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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I have an issue with my neighbours. I live in a flat in a

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I have an issue with my neighbours. I live in a flat in a block and one of the neighbours is complaining that the automatic light that turns on when I enter and leave my flat wakes them up and they can't sleep. I understand that this may come under private nuisance law. However, I just want a quiet smoke at any time of day or night. They previously complained that I was coughing outside their window and now I move a way away from their first floor window and am absolutely silent; even to the point of putting a piece of cardboard in between the entrance door and closure to prevent it making noise when I leave.

So the issue is just the automatic light. I have suggested blacked out curtains to them (apparently they have tried this to no avail though I only see pale curtains) and yesterday I suggested we have either a manual light switch OR a disable switch that I can press to ensure it doesn't turn on at night when I go out and return. I know I just want a quiet smoke and have strange sleep patterns but I think this is a wider issue of my freedom to enter and leave my property at any time of day or night, albeit quietly if at night.

They want to take me to court I think. I have browsed the web and wonder whether I am at fault or perhaps they need to take up the automatic light with the management of the block of flats as I have no control over that.

Thoughts please?


Yes, you are perfectly entitled to enter and leave your flat at any time of the day or night and the fact that the automatic light disturbs your neighbours is really not your problem.

They can ask the management company to change the light to a manual one instead of automatic and they should take measures from inside their flat to ensure minimum disruption to them from light as you say black out curtains.

I do not see any court entertaining their claim in the circumstances as you are not doing anything illegal.

Hope this helps
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. I am pleased that this is your opinion also; this is the situation as I understood it but I needed some clarification. The neighbour in question has boasted of being a solicitor and last night was collecting evidence in the form of photographs with flash whilst I was out having a quiet smoke. I thought this was hilarious. If they did take me to court, it seems like I would win and the landlord or management of the flats would be responsible for the light. Would I be able to claim compensation for a day off taken to indulge their power and control fantasies also i.e to compensate me for my salary loss/day off equivalent?


Thanks again.