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)
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.
I own a ground floor flat in a purpose built block.The people above me are constantly stamping/thudding around and have now started tunelessly playing a guitar.I have asked them on numerous occasions to stop stamping and thudding and now to do something to quieten the guitar noise, which is just one or two notes being played constantly and tunelessly.
I have previously asked them to soundproof the floor, as I paid out thousands to soundproof my ceiling after they moved in and the noise was too much but because of the construction of the building, it did very little to cut out their noise.They have done nothing - it's not that hard to put down the thickest underlay and carpets to sort the worst of this problem and I know they can afford it, but they prefer to makemy life a misery.Oh and I forgot to say, they are also now running their washing machine after 10.00 pm!!!
I cannot get any help from the local council or environmental health despite requests to them.Any advice would be much appreciated.
Jorge - 24-Nov-23 @ 11:08 PM
I think its about time theres a law to prevent sound issues between flats. Nobody should be able to affect someone elses household so easily.
It's innevitably a problem that does'nt go away until someone moves out or measures are taken to prevent the impact of noise transferred. Laminated flooring should be banned from the equation as it elevates noises and echoes so you dont just hear it you can feel it. Its a massive problem that effects so many peoples lives in Detremental ways.
Asb goes hand in hand with this problem also as its a knock on effect of dealing with disturbances from inadequate living conditions.
Nobody deserves to have their peace consistently determined by someone elses life & actions.
Its an absolute nightmare!! God give me strength to win the war!??
Hotfishbabe - 16-Oct-23 @ 7:49 PM
I’m so sorry this is happening to so many of us. There is currently no legislation enforcing retroactive soundproofing in flats & neighbours are allowed to make an abundance of “household” or “living” noise repetitively & there’s ultimately nothing the local authority can do.
I’ve moved from one unbelievably noisy property where the neighbour above deliberately used to jump & stomp all hours of the day & night to another where the neighbours above stomp, bang cabinets, slam doors from 5am-1am.. I’ve been recording nonstop to provide evidence to the council & landlord. I don’t understand how some people need such little sleep…
I’ve a disabled elderly parent & an autistic teen who both get awoken every morning & are left to plug their ears during the day… it’s a prison.
My advice is to hound your landlord if you’re in social housing & approach the Housing Ombudsman if things are left unresolved.
Private renters - I’m heartbroken in saying there isn’t anything that can be done apart from approaching your local MP. If a lot of us do it - they might introduce legal requirements retroactively in floor coverings in flats. If we take the example of the XL Bully situation which is extreme - they’ve introduced urgently legislation that will ban the breed…
The amount of people who LOVE hard floors
above someone else’s home is frankly disgusting…
I’m sending positive vibes to everyone & wish everyone peace & harmony in their homes
Priestly13 - 25-Sep-23 @ 7:47 AM
I’m having very similar issues to everyone above. I bought my downstairs flat in 2021 and had some neighbours who made a normal level of noise but then last year they sold the property and I now have the new owners daughter, boyfriend and child under one living there. They stamp around from room to room making my light fittings vibrate. I know exactly where they are and when as they’re so loud. I can also hear they having sex most nights which isn’t something I want to listen to. I had to report them to social services due to the male threatening another child he has and also shouting at his baby under one. Since reporting them things have gotten worse and worse. My mental health has become very bad and my anxiety is through the roof. I have to listen to my tv quite loud to drown out the stamps but even then I can hear them. If ever I do any sort of diy they copy the amount of knocks I make. And if I dare to make any sort of noise myself they will start banging on the floor even more. I have to sleep with ear plugs in and a white machine noise running all night other wise I will be woken up by the bangs. I’ve emailed the council about them over the weekend but after reading everyone’s comments it seem pointless reporting them as it’ll make it even harder to sell my place. I plan to move as soon as I can. I don’t know how much longer I can take this, they have me in tears almost every day. I think people should have more rights when it comes to noises like stamping, there needs to be a law in place that people should have a certain level of noise cancelling materials in their floors. I’ve gone from loving my little first home to despising it and hating being at home. It doesn’t help that I also work from home so I literally have no escape.
Kolding - 12-Jun-23 @ 10:38 AM
So many types of floor, ceiling wall soundproofing today.. comes with a huge bill sometimes..
Try to find a friendly agreement, share costs ….
Amazon has some products. Careful with the NOT fireproof items.
