Home > Ask Our Experts > Noisy Flat Above is There Anyting We Can Do

Noisy Flat Above is There Anyting We Can Do

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 30 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
 

Q.

We live in an old house (1890) that has been converted into flats, and the noise from the flat above is quite intrusive at times. We can hear footsteps, voices, items being dropped on the floor etc. We have addressed the problem with our new neighbours by letter and things have improved a little. The issue is that the flat is rented so the problem doesn't feel like it will ever go away. Barring expensive insulation solutions is there anything we can do to lessen the noise?

(Miss G Bell, 10 September 2008)

A.

If the house was converted into flats after you moved in, the first thing to establish is whether or not planning permission was granted for that. And, if that was the case, then you should be asking if soundproofing was specified in the plans and if that was one of the conditions of permission being granted. Even if planning permission was obtained at the time, with or without soundproofing, there are still things you can do.

Firstly, you should try to speak directly to the neighbours in question. With disputes that arise from noise levels, it’s often the case that the people concerned are not even aware that they are causing a problem. Therefore, in explaining the situation to them, it may be perfectly possible to rectify the issue amicably. If your neighbours are uncooperative, however, the next stage should be to inform the landlord of the property (as you state that it is rented) and ask them to speak about the noise issues with the neighbours themselves. It may well be that your landlord will be sympathetic to the problem and make provisions for having soundproofing installed underneath the floor above. Alternatively, a stern rebuke from the landlord might be sufficient to eradicate the problem.

Should all of the above fail, you should contact your local authority who will appoint one of their Environmental Health Officers to look at the case. Since the Noise Act of 1996 was established, an Environmental Health Officer can issue a warning to your neighbours if noise levels exceed a certain level. This warning can then be followed by a fine if the tenants fail to reduce their noise levels. Further action can also be taken.

Your question doesn’t mention excessively loud music, however, nor does it state at what time of day the noise is occurring, and these are two fairly important factors. For example, if it’s simply “footsteps, voices and items being dropped” as you suggest, it may simply be a case that better soundproofing is needed in the property. Also, remember that your local authority is going to look more closely at excessive noise levels which persist between the hours of 11pm and 7am, and allow a little more leniency at other times.

