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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Subject: Noisy neighbours - we live in an end of terrace town

Customer Question

Subject: Noisy neighbours - we live in an end of terrace town house, with one house directly next to ours, which is now rented out to tenants (family of five, with three young children). There are two main problems. Firstly, the stairs in each property abut the party wall between both properties and their stairs have worn down carpets and nonexistent underlay (this has been confirmed), so we can hear them constantly walking/running up and down the stairs. Secondly, the family is constantly making what we believe to be an unreasonable level of noise, comprising general noise, shouting and a baby screaming for 1-2 hours (not an exaggeration). Do we have any legal grounds to force their landlord to replace the carpet and more importantly, install a carpet underlay? What legal remedy do we have with regards ***** ***** noise (we have kept a record of the noise over the past month, and we tried talking to the tenants, but they stated that it was daytime, so they believe they are entitled to make this noise). If there is a solicitor who is an expert in this field and can guide us on these questions, I would be most grateful.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Have you reported this to the Council please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have not spoken with the council yet. We are aware that the next logical step is to speak with the council's EHO, but I am looking at potential legal remedies with the landlord. I am trying to understand whether we can legally demand the landlord to put down a new underlay (which will also require a new carpet) to prevent the constant sound of footsteps on the stairs given the poor condition of the carpet at the moment. I am aware of the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Hameed Faidi –v- Elliot Corporation, but I wanted to understand what remedies may be available to us. Also, we own the properties on a virtual freehold basis (999 year lease) so is there anything that the freeholder can demand from the owner (landlord) of the property in question? As regards ***** ***** noise, it is the shouting and the screaming baby that are causing the problem - in particular, we would be sympathetic to a crying baby, but do we have any remedy against a baby that screams non stop for up to 1-2 hours at a time. We have tried talking to the tenants, but they do not want to listen to what we have to say.
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
You should speak to the Council and they will get Environmental Health to get noise monitoring equipment installed. If there is a problem they can enforce it and serve a noise abatement notice. This is the cheapest option for you to go down as it is free.

The freeholder can demand the leaseholder complies with the lease. If there is a clause saying they must not cause noise or annoyance to others then this term has been breached. However the difficulty you have here is forcing the Freeholder to take action. Sadly you can't and it is a matter for the freeholder as to whether they do.

There is a cause of action against the Landlord of the tenants as you could argue they are causing a nuisance which would be common law. But going to Court can be an expensive trial which is why you should first try the Council.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?