Maybe council can have a look with those living in social
Children over 10 of the opposite shouldn’t be sharing same room, as it’s overcrowding. Talk to your council ! If you
Check the local laws and regulations on and shelter. org
Download decibel betteron your phone , also/ record with video, take the cover from your phone so it doesn’t get in the way or the microphone…be very quiet , put the phone on the top of a table , fridge … and record it. Send the videos to your environment health department.
Social media helps too. Be sure not to give informations unnecessary- names , address .. etc
Db meter - 4-Jun-23 @ 5:33 AM
I own my 1st floor flat in a house that has been converted,The flat below me is a private rental rented by a young family with 2 unruly children. The flat has laminate flooring and the kids are almost constantly running around, you would not think it would be an issue for me above, but it is, and sometime they bang the door so hard the whole house shakes. I simply can't live like this, my flat is tiny and I wouldn't get enough for it to move to somewhere quieter so for now I guess it's back to the Dr for another course of antidepressants. And now it's school holidays and they have friends round.
Pud - 3-Apr-23 @ 4:39 PM
I am so sorry that there are so many people struggling with this issue, and it is upsetting that the authorities do not take it seriously, as what we are experiencing is pure mental abuse and harassment from our upstairs neighbors (upstairs neighbors that receive the complaints and still make a lot of noise). I have been dealing with it for the last 14 months, we live on the ground floor and we have a family with 3 children making all sorts of noises no stop, running with shoes on, stomping, dropping all sorts of toys, very heavy toys, on wood floor with 0 soundproofings. We complained to the management company, council, loc cllr, several times but we have been told that nothing can be done as it is everyday noise, although none of them has ever been inside our flat. The more we complained the more our vindictive neighbors make noise and they weaponize their children letting them go crazy above our heads. Everybody has the right to a quiet enjoyment of their home, and this right should never be compromised by someone else, especially if it is affecting someone's life to the point that it causes extreme stress, depression, or pushes someone to move from their house. This is not acceptable! I like someone's suggestion to start a petition to address this issue, as it is a huge problem. I think that if you have the money is bet to do the soundproofing, your mental well-being is more important than anything else, it is a good investment and can be completely life-changing is done properly.
hopefinder - 3-Apr-23 @ 3:46 PM
Hi I am disabled and suffering with two lots of tenants one downstairs have laminate flooring he has lots of kids visiting another above me temporary tenants they don't care so they make alot of noise.
I really don't know what to do I have complained but I still don't get help for this.
Sandy - 18-Mar-23 @ 9:15 PM
I live in a ground floor flat, im disabled as can't walk. My husband has adhd and autism, I have a 10 year old who is scared of the situation due to the neighbour banging, playing loud music and using there child to run riot, scream and bang her feet to annoy us. She has a boyfriend who visits every weekend,he's like a big child himself annoying his girlfriends child because he's bored and wind's her up. He likes to smoke drugs and both like a drink which that's worse as they bang more. I'm a council tenant and I have tried talking to the neighbour but not interested in listening,I've gone through the housing officer,local council,environmental health,police as she threatened me, but they all say they will sort the situation out with a ASBO ( antisocial behaviour order) but she refuses, I would like to say my peace but I know it will make things worse.If anyone has been through this and got it sorted please show me what you did to sort it as I'm worried about my 10 year old as she hates going to bed specially weekends.
Gem - 10-Feb-23 @ 9:29 PM
I rent a ground-floor maisonette. The sound insulation is so poor that I can hear the neighbour in the upstairs flat, wanking above my head.
My mentally ill neighbour liked to play his music loud all through the night, he doesn't work, but I do. After repeatedly asking him to turn it down, I reported him to the council and that is when my troubles began. He started stamping hard on the floor when I was boiling a kettle, stamping hard on the floor when I used the toilet, and when I put the key in the door when my cat was playing with a paper bag on the floor. Obviously, it shows just how poor the insulation is but this individual is very disturbed. I started banging back. Every time, he stamped hard on his floor, causing a loud thud on my ceiling, I would go to the kitchen and slam the door several times. I started recording him on my mobile and eventually after 44 complaints made to the council who did sweet FA. I lodged a formal complaint against the council cos they were not doing their job. They listened to the recordings and said it was intimidation and they got him to stop doing it. Then he started moving his furniture at 3 am in the morning, who does that? The environmental team put a recording device in my flat but had to tell him it was there.DOH Obviously, he kept quiet for the 3 weeks the device was installed. So the council said, it's daily living noise, but as I said, he can hear everything in my flat, he heard the guy putting the device in place for christ's sake. He then went into the communal garden and hacked my beautiful shrub down and then he put an animal trap in the garden ( I have a cat) When I reported him to the police, the officer said " what do you want us to do about it" "He is mental". I said, so you are saying you won't do anything until he sticks a knife in me.Still, he no longer plays any music in his flat at all. What I have learned about myself through the past 3 years with this swine living above me is that I am tougher than I thought I was. I match him every step of the way. Everyone says I should move, but when the f**k should I move, it is him that needs moving out.A tip for anyone out there if you have a mentally ill individual as your neighbour, beware, as they can make your life a misery and you are on your own with it. Things have greatly improved for me but that is because I have stood my ground and I I have made a complaint every single time, I pester the police, the environmental team and the council.I would advise anyone who is having a neighbour deliberately stamping on the ceiling to disturb them to make sure you have the voice recorder on the play as that is proof if you can get a recording.......These councils are responsible as they did not consider paying out to insulate homes, they were just interested in making more moneyIf I thought I could take the council to court to make them pay for the distress their poor insulation homes have caused I would.