If you feel as though you have no option left but to turn to the Environmental Health Department, make sure you keep a log as to what time of day the excessive noise is taking place and what it consists of. You should also see if you can get any fellow neighbours to do the same, if they the noise levels have become an issue to them too. All information you can gather will assist the Environmental Health Officer if they decides to investigate further.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi, I sympathize and empathize with commenters.I have had the same experiences.I have come to the conclusion that the best approach is to 'love thy neighbour as thyself' (Mark 12:31) and 'pray for your enemies' (Matthew 5:44)..
Dan - 30-Oct-19 @ 10:58 PM
I live in a new building full of studio flats in Birmingham , which are clearly not soundproofed properly considering they are new builds. Oneach floor there are 15 flats so you can imagine how active the building is at all times of day and night. I live on the ground floor which is the worst thing I’ve ever done. Above me it sounds like an elephant is up there,they literally stomps around from 7am till 12am continuously. At 12am they persist on doing shuttle runs and jumps. I feel like I’m going crazy. The flats are small so there is hardly anywhere to walk. So the fact that they stomp around back and forth all day every day is beyond is. Plus there is a woman that lives two flats down the hallway, she sings at the top of her lungs and plays loud music up until 1.am surely this isn’t right. Thankfully I heard the guy that lives next to me bang her door and he asked her to turn it down. I have emailed my land lord who owns the whole complex and every single flat in the complex, they haven’t even responded. I rang them and asked if I could move into a one bedroom apartment in a different building and they told me that I couldn’t since I haven’t been in this hell hole for over a year. Plus My car is also getting damaged since the parking spaces are tight and people don’t mind ramming their doors into my car doors. The complex is gated yet anyone can come into the complex since they just press a general intercom button and hey-ho they are in. It’s all a shambles. What do I do?
Smac - 24-Oct-19 @ 2:20 AM
I live in a new building full of studio flats in Birmingham , which are clearly not soundproofed properly considering they are new builds. Oneach floor there are 15 flats so you can imagine how active the building is at all times of day and night. I live on the ground floor which is the worst thing I’ve ever done. Above me it sounds like an elephant is up there,they literally stomps around from 7am till 12am continuously. At 12am they persist on doing shuttle runs and jumps. I feel like I’m going crazy. The flats are small so there is hardly anywhere to walk. So the fact that they stomp around back and forth all day every day is beyond is. Plus there is a woman that lives two flats down the hallway, she sings at the top of her lungs and plays loud music up until 1.am surely this isn’t right. Thankfully I heard the guy that lives next to me bang her door and he asked her to turn it down. I have emailed my land lord who owns the whole complex and every single flat in the complex, they haven’t even responded. I rang them and asked if I could move into a one bedroom apartment in a different building and they told me that I couldn’t since I haven’t been in this hell hole for over a year. Plus My car is also getting damaged since the parking spaces are tight and people don’t mind ramming their doors into my car doors. The complex is gated yet anyone can come into the complex since they just press a general intercom button and hey-ho they are in. It’s all a shambles. What do I do?
Smac - 24-Oct-19 @ 2:20 AM
Hi The neighbour below me I live in a four in a block and the neighbour below has his washing machine on from say 10am till 2am the next day and it is constantly on and my kitchen floor vibrates every 2 hours between the above time and it’s so annoying I know it’s stupid complaining about a washing machine but I’m having to listen to it constantly all day everyday and I’m getting really annoyed with it! Also everytime I have my washing machine on he bangs on my kitchen floor but I only have mine on say twice a week. His is on everyday I just want some advice in what to do cos I’m so sick of hearing it I just want to go to his flat and smash it to bits. What is the hours you can have a washing machine on in a flat? Is it between 11pm and 7am cos if it is I’m going to email council about it?
Weekimmyxxxx - 3-Oct-19 @ 1:00 PM
My problem sounds trivial to many others but it's still driving me mad. I live next door to an elderly lady whose TV volume is regularly extremely loud. It comes straight through the wall and bizarrely carries upstairs into my bedroom and wakes me up in the morning. She is up very early and her TV is on all day long. I've spoken to her son about it and he turns it down when he visits, but once he's gone, its up again. I did ask him if there are settings on the remote control to limit the volume and he said no. It is a new TV, so I thought there might be. I think he's fed up of me bringing it up. Anyway, its really annoying, I've only lived here for five months and it's becoming a real issue. I'm a home owner and so is she.
Tolkienista - 29-Sep-19 @ 8:11 PM
My landlord is refusing to install cctv in our car park despite there being several disruptive neighbours. I heard one my neighbours friends threaten to key my car because I asked my disruptive neighbour if his friend would kindly move his vehicle from the space I park in close to the main front door as I am disabled. I went downstairs after asking and heard them being very abusive call me a pathetic b***h saying he'll teach me a lesson. I heard the neighbour say "what are you going to do" his friends response was "key it" mid morning next day as I was getting into my disability vehicle a key mark was down the side of my car. I reported it to the police who cannot do anything because there is no cctv evidence to prove they done it. I do not want a repeat of this without having the cctv evident to prove it and to protect my property which is now being targeted by them. Do I have a legal right to now have cctv looking directly at my car nothing else monitoring it through the night via cctv when my landlord still refuses to install it to protect my property and press charges if any further harm comes to my vehicle
