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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I play the piano and my neighbour complains. The flooring is

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I play the piano and my neighbour complains. The flooring is in line with my lease. My neighbour refuses to tell me when is a good time to play. My lease says:
“Not to play any gramophone wireless loudspeaker or mechanical or other musical instrument of any kind nor to practice any singing in the flat so as to cause annoyance to the owners and occupiers of the other flats in the block”
The council (my landlord) have said it 'is considered a breach of your lease if complaints are received and the noise is confirmed to be from your property the council will take enforcement action on this matter.'
I want to mediate so I know when I will NOT cause a disturbance. I feel as if I have no rights whatseover and this is entirely unfair. What rights do I have please?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.For now please let me know whether the council have installed noise monitoring equipment please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Alex,They do not measure the level of the noise. The council have said these 2 things concerning what is considered a disturbance:
1. The member of staff called out to assess the disturbance makes a subjective decision.
2. That if the neighbour is disturbed, the noise is a disturbance, regardless of the level of the noise. It could be very very quiet, but if he is annoyed, that is it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually, sorry, I didn';t give all the info about my floor initially, as I was worried about having enough characters. So, at present, the flooring is not adequate. I am getting a 11.5mm underlay - the thickest you can get - and a good carpet. Regardless, the council Estates Manager said that if the piano still disturbs him, it is considered a nuisance. The man complains about EVERYTHING, so he will find a way if he can.
Thanks. That is correct sadly what the Council say,. If the flooring is inadequate then sadly the Council are under no obligation to make it thicker. Indeed you have a covenant saying not to play any musical instruments. This means you can not sadly.So you nee to find a way to work around this, be it either insulation or soundproofing.But sadly if the issue continues you could potentially be in breach of your lease.I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Yes please, I would like to clarify what the lease is actually stipulating. The lease does not say that I can NEVER play. It says I must not if it causes a disturbance to my neighbours. Are these not 2 distinct things? I AM getting very thick flooring, but I am aware that sound doesn't only travel through the floor. This new flooring will ease the sound, but will not block it entirely, as this is impossible. Can you please explain why the lease is saying I can NEVER play? Surely it is alright to play if the neighbours are not disturbed. My point is that he won't let me know when it will cause a nuisance or not. Thanks.
Correct, it says that you must not cause annoyance. That is it, as long as its not annoying you are ok.You can play, just as long as it doesnt cause annoyance.Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That helps, but how am I supposed to know if I am causing a disturbance if he refuses to tell me when he is not at home?
Its not an obligation for him to do that, as it doesnt say that in the lease. The lease says you are not to cause annoyance, not that he has to say he is in.Does that clarify? Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So if he complains to the council every time I play, could they eventually force me to never play?
Potentially. But that is why you need to secure soundproofing. Does that help?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sort of! Obviously I cannot fully soundproof my flat. I am trying to find out if I have any rights whatsoever to practise my craft (I am a performer) and for my daughter to learn this skill as well. But it seems like a tricky one. I guess I will have to wait and see if the new flooring does the trick. Fingers crossed.
Sadly yes. The covenant is there and clear - cant cause annoyance. Therefore you can play it subject to the above.Does that clarify? Alex
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Goodnight!