Skygazer66 - 28-Dec-22 @ 6:53 PM
I live on my own, I am housebound and I am unwell - COPD!
I have lived here since 2009 and I was happy, then a foreign man with 2young girls bought the flat above mine about 3yrs ago… and my life has been a misery since.
He owns his flat and I am a council tenant.
Morning noon and night for 14/18 months I am subjected to THUMPING on his floor - my ceiling!
The rhythmic THUMPING happens at any time (6am 2pm 8pm); and sometimes lasts 1-4hrs, maybe 2 or 3 times a day!
It scares my cat (MY COMPANY), into hiding and stops me sleeping or wakes me up!
I am at my wits end, it is making me (and my cat) sick and very uptight and anxious!
I have mentioned my issue with the owner for nearly 1yr now - yet he ignores my pleas for him to stop!
claws - 16-Oct-22 @ 5:07 PM
I think people that put laminate down should experience the noise for themselves. My neighbour above has it, my anxiety is sky high.
Taz15 - 9-Sep-22 @ 11:19 AM
I live under laminate flooring, just recovering from anxiety because of the noise from it.I play white noise to help combat the noise but when heavy things are dropped it is really noisy. I wish these people with laminate could experience this for themselves and it might make them put carpets down- haha.
Taz15 - 9-Sep-22 @ 11:17 AM
I have the same issue as a lot of people here. I’m on the 1st floor in a block of council flats. The woman below me has three little boys crammed into one bedroom and the woman above has two kids under 5 crammed into one bedroom. I work from home and all I hear is the kids running back and forth full pelt! She plays loud music to drown them out but what about Me! I work from home and can barely concentrate. I’ve heard upstairs and her partner having late night antics and had to go up and knock the door as I didn’t want my own child to hear it. I’ve complained to the council and they gave me recording equipment for a week, however said they would only listen to the noises that happen during the night. I’m basically stuck and it’s really affected my mental health to no end.
Sharan - 1-Sep-22 @ 5:40 PM
I live next to a music nut in a 2nd floor council flat ex jail, type rowdy drinkers, go he,s a real waste of space,, full stop.
Spud - 1-Aug-22 @ 6:39 PM
I live under laminate flooring and my life is a total misery. When I complained the man went off like a rocket an frightened me, I'm fighting a battle with my mental health and I'm afraid I'm not winning.I wear earplugs when he is in and use headphones to listen to my TV. These things are inconvenient but a life saver. For the first time in my life ( 70) I have considered ending it but don't have the guts.
Mav - 28-Jun-22 @ 9:44 AM
I live in a ground floor flat and my neighbour above is driving me mad.He's a chain smoking alcoholic who never leaves the flat.He smokes skunk all day, paces up and down the room with lead feet, listens to drumb and bass all day weekend and every evening, constantly blows his nose making an out of tune trumpet sound, slams doors several times a day, constantly gags every morning and evening due to his heavy smoking, throws rubbish out from his balcony onto my area, spits and gags from his balcony al day which ends up all over my patio doors and windows, throws fag butts all over the grass, I often get awoken in the middle of the night with his gagging fits and trumpet nose blowing, I've had water leakages several times due to him being off his head on weed and booze which he denies was him... I could go on and on.I cant get any sense from him and we share the same landlord, but the landlord sits on the fence and believes his lies as all he wants is his rent.So I'm going to move out and will never ever live in a flat again, especially if the flat upstairs has balcony doors but no balcony - so he's right above my patio doors and uses my paved area for his spit, gagging and rubbish.I found out he has a 12 year old kid that he hasn't seen for years as her mum took an injunction out on him from seeing her - it's obvious why she did this.The landlord knows he has issues so I hold him as much responsible.All the other neighbours in the block are OK but it's only me and him who face out out to the back of the block so nobody experiences his crap as much as I do.