Sky - 2-Sep-19 @ 11:27 PM
Hi I have temporary tenants above me I did go and visit them also told the council and still the same I heard nothing from the council.The noise is deliberately and it so loud my walls vibrate.
Sand - 24-Aug-19 @ 10:40 AM
Hi I having issue with are new nexts doors. We generally only talk and watch TV bit hovering ect in the daytime. When their kids go to bed they expect us to be completely quiet this meaning not being able to even go to the shower without them bashing the walls or even making a meal when I a work get home 8pm. If we use the washing machine this casue issue . I even know when the kids bed time is around 7pm as bashing is over silly things it becomes ridiculous. As in all flat some minimum sound is expected.
Sally - 22-Aug-19 @ 7:44 PM
Why is that there four times?I only reposted once because it objected to me using < and >, if anyone can edit this page feel free to delete the earliest 3 of those (and this as well).
Paul K - 19-Aug-19 @ 9:14 PM
Something like one of the previous posters, I also once invested in something to help with the noise problems in a flat I moved into. It was a crumby flat in Manchester where you just knew the sound insulation was going to be pretty poor, and where any sound made could create a reaction from the flat below.I was gasping and treading on eggshells to be quiet, but when I eventually made a sound of any kind, which is kind of inevitable, there would be an echo.After four months I'd had enough of that.I thought about what I could do and bought a remote controlled fart machine. And then, for a while, it was like, noise of me putting washed up plate back in dishrack, echo, (parp).Noise of my flushing the toilet, echo, (phorarrh), noise of me stubbing my toe, echo, (phoraroargh) and so on. After about 3 daysI didn't have to use it any more. Turned out it was a mental patient doing that who went out a couple of times a week to visit her equally fat mother across town. Don't suffer in silence.
Paul K - 19-Aug-19 @ 9:04 PM
Something like one of the previous posters, I also once invested in something to help with the noise problems in a flat I moved into. It was a crumby flat in Manchester where you just knew the sound insulation was going to be pretty poor, and where any sound made could create a reaction from the flat below.I was gasping and treading on eggshells to be quiet, but when I eventually made a sound of any kind, which is kind of inevitable, there would be an echo.After four months I'd had enough of that.I thought about what I could do and bought a remote controlled fart machine. And then, for a while, it was like, noise of me putting washed up plate back in dishrack, echo, (parp).Noise of my flushing the toilet, echo, (phorarrh), noise of me stubbing my toe, echo, (phoraroargh) and so on. After about 3 daysI didn't have to use it any more. Turned out it was a mental patient doing that who went out a couple of times a week to visit her equally fat mother across town. Don't suffer in silence.
Paul K - 15-Aug-19 @ 12:24 AM
Something like one of the previous posters, I also once invested in something to help with the noise problems in a flat I moved into. It was a crumby flat in Manchester where you just knew the sound insulation was going to be pretty poor, and where any sound made could create a reaction from the flat below.I was gasping and treading on eggshells to be quiet, but when I eventually made a sound of any kind, which is kind of inevitable, there would be an echo.After four months I'd had enough of that.I thought about what I could do and bought a remote controlled fart machine. And then, for a while, it was like, noise of me putting washed up plate back in dishrack, echo, (parp).Noise of my flushing the toilet, echo, (phorarrh), noise of me stubbing my toe, echo, (phoraroargh) and so on. After about 3 daysI didn't have to use it any more. Turned out it was a mental patient doing that who went out a couple of times a week to visit her equally fat mother across town. Don't suffer in silence.
Paul K - 13-Aug-19 @ 10:52 PM
Something like one of the previous posters, I also once invested in something to help with the noise problems in a flat I moved into. It was a crumby flat in Manchester where you just knew the sound insulation was going to be pretty poor, and where any sound made could create a reaction from the flat below.I was gasping and treading on eggshells to be quiet, but when I eventually made a sound of any kind, which is kind of inevitable, there would be an echo.After four months I'd had enough of that.I thought about what I could do and bought a remote controlled fart machine. And then, for a while, it was like, noise of me putting washed up plate back in dishrack, echo, <>.Noise of my flushing the toilet, echo, <>, noise of me stubbing my toe, echo, <> and so on. After about 3 daysI didn't have to use it any more. Turned out it was a mental patient doing that who went out a couple of times a week to visit her equally fat mother across town. Don't suffer in silence.
Paul K - 13-Aug-19 @ 10:46 PM
Doesn't matter if the neighbours have a lease, the restrictions are in the freehold. I have some D-heads living above me who claim they have bought the lease on their flat.They have a dog, (violation of tenancy)and delusions of grandeur . They also live in a council controlled building owned by the Duke of Westminster/Grosvenor estates. The building has a covenant on it and can never be sold as leased apartments /dwellings etc. If someone modifies an old building/flat etc, it has to conform with current building regulations. If a lessee modifies their space without permission from the freeholder, they could be evicted and forfeit the property to the freeholder
