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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71128
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Please can you advise me ref my upstairs neighbour. We share

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Please can you advise me ref my upstairs neighbour. We share the freehold on our converted Victorian terrace and have both been there around 8 years. Last year she took on a lodger who has set up professional recording studio in his bedroom – right about our bedroom. We have asked nicely and are now continuously having to complain. We’ve gone to great expense to have the bedroom ceiling insulation reinforced but we can still hear and feel the base. Its not late at night but can often be all day as he doesn't seem to go out to work frequently. We have a 15month old baby so it has been hellish for us as we'd often like to nap during the day but clearly cannot. What can we do?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Have you complained to the council?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

No - mainly because I'm planning on selling in a couple of months time and I'm worried that (1.) nobody will buy it if they hear all the noise he makes and (2.) that we will have to declare having made a complaint when we sell it meaning again that it will hinder the sale. I was hoping I could send her an official looking letter telling her that I was going to appoint a solicitor under the Noise Act or similar and spur her into doing something . . .

Are you asking basically if she can be sent a solicitor's letter?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Maybe. What would a solicitor suggest saying in such a letter?

Also, if I sent her a letter myself saying that I was GOING to instruct a solicitor (due to the fact she hasn't responded to my text asking to sit down with her to discuss how it can be dealt with nor has she made any effort to curb it herself). Would I say it would be dealt with under the Noise Act 1996 or a different one. Is there a law against having professional recording/music equipment in a residential property for example? Plus he's an undeclared lodger as far as I'm aware and not sure if that impacts our joint building insurance etc etc

Also, if I did send her a letter via solicitor would that have to be declared when I put the property on the market?

As soon as you make the complaint to the neighbour that becomes notifiable for the purposes of selling the property. The sooner therefore you get this dealt with the better.
You can refer the matter to the Environmental Health Department at the local authority and they can actually issue a noise abatement notice. It does not matter that this happens during the day the noise is more than the normal noise of life which clearly it is. The Environmental Health Officer does of course not cost anything.
You can also refer the matter to the Planning Department if they are running this is a business.
Finally, you can threaten an application to court for an injunction in common-law nuisance.
The letter from the solicitor may have the effect that you are looking for.
You can tell her (and it would be a good idea to do so) that if this noise does not stop forthwith you will refer the matter to the local Council and instruct solicitor to issue proceedings for an injunction and legal costs without further notice. There is no need to give 14 days because this kind of noise can be stopped instantly.
There is no law against having professional recording equipment in a residential property, only about the noise that it produces.
Unless the property is being sublet and someone is merely staying there, then there is no problem with that and I cannot see how it would affect the buildings insurance.
If you do send a solicitors letter, you would have to declare that you were in dispute over the noise but hopefully, by that time the issue would be resolved
Can I clarify anything for you?
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