardwood. The same hardwood extends above both the flat beneath but only one neighbor is complaining about noise while the other say they don't hear anything which can be described as "excessive" noise. The management company wants to investigate. Can I ask them to provide evidence of "unreasonable" noise ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX can answer this for you.

tdlawyer :

You can ask for evidence of unreasonable behaviour/noise. In fact, the management company would need to issue proceedings in a court or tribunal and have those proceedings judicially decided before they could seek to take action against you under the lease with a view to ending the lease. This is called forfeiture and the law protects you as a residential owner of premises from claims by landlords/management companies for breach of the lease terms relating to unreaosnable behaviour etc. in this respect.

tdlawyer :

Hello

Customer:

Thanks for your answer. The management company are saying that the "unreasonable" noise is caused by the fact that I have laid wooden flooring. Can they simply take the word of the neighbor who is complaining and discard the other one. They say I would need permission from them. Before I fixed the ruined floor I did call the management company 5 years ago to inquire and the person responding said that as long as I own 100% of the flat they are not involved in fixing the flat which I bough it from the bank and not from the management company which is a shared ownership housing association. They are saying now they want to investigate and issue proceedings for the removal of the wooden floor. Can they use they decide from their end that this is what I have to do (removing the wooden floor)?

tdlawyer :

Ah, okay, this is a slightly different issue. Basically, they're saying that the work you've done to the flooring is in breach of the lease. They say they're raising it because of the noise, but legally, they could raise it without the noise being an issue. So you need to identify from the lease whether there are restrictions preventing you from doing these works without their consent. In most leases you do see this type of restriction, but every lease is different.

tdlawyer :

Basically, if you have done this without their consent and the lease required that consent, then you should remove the flooring otherwise, they will only have to show you did it without consent and they would win any court proceedings against you on this.

tdlawyer :

If you had their consent previously, then they can't complain now, but if you don't have it in writing, it may be your word against theirs.

Customer:

i don't have any written letter from then as when I did contact them everything was discussed on the phone with their property officer and what he stated was as they don't share the ownership of the flat, they don't object to the material used. At the time I still did not have all the leasehold paper from solicitor who was managing the sale. I revised the leasehold when this issue was brought up last year and there is a statement which refers to the need for carpeted flooring. But that should not prevent me from fixing the hardwood flooring. Can a mediator work with the management company to agree on laying a carpet on top of the hardwood ?

tdlawyer :

Yes, mediation is a very good idea and the courts/tribunals expect parties to try this whenever possible. I would strongly suggest that you speak with the management company and suggest that mediation might attempted. Don't say what you want from the mediation, you can share that with the mediator on the day, and he will help you get a deal.

Customer:

who can be a mediator - is this issue to be assessed by a chartered engineer or by a person who work in the law profession ?

tdlawyer :

Anybody can be a mediator - although people tend to use professional organisations like CEDR or Clerksroom. If you google these, have a look at their sites, but basically there are professional people that do nothing but mediations.

Customer:

many thanks

tdlawyer :

You're welcome. Can I ask whether you're happy with the service tonight?

Customer:

yes thanks for prividing guidance

tdlawyer :

Thank you. Goodnight.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else before I go?

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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