Kingdom - 31-Jul-19 @ 12:51 AM
Sorry I forgot to add we are council tenants and the property above is a leasehold
Tonyr - 30-Jul-19 @ 11:07 AM
My partner and I moved into a 1 bedroom ground floor flat in a converted local authority house, my partner had stage 4 cancer a few years ago and has been left with mobility issues, as well as anxiety and depression, For the first few months everything was fine then the family that lives above us at the time it was 2 adults a 5 year old and a 3 year old, We then started to experience lots of noise issues up to 1.30 in the morning I.e damaged floor boards banging and crashing unsupervised children just pretty much running back and forth constantly tv on at max volume, and this is every day. Now to add to the mix in this one bedroom flat above the grandparents have been there for 3 months and she’s had another baby, so as you can imagine the noise has increased 5 fold, We had an incident last week of the now 3 year old boy poking his head out of the window and spitting at us, The father throwing cigarettes out of the bathroom window(that hit my partner). We have actually come to the point that for my partner to get even a few hours sleep she’s having to put cotton wool in her ears and put on noise cancelling headphones, we’ve got the local council liaison involved as well as noise complaints and local. Councillors but it just seems like we’re hitting a brick wall, we’re coming close to just totally losing the plot it’s like Chinese water torture every day
Tonyr - 30-Jul-19 @ 11:03 AM
One thing that helped me when I had problems with noisy neighbours was investing in a sound generator, I think mine was about £50 from Amazon. It can subtly - or not so subtly - increase the level of background noise, and just makes my flat a more relaxed and comfortable place to be.I think it calms my neighbours down also.
Eddy - 4-Jul-19 @ 5:28 PM
Friend of my mother's is suffering from noisy neighbours. The above flat moved in last year and she's had problems with noise ever since. She's rang the police several times, and the usual happens, music turned down for a bit, then back up. Council have turned up to check the noise, in the middle of the afternoon of course, while they're partying til 3am on weekends.... Should say she's in her late 60s, he's in his early 20s, Any way to check noise levels and keep note of them, that the council will treat seriously?
Nalina - 1-Jul-19 @ 11:47 PM
What can I do with someone above us who starts making a noise clonking around with their shoes on with wooden floors above. Also starts cleaning floors and has washer on 8pm at night and sometimes has the TV blasting.
Jan - 16-Jun-19 @ 8:58 PM
We have lived below noisey neighbours espically the woman who is not the tenant for over two years we have been complaining to the housing association they just seem to flog you of and still we are having to put up with her and being a non tenant they dont go to bed til 1am 2am they dont work we do
Sa - 7-Jun-19 @ 9:22 PM
I've had my end of terrace house partially soundproofed and it was expensive.I was fed up of hearing impact noise, raised voices, etc, it seems like the party wall is not much thicker than cardboard.You can obtain a grant to insulate your property and make it more energy efficient.Why not a grant to make your flat or house more sound efficient. Everyone should have the right to enjoy peace and quiet in their home.
Bella - 4-May-19 @ 2:48 PM
Hi I need help I'm having noise problems I live in a flat on ground floor and above me is a single mom with a child and I told her 4 times about to stop the noise she bangs heavy footsteps goes threw my calling and it's bad and stomping thumping she did buy carpet to reduce noise but that hasn't worked still but she still does it and running with deep footsteps and her child to and effects my health and aniexty and her friend does it to and it happened sometimes at night after 11pm night time when I was trying to sleep but woken up by deep footsteps t doesn't happen everyday but it's close and it's bad and very disturbing please help so I can do something about it thank you
Lee - 5-Apr-19 @ 9:17 PM
I live in a converted flat with ceilings which might as well be made of cardboard, below a vile family of South Africans. The woman who is a divorcee, is "self employed" (read, unemployed) and spends every day sitting at home, waiting until evening and night time (when I'm in my flat) to play awful music, drop things, talk way louder than necessary, have her vile children over wander up and down and up and down non stop. I'm pretty aure she's mentally ill. My advice to anyone in a similar situation is move. You can't put a price on your sanity, and that is certainly what you forgo when you live like a prisoner in your own home constantly listening for noise.
Jamie - 31-Mar-19 @ 6:38 PM
Hi, My upstairs neighbor starts moving things around and stomping after 11pm every night. I've already sent an email to my building Management months ago and they told me they spoke to him and he said that he was just moving in and it wouldn't happen again.But it's still happening. And I happens different hours in the night. I've been woken up from 1:30 am to 4:30am. Idon't want to get a lawyer because they ran expensive and I cant afford it. And I also don't want to constantly complain to the management. What do I do?
Anonnomys - 26-Mar-19 @ 4:21 AM
Hello there I'm wondering if you could help me. I've got quite an unusual problem. I live in a flat above the shop which isn't the problem as such. However theyve been having problems with one of the fridges which is literally underneath my bed. Before you say anything I cannot move the bed anywhere else. The fans been broken for at least two months now and I can hear a very loud humming all night long. I reported that numerous times but they seem to either wait for the technician to come then for the parts to come and they don't give me any regular updates unless I message them. Is there any way I can report this? I have enough of sleepless nights, it got to this stage now that it effects my health and wellbeing. Please help