Stumagoo - 14-May-22 @ 9:50 PM
I live in a ground floor flat in I own it but it's leasehold property to really I don't own it. My neighbours upstairs the Renaissance couple but there's got a lot of problems they're only in the late 20s and they've got no respect for the garden this household furniture spread out all over the place getting nappies every way and they just don't clean up up and the house is filthy. For some unknown reason they seem to think I've complained about something which I haven't. And now she is being an asshole she used to get groomed off old men so she's used to that cider life. Hey father is one of the biggest drug addicts in the town got no respect no morals or principles
Glen - 8-May-22 @ 2:25 AM
Looking if anyone can help. I'm the neighbour upstairs.
I live in a 60s maisonette on the first floor. I have a little girl (16month) theeting and unfortunately gets sick quite often. She cries a lot. During the night and during the day. This resulted in a anonymous complain to children social services. No one raised any concerns about noise to us before. But after we received the visit of social services the neighbours come to us saying that they can hear her crying, dropping things and us walking and talking. Basically we are the "hell neighbours". We took more care in walking and talking but prevent a baby to cry and play is impossible.
Would be this considered noise nuisance?
How would work if he have to do some works in the house? Would we need some planning permission or any other licence? For fire safety reasons we need to charge the electrical connections of the house
Lucia - 29-Apr-22 @ 7:06 PM
I live in a 1960s purpose built block of 9 flats.No sound proofing installed at the time of building but I have since had this added to my lounge ceiling due to excessive noise from upstairs neighbours.Unfortunately, whilst I can no longer hearing their son's extremely loud (shouting) voice and shrieking laugh, they are extremely heavy footed and the thudding/stomping drives me up the wall.I have asked them to add rugs to their lounge to soften this but that request has fallen on deaf ears, even though they said they would do it they have not.For some reason I can now hear their hoover, which until today I had not heard previously and their patio door onto their balcony sounds like thunder when they open and close it.I am in my mid-60s and retired and had hoped for this to be a peaceful time in my life but these people are making my life a misery.Citizens Advice said I have a case to go to the council as I have done everything I can to reduce the nuisance but I doubt that they would do anything as I cannot record the noise.
jg16 - 26-Apr-22 @ 10:15 AM
I am I'm the same position as 'TheOtherSide' - I live in a first floor flat above a man who is completely intolerant of any sound whatsoever.I bought the flat a couple of months ago; it has been stood empty for a year and a half prior to me moving in, so my neighbour has had blissful peace and quiet all that time. Now he bangs on the ceiling at the slightest sound.
Tonight, for example, I had my washing machine finishing it's cycle (spin) at 5.45pm - he was banging. What am I supposed to do?
I accidentally dropped a bowl on the kitchen floor the other week - immediate banging. I moved a sofa when I was moving into the flat - more banging.
I believe he's lived there since the flats were built in the 1980s. There's clearly an issue with soundproofing (had I known that earlier I wouldn't have bought the flat!) so I can't understand why he hasn't made attempts to solve the lack of soundproofing sooner - it clearly affects him a lot.
The situation is causing me so much anxiety.
UpAbove - 12-Apr-22 @ 9:42 PM
I live on a ground floor and I had anxiety and depression before I moved in. I have a single mum of 2 kids above from me in a flat. The floor boards creek even if a cat walks across them. I don't believe there is concrete between me and the flat above. I am suffering really bad with my mental health because of it, literally considering the long walk no return option up a big hill. It's constant noise and half the estates kids are there a lot of the time with their mum's. They have parties a couple of times a week. The noise is just too much for me. I think maybe I have noise anxiety. I can never sleep and I am scared to take on work due to not being able to sleep enough, day shifts and night shifts. Another option for me is to just live out in the wild. Get a tent and all the accessories and do my best to live away from social housing. The banging and constant screaming and shouting from kids and voices that just go right through you to the core. I don't think there is any solution but for me to just be homeless and try and survive. At least I will be able to sleep.
Ratherlive in a tent - 10-Apr-22 @ 11:00 PM
Unfortunately I’m having the same issue - it’s a nightmare, the couple from upstairs work from home and are never outside the flat!! They have Very late night - 24h disturbing!! Imagine?!?!
as soon as my contract ends which is soon - thanks good I signed only 3 months - I could not stay longer!!
Soon I am moving out and NEVER EVER Again I will live an old converted Victorian house! It’s draining,waste of money and cause such damage to our mental health!! I can’t believe that such no isolation conversation is allowed in Uk!! It’s totally ridiculous!! I feel sorry for all that is in the same situation! I know how difficult it can be!!
Pinklola - 4-Apr-22 @ 8:52 PM
I stay in a ground floor flat and am able to hear everything that is going above me the flat am in has no sound proofing or insulation and used to be a 3 bed house before being converted to flats. Am raised the problems with the local council who the flats belong to and there saying there is nothing they can do about it so would I have a case worth taken them to court as this has effected my health
Knuckles - 25-Mar-22 @ 9:27 PM
Hello , We are on the other end of these issues - we are in a maisonette builtin the 50’swith floorboards that creek and a concrete underneath. We have 2 children and are on the top floor. We simply just want to get on with our lives but we have been hounded by noise complaints that have caused us all to be depressed andspiralled into anxiety around how we are meant to be keeping our children from being quiet.
We have addedunderlay, thicker carpets , rugs you name it we have spent money on it to help our neighboursbut still this is not enough , we are not noisy peoplethe kids are in bed by 19:30 and don't have a loud tv or music playing , but we get complaints about our children walking around and god forbid if we were to ever accidentallydrop something - its made our life hell - we are just a normal familyleading a normal life and are not going out of the way to be noisy.We are constantlytelling our children to walk not run don’tplay on the sofa , don’t play with toys on the floor etc etc - you can image how difficult and stressful to have to constantlybe like this - so please remember I suspect most ‘noisy’ neighbours arejust like us , we don’t do it deliberatelyplease consider there is 2 sides.
The Otherside - 28-Oct-21 @ 8:54 AM
I understand that sometimes such noise is because of lack of better sound proofing. However, most of the times, the complaint is not because of such a thing but rather unruly uncooperative people. That the council is unwilling to take action outside 11 pm to 7 am shows the lousiness of the councils to punish such unsocial people. The councils are repsonsible for depression and health of the affected people. I believe somone should raise a petition in the parliament to catch and punish such unsocial people. Timing should not be an issue. If you know someone is guilty then probably you should have the laws to catch such people. That 11 pm to 7 am is just an excuse for the councils to not actually do anything.
ForSociety - 14-Oct-21 @ 5:13 PM
I wrote on this a couple months ago where me & my family were being bombarded by noise from the neighbour above who had put wooden floors down & stomped around 24 hours a day.. we ended up with anxiety & stress to the point where i ended up on antidepressants.
after video calling our housing officer to witness the noise - we moved out. nothing was done & we ended up having to give up our home after trying every avenue. we’re now the 4th family to leave & whilst we are happy - the fact that this individual got away with it again really irks me. i’m hoping a disco loving madman moves in next so it can be a lesson to this imbecile & it’ll restore my trust in the universe…
keep fighting the good fight but start looking for transfers & swaps. it’s the only solution that works
Priestly - 13-Oct-21 @ 4:18 PM
I live in a 3 storey council flat and since the first wave of lockdown my upstairs neighbour has been driving me bananas he's been scraping his furniture across the concrete floor which is laminated and vacuuming and has his washing machine going from 6 am right above my bedroom which woke me and bangs about all day this goes on 24/7 sometimes he doesn't even sleep and when he does he makes a point of stomping and dropping things late at night above my bedroom even on a Sunday our peace gets shattered he decides to vaccum at 12 sometimes even 1 in the afternoon when we are sitting at peace watching TVand his TV goes up loud as well we can't hear ours over his and the more we turn ours up the louder his gets and to add insult to injury my downstairs neighbour smokes weed and it drives my cat nuts to the point where he's started scratching at the doors either the bathroom or the kitchen where he smells it and that keeps me awake
April - 13-Sep-21 @ 9:58 PM
Since moving to an housing association ie. Aelwyd Housing, I've had absolutely No Peace. I can understand that maintenance has to be done but this as been going on since I moved here. I've been here just over a year & I've had no peace. I've had 2 major Brain Operations, I was born with hydrocephalus & I takes tablets to relieve the pain. Yet, this Constant bombardment of visitors back & for, the doors no longer closing quietly & Kids gaining access throughout the day. I'm at the end of my tether & I Cannot take much more!!!
Andy - 7-Jul-21 @ 12:27 AM
Miss there is hope whats the number of the soundproofing people? Thanks