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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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An elderly couple in a small block of flats have said they

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An elderly couple in a small block of flats have said they are taking civil action against me to
prevent me from carrying out the refurbishment of my flat which is directly below theirs.
The work involves noisy operations, some very noisy, but most of the very noisy work is completed.
I am doing some of the work myself and employing sub-contractors to do the specialist work.
After discussions with my neighbour I have reduced working hours below those recommended by The Enviromental Health Dept. and stop work for 2 hours a day, Monday to Friday, when they have a rest period but they want me to stop work altogether.
What is my best chores of action.
I don't want to be prevented from working.
I don't think they will consider mediation because they will only be satisfied if I stop work altogether.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What times of day do you plan to do the work please?

Customer: 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
Customer: 9am to 1pm Saturday
Customer: no noisy work between 2pm and 4 pm
Customer: no bank holidays
Customer: No Sunday working
Alex Watts : Councils generally provide guidance for these type of matters, generally speaking you can do it
Alex Watts : Weekdays 8am - 9pm
Alex Watts : Saturday 8am - 7pm
Alex Watts : Sunday 10am - 5pm
Alex Watts : The times you have stated above are for commercial property times
Alex Watts : You are quite right to keep within these.
Alex Watts : They can't stop you doing the work without a court ordrt.
Alex Watts : Order
Alex Watts : If they apply to court you will be given a notice of hearing and be able to make representations.
Customer: I have spoke to EH two weeks ago but the neighbour is going to take legal
Alex Watts : Given this is a private flat I assume, you are keeping the noise within the permitted times I can't see how a judge would stop you.
Customer: action to stop me working.
Alex Watts : i assume you are doing this within a reasonable timescale and not intending for example doing it all the time for 6 months?
Alex Watts : Well I can't see a judge stopping you all together. At most he would limit the amount of hours during the day.
Customer: can he do this and what can I do to stop them
Alex Watts : He can try,
Alex Watts : It really depends on the Judge you get.
Alex Watts : But given you are acting within the commercial time limits for work, I don't think an injunction would succeed.
Alex Watts : Obviously try and keep the noise down where you can.
Alex Watts : But check the policy of your local council to see what they also consider acceptable.
Customer: i don't live their, it's a second home, the work may well take another 4 months after about
Alex Watts : But if it goes to court you would also be entitled to make representations.
Alex Watts : ok. The same applies.
Customer: 5 months work already on a part time basis.
Alex Watts : Ok, if its part time then there should be quite days / times
Customer: if he goes to court can I do anything to continue working without delay
Alex Watts : Continue working unless the court orders otherwise.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: my wife and I tend to visit to do work every once a month and stop their for 10 days.
Alex Watts : Ok.
Customer: but if the court orders me to stop can I get the ruling overturned so I can carry on,
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today?
Alex Watts : You could appeal yes.
Alex Watts : But you don't know what the court says yet.
Alex Watts : The presumption will be that you can work during the permitted times as set out by the DoE and Council.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer: after all I don't think I am breaking the law.
Alex Watts : I would agree.
Alex Watts : But these are representations best made to the judge.
Alex Watts : Does this answer your question?
Customer: can I do anything to prevent him from applying to the courts to stop me working and if he does stop me how do I get the order reversed
Customer: and will there be a delay or can I get it reversed immediately.
Alex Watts : If so
Alex Watts : no. You can't stop someone applying sadly.
Alex Watts : I am sorry
Customer: i can't afford to stop working, the flat is not habitable and about half way through the refurb.
Alex Watts : Yes but until the court stops you, it's ok.
Alex Watts : And that's assuming if the court is against you
Customer: Will the court issue an order to stop me working even though I am doing nothing wrong or will they consider the facts and not agree to issue an order.
Alex Watts : I can't say for sure, I think they are more likely to let you work as you are doing permitted hours
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else ?
Customer: How long does it take to reverse a court order because I think they will go ahead and apply.
Alex Watts : Don't worry about that just yet
Alex Watts : The judge is unlikely to grant it given the guidance available.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help:
Customer: Finally if an order is granted will I have to employ a Solicitor or can I do it myself to get order reversed.
Alex Watts : You can do it yourself.
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer: Many thanks.
Customer: I,ve just reviewed our chat, what I should have made clear is the neighbour wants to stop me working altogether as that is the only way they know noise will be completely eradicated. The building is a solid concrete framed structure and noise does
Customer: transmit throughout the building particularly their flat above mine.
Alex Watts : I see. The court won't prevent you from working all together.
Alex Watts : Thats impossible.
Alex Watts : The court may only limit hours worked.
Alex Watts : But you still will be able to work.
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?
Alex Watts : If you can't rate my answer, please let me know.
Customer: Yes, many thanks
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