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tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have a water pump installed in my flat to boost the low water

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I have a water pump installed in my flat to boost the low water pressure which operates every time a water source is used, taps , shower and loo. My neighbour says that the noise from the operation of this pump Is disturbing her. I have had numerous plumbers in to check that the pump is working correctly , which they say it is but still my neighbour continues to complain, where do I stand

tdlawyer :

Hello, many thanks for your question. My name is***** should be able to assist you with this.

Customer: Ok thank you
tdlawyer :

Okay. A pump can work correctly, but still be incredibly noisy.

tdlawyer :

You accept that it is unnecessary noisy, or is likely to cause an interference with your neighbours enjoyment of his/her property?

Customer: I accept that it can be heard in my neighbours flat and have taken decibel meter readings of up to 60db when the pump is operating
Customer: From within my neighbours flat I may add
tdlawyer :

Okay. I'm not entirely sure how loud that actually is, but the test of the court is whether something (although lawful) operates in such a way as to cause an unreasonable interference with your neighbours enjoyment of their land.

tdlawyer :

If the pump does cause a continuous noise, which does amount to an unreasonable interference with the right to enjoy their land, and the court could order you to remove the pump, will take additional steps to minimise its noise. It could order the pump to be removed completely. The court always has a difficult balancing exercised in this type of case. Typically, the activities on both parties lands are lawful, in and of themselves, and the court has to try and strike a fair balance .

Customer: The pump does not operate continually only when a water source is used and has been installed due to the low water pressure within my flat
tdlawyer :

Okay. Noise for a limited duration is likely to be more acceptable to a court than noise for a continuous period.

tdlawyer :

However, that is only one factor, which the court will consider in common with various factors in the overall scheme of things.

tdlawyer :

There is no one definitive factor, such as the amount of noise, or perhaps vibration, or length that such noise continues stop the court considers everything holistically.

tdlawyer :

The judge try strike as a "reasonable person" in deciding what the appropriate response should be. For those reasons, it is always difficult in a private law nuisance case, as this would be to say what the court is likely to do. Different judges may do different things. It is not like following the strict letter of the law from the textbook.

Customer: I seem to be stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, my neighbour has said that the noise of the pump is effecting her health and yet if I remove the pump altogether the water pressure greatly reduces in the property and I am unable to have a shower for example
tdlawyer :

Yes it is a very difficult position. Is there any possibility of putting the pump into a larger unit, which has the effect of shielding the noise?

Customer: I have purchased some professional acoustic matting which the pump is sitting on , I could look at whether it was safe operationally to perhaps "box the pump in" there has been a pump in the flat for eight years or so but it would seem my neighbour has only started to complain for the last couple of years or so since she has worked from home, surely if she had a reasonable case she should have gone to the local council noise abatement people?
tdlawyer :

She could go to the local authority, but she does not have to. She has private law rights, as to you, not to have her enjoyment with her property unreasonably interfered with. Whether there is such unreasonable interference is, as I mentioned, always a difficult question. The local Council can intervene in more serious cases, but the fact that they do not will not prevent her from approaching the court to issue nuisance proceedings.

tdlawyer :

Whether she will ultimately do that perhaps remains to be seen.

Customer: Looks like I have a difficult situation does her change of situation, working from home, alter anything as I say there has been a water pump in my flat for a number of years ?
tdlawyer :

It might be one of the factors that the court will consider. Again, you will say you have this for a long time and it is necessary to your use of the property.

tdlawyer :

She will say otherwise, and it is a difficult judgement call.

Customer: Is there any other advice you could give me ?
tdlawyer :

I think I've offered everything I can to be honest. I'm sorry there is no clear answer for this kind of thing.

Customer: Thank you
tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether you're happy with the service please?

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