Carolina - 22-Mar-19 @ 11:49 PM
Can we start a partition as I have been suffering too it's not fair that new builds have to have soundproofing and old builds are left without
Skhan - 20-Mar-19 @ 7:17 PM
I also forgot to mention I have lived here since 2000 and it was quiet until that first couple moved in and its non stop they get up in the morning usual stomping banging etc til about 12:30ish then they go out for a couple of hours then by about 4:30ish til after 11:30pm it does not stop then they all go to bed 12:00am/1:am I just thought id throw that bit of info in too plus I don't sleep good at all the slightest noise wakes me ive tried ear plugs and headphones and it does not work and can I just say why should I have to live lie that im so grumpy/moody/irritable now I hardly even crack a smile anymore if I had the guts to end it all I would then id get friggin peace im at my wits end!!!
Libby - 12-Mar-19 @ 3:50 AM
I live in a rented council flat and above me it is a bought flat and the weasel of a landlord now rents it out, for the first 4yrs he rented it to a young couple with a young child and the first year of them being there was ok then he allowed them to pus wood flooring down thats when it all started I argued with those neighbours for yrs after that they tried to get me in trouble phoning the RSPCA on me saying I beat my dogs and never let them out which was totally unfounded then they constantly phoned the police saying I threatened them especially the mother which was lies then they got people round with other young kids and purposefully jumped around on the floor screaming and shouting!, While this was going on I was recording/writing times and dates went to police council phoned the landlord and went to my local MSP hardly anything was done at all and I felt I was in the wrong for banging up and shouting anyhoo they moved out about 4 months ago which I felt such relief I got a 2 week break then a man moved in with who I thought was his older son and it was quiet for another week and I was so happy! then a day or 2 after that BAM! I was woke up by a screaming baby and another toddler and it has made my life hell AGAIN! so I contacted the council and they will do nothing and have strongly advised me not to go to the door or shout up to tell them to be quiet this brat of theirs never goes to bed at a proper time and it bounces off the walls constantly ppl have said to me watch what you say as they are black and hardly speak English they may play the racist card but I don't care I know im not racist but if you live in this country you have to live by the laws I have anxiety/depression and a social phobia and the only time I leave my home is to take my dogs out apart from that I cannot get away from it so will someone please tell me why I don't have the right to tell them to stop that brat from constantly banging above my head I have a right to peace and quiet just like they have a right to live their life but not at the expense of my health and sanity it is ridiculous! and by the way I think the landlord is being spiteful because it was ppl he knew the first time round that moved out and all he has done this time is put a rug down in the hallway which has made no difference at all. Im from the uk and at the moment I hate my home and moving is not an option for me as I have no one friends or family to help and I cannot leave everything thats familiar to me as my anxiety would go through the roof not to mention the terror of being in a new place I don't like interacting with strangers at the best of times. so tell me why I am in the wrong for banging up when the noise gets eo much and they know why im doing it!
Libby - 12-Mar-19 @ 3:34 AM
Hi there and thank you for sharing your stories. I and my mother live in a very old flat and the noise there is above and below us. Above us, there is a family with two small children and I can hear every footstep when they're constantly running around the flat. I heard the noise first thing in the morning to the last thing at night. I have talked to the parents about it they have been rude or refused to do anything it. Below me is a severely autistic man who would scream when he's angry, bang the floor and shout randomly at night. I spoke to his care worker and he told me he will try to help calm him down but, I feel I can do much in that case. All this noise is getting to both me and my mother and we are trying to move out of here currently flat. We have the spoken to local council won't do anything about, as the noise is not that severe. Have sent a letter to my local MP who just send me back to the local council. I have spoken to the noise team who told me to kept the diary of all the noise but, it pointless and they're not doing anything with my diary entries. I feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place and I don't know what to do.
abeezer1 - 4-Mar-19 @ 10:45 AM
Hi there and thank you for sharing your stories. I and my mother live in a very old flat and the noise there is above and below us. Above us, there is a family with two small children and I can hear every footstep when they're constantly running around the flat. I heard the noise first thing in the morning to the last thing at night. I have talked to the parents about it they have been rude or refused to do anything it. Below me is a severely autistic man who would scream when he's angry, bang the floor and shout randomly at night. I spoke to his care worker and he told me he will try to help calm him down but, I feel I can do much in that case. All this noise is getting to both me and my mother and we are trying to move out of here currently flat. We have the spoken to local council won't do anything about, as the noise is not that severe. Have sent a letter to my local MP who just send me back to the local council. I have spoken to the noise team who told me to kept the diary of all the noise but, it pointless and they're not doing anything with my diary entries. I feel like I am in between a rock and a hard place and I don't know what to do.
abeezer1 - 3-Mar-19 @ 9:36 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments