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Disgruntled neighbour woes - advice please

DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
edited February 2014 in Commuting chat
One for the dispute-resolution legal eagles.

The property I am in at the moment is poorly soundproofed, the guy beneath us is constantly complaining about the noise, which he described as being caused by:

Talking, walking, playing with toys, jumping, banging on the floor, crying, tantrums (my son is 2).

Now I can concede that I can hear every last detail of what goes on downstairs and most of what goes on in the flat next door, she plays a stereo loud by this black mans standard but in both cases, the property next to mine and the guy downstairs I make no complaint, the building is censored and was built to a budget. As the lack of soundproofing is acknowledged, an offer, by our landlord, of spliting the bill for soundproofing has been made but the guy refused and believes that we should pay for soundproofing or 'thick' carpet to be installed (there is hard wood floors and lino in the property) due to him being disturbed and his sleep being disrupted - he needs his sleep for his job and its shift work.

So, I've suggested ear plugs and explained that ultimately this is just the day to day movements of human beings living in a property. Its not artificial noise or even excessive noise that can be controlled like a stereo, there is very little I can do to accomodate him further without restricting the enjoyment and natural habits, movements and activities of my family.

Anyway today it came to a head as he knocked on my door and said that in the morning (7am, which was a lie it was closer 7.45 - 8am) he could hear us walking around with shoes (my partners heels) on and asked if we could only put our shoes on by the door as we are leaving the property. Long story short I said no, that's just unreasonable and I've done everything in my power to accomodate him.

Where do I go from here?
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A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
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Posts

  • jeepiejeepie Posts: 495
    Seems like the problem is the wooden floor. The noise through these is awful and not really suitable for a flat in my view. I think the solution is to put a carpet down. Who pays for it though? Could you talk to the landlord about paying for a carpet instead of the wooden flooring? I think that'd solve all the problems.
  • rubertoerubertoe Posts: 3,994
    The only thing you can do is comprimise or get better sound insulation.

    You are not doing anything that can be deemed as a nuisance but can be annoying including:

    normal everyday living noises such as children playing, kitchen appliances, footfalls, other impact noise and intermittent sounds of voices which are audible due to poor sound insulation.

    Better insulation and comprimise is your best bet.
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  • Hard floors do make a noise, I can hear the baby/child and mum dad upstairs but to be honest it's just normal walking folks doing there things.

    But I certainly am not bothered by it, sleeping for shifts can be difficult with light sleep.
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    I sympathise, I had similar issues with the couple downstairs and found the whole thing stressful, because as you say, they're basically asking you not to do normal everyday things. It sounds like the soundproofing offer was quite reasonable.

    I agreed to make an effort to be quiet after 10pm but the situation was never ideal since my kitchen is over their bedroom and the woman was hypersensitive to little things like pushing a chair back as you stood up from the table.

    Currently the flat downstairs is unoccupied but I'm praying I get someone more tolerant next time...
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,731
    what you need to do is go down there and move some of the power awesome from your thighs into your arms and smash his face in
  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    Must admit, I was on the receiving end in my first flat in London with a woman with a two year old upstairs. The worst bit was when he was in one of those baby bouncers that you suspend from a doorway - it drove me bonkers, especially at 7am on a Saturday morning. We did compromise with shoes off by the door and the landlord put a couple of big rugs down in areas where there was most foot traffic (their living room was above my bedroom). It didn't cut it out but made it easier to deal with.
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  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    You might have actually find that hardwood floors are against the terms of the lease. This was often thought about when developers sold flats, but fashion took over and owners conveniently forgot.

    I'd add as well that once you tune into noise, then you become more sensitive and actually start to think that people are doing it on purpose. I'd by nice to the bloke so he feels that you are on his side to limit this, but stick to your point about being able to live.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,108
    Yeah, check the terms of the lease. Might be worth suggesting to your neighbour that he contact your landlord direct (I'm assuming you rent but may have got the wrong end of the stick on that one) to raise any issues he has - if the lease says that carpets must be fitted / there should be acceptable sound insulation then it will be your landlord's responsibility to deal with it. When we lived in an upstairs flat and fitted wooden flooring we put about an inch of sound-proofing underneath and never got any complaints from our downstairs neighbour. I do think its just part and parcel of central London life though, if he doesn't want to hear his neighbours he probably needs to live in a nice detached property somewhere else!
  • sorry, am I reading right......"black mans standard"?
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  • msmancuniamsmancunia Posts: 1,457
    sorry, am I reading right......"black mans standard"?

    Think DDD is explaining that he is a man of colour and listens to loud music, but that even his neighbour plays hers loud enough to make his ears bleed.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    bigmat wrote:
    Yeah, check the terms of the lease. Might be worth suggesting to your neighbour that he contact your landlord direct (I'm assuming you rent but may have got the wrong end of the stick on that one) to raise any issues he has - if the lease says that carpets must be fitted / there should be acceptable sound insulation then it will be your landlord's responsibility to deal with it. When we lived in an upstairs flat and fitted wooden flooring we put about an inch of sound-proofing underneath and never got any complaints from our downstairs neighbour. I do think its just part and parcel of central London life though, if he doesn't want to hear his neighbours he probably needs to live in a nice detached property somewhere else!

    Property had wood floor before we move in. Haven't seen the lease but will mention to the landlord.

    Our landlord has already made the offer of splitting the cost of soundproofing with him because the noice bothers him. It doesn't bother us.

    The other issue is that soundproofing would have to put in throughout the property the amount of disruption that's going to cause...
    sorry, am I reading right......"black mans standard"?

    Sorry, my sense of humor misplaced. Its a running joke with me, a black man, and my partner a white girl, about the volume of music played by me, my family and friends from a particular ethnicity, especially when it comes to the subtle lows of bass. That's to say its all bullcrap though, anyone can play loud music and very loud music as the girl next door demonstrates, apologies.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    You quite often get some loons complaining about everyday noise.

    Not alot you can do. Especially with a young child.

    D-lock him ! :twisted:
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    fossyant wrote:
    D-lock him ! :twisted:
    Finally, someone speaks sense :wink:
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  • BigLightsBigLights Posts: 464
    We have the same problem. Hardwood floors are generally prohibited in flats, under the Leasehold terms though.

    You definitely want to try to keep on good terms with your neighbours as they can cause havoc. Our master bedroom is below our neighbours' kitchen, and they're freaks who are up at 3-4am, every day (he is an internet gizmo who works from home). Anyway, after much to-ing and fro-ing, they now tiptoe round in soft slippers we bought them and everyone is a lot happier. We also demonstrated what it sounds like by bringing one of them into our bedroom while the other one (who is veeeery far from having a ballerina's figure) stomped around their kitchen.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,176
    I live in a 5-bedroomed detached property in Surrey. I make as much noise as I like.

    Hope that helps :wink::D
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  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    mtb-idle wrote:
    I live in a 5-bedroomed detached property in Surrey. I make as much noise as I like.

    Hope that helps :wink::D

    I live in a 3 bed terraced house next to the A102. Sodding traffic drowns out any noise that comes from the neighbours :|
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  • daniel_bdaniel_b Posts: 8,643
    BigLights wrote:
    We also demonstrated what it sounds like by bringing one of them into our bedroom....


    :shock:
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    BigLights wrote:
    We have the same problem. Hardwood floors are generally prohibited in flats, under the Leasehold terms though.

    I've approached my landlord about this.
    You definitely want to try to keep on good terms with your neighbours as they can cause havoc.
    How about he keep on good terms with me. Why should I live in fear? Besides, the guy parks his car in his garden, using it as a drive way. He hasn't dropped his curb (its raised) and there is a yellow line he has to drive over. Looking at the land deeds, his garden may in fact be our garden. Both neighbours can cause havok.

    I'm just pissed at all this, I could understand if it was a stereo or my PCs 5.1 when I'm playing Star Trek, but this is just us trying to live and my son just playing and being an innocent toddler and the thing is we could be louder.

    I told him to take down his ceiling about install soundproofing if it is bothering him that much.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • merkinmerkin Posts: 452
    edited January 2014
    Why don't both of you take your high heels off when you are clopping about in the house. It must be pretty noisy downstairs. 2 year olds are noisy, not a lot you can or should do about that (within reason) but they do get quieter and quieter as the years go by.

    Edited due to appalling spelling.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,789 Lives Here
    Heels are very bad for wood floors, that's why I don't wear mine around the house any more.
    I'm dreading our new neighbours. The old guy moved out and whoever moves in will have to do a lot if work. After that we could have anyone move in, even someone like DDD. :shock:
    To me it sounds like you're trying to be reasonable, there's a bit of give and take needed with these things. Sounds like he needs to give a bit. They say neighbours are one of the major influences on quality of life, good luck.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    Dude - from what you've said, I don't think he's threatening you? I think he's just got into that position that he feels as though he can't sleep through your noise and that you don't care and that his life is going to be terrible forever. I can empathise because we had that with some upstairs neighbours once and it got to the stage where i hated going home. Luckily a bit of sound-proofing, my solution below and neighbours being considerate really helped. One of the things that'll really help your neighbour is you saying - look, we'll do our best to keep the noise down and we are trying.

    As another suggestion - if he has trouble sleeping through your noise (which may be perfectly reasonable) - I can really rec a "white noise machine" or white noise CD - basically this plays white noise - you can normally choose sounds, although I like the crackle of proper white noise and this helps by masking noises (such as stomping around etc). Its a bit like falling asleep on a plane because of the drone of the engines (also helps my 2 year old go to sleep if we're making a noise in the rest of the house).....
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    Why is it unreasonable to ask you to take your shoes off whilst in the house? Why would you even wear shoes in the house? I think that is a fair complaint.

    TBH, I think if you do shift work it is in your own interests to find somewhere to live where you aren't so easily going to be disturbed. It's grim not being able to sleep and I know from my own experience that the more disturbed your nights become, the lighter you sleep and then of course you are even more easily disturbed. It's pretty horrible - it took me some years to recover from regularly disturbed nights and I'm still a light sleeper - about half the hotels I stay in I have to ask to change rooms due to noise. You'd be doing him a huge favour by not wearing your shoes in your flat at no real inconvenience to yourself. However much he is pssing you off, you are pssing him off far more irrespective of who is to blame. It would be a nice thing to do.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    I don't think you should be wearing your wife's high heels to walk around the house in :D

    Its always worse for the people below that the people above as you are effectively walking on his ceiling, it takes a lot more for him to vibrate your floor so to speak. Ultimately its censored design to have wooden floors in a poorly insulated flat.
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  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    merkin wrote:
    Why don't both of you take your high heels off when you are clopping about in the house. It must be pretty noisy downstairs. 2 year olds are noisy, not a lot you can or should do about (within reason) that but they do get quiter and quieter as the years go by.

    We don't wear shoes around the house. My partner left the house wearing shoes in the morning. He would like us to put them on last thing as we leave the house. I'm not having anyone dictate to me when I should put my shoes on in the morning. My partner got ready in 15mins today 7.45am and left the house at 8am shoes were on for what, 5 - 10mins of that time. I could understand if we were stomping around in shoes in the evening but that's not the case. And do you know how hard it is getting a 2 year old ready? He gets dressed in one go, shoes on in that process.
    mroli wrote:
    Dude - from what you've said, I don't think he's threatening you? I think he's just got into that position that he feels as though he can't sleep through your noise and that you don't care and that his life is going to be terrible forever.

    I've explained to this guy that I'm only staying there temporarily, 12 months tops. Nope "we must get sound proofing". Our landlord offered him to split the costs "nope, we must get sound proofing". I know that I'm quiet because if I wasn't there would be noise from my stereo or complaints about talking - his issue is he can hear my son cry at night, play with toys and walking. We've put a mat down in my sons room to reduce the impact noise from his toys. It will always be something else, and in the end I'll end up living according to how he dictates and that isn't going to happen.

    I've suggested ear plugs and told him he can soundproof his ceiling.
    Why is it unreasonable to ask you to take your shoes off whilst in the house? Why would you even wear shoes in the house? I think that is a fair complaint.

    I should be clear, we don't. This morning, Mrs DDD got ready to go to court and put her shoes on (I think these are a low heeled pump). She had her shoes on for 5 - 10mins before leaving the house - 7.50 - 8.00am
    TBH, I think if you do shift work it is in your own interests to find somewhere to live where you aren't so easily going to be disturbed.

    I don't he does, and what is more annoying is that at the end of the road are rail tracks to a well served station - train every 10 - 15mins and frieght trains in the night that shake the property as they pass.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • rolf_frolf_f Posts: 15,959
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    I don't he does, and what is more annoying is that at the end of the road are rail tracks to a well served station - train every 10 - 15mins and frieght trains in the night that shake the property as they pass.

    That's not relevant - different noises affect different people. I'm not bothered about road noise but as soon as I turn the bedside light off, if I am anywhere near an air conditioning unit, I'll hear it and probably have to change room. I often don't even hear it until the light goes off. There's probably reception staff all over the country who think I'm mad but there you go - I can't be doing with that sort of noise. And earplugs make no difference.

    Noise coming through the ceiling will be much harsher than train noise. Seriously - is the shoe thing really that much of a problem? Shoes = last thing you put on before leaving the house. No reason not to surely?
    Faster than a tent.......
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 17,983
    If you are only going to be there for <12 months and you don't want the aggro, buy some (more) cheap rugs from Ikea and apply liberally. That'll sort the impact sound reasonably well. The only thing that stops airborne sound is mass, i.e. heavy construction. As you are renting, there is nothing you can sensibly do about this; it's not your flat to start knocking around.
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  • jamescojamesco Posts: 687
    Rolf F wrote:
    TBH, I think if you do shift work it is in your own interests to find somewhere to live where you aren't so easily going to be disturbed.
    Dunno about that, most people who have to do shifts are doing it 'cause they don't have many alternatives - shift-work sucks for health/sleep/relationships etc. Agree about the rest, though. Maybe it's a guy thing, but why would anyone choose to wear high-heels for a moment more than necessary?

    We have one of these shoe racks outside our flat door. Apart from a pair of nicked sneakers, it's worked well, and it encourages friends & visitors to leave shoes outside without nagging them :)
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    I've suggested ear plugs and told him he can soundproof his ceiling.
    Sorry, it doesn't work that way - once you get a noise bugging you it's hard to get it out of your head. Think ear-worms, but from someone humming the song into your ear... Go on, be the nice guys even if you don't have to!
  • I deal with lots of censored like this so lets cut to the chase.

    This resentment is going to build up until one of you snaps and kills the other. The secret is to get in first.

    Don't worry about witnesses as quite honestly people don't like to get involved.

    Your main problem is where to get rid of the body. Wheelie bins can be good but the chances of being found out are quite high. Burying them under the patio used to be popular but those lesbians in brookside ruined that. A newly laid patio will be the first place cops look. A shallow grave in the woods is popular, but again, bodies get found by pesky inquisitive dogs. Deep graves are better but can be quite hard work unless you've got a jcb type device.

    So that leaves limited options, burial at sea is favoured by the criminal underworld but again you need one of those boat things and some heavy duty chains.

    So on reflection the best, and easiest, thing to do is to kill him, place an old bike between his legs, a winter bike or something, definately not the best summer bike, then park your car on top of him. Yeah you'll get in trouble but a £75 fine with a £15 victim surcharge is probably worth the peace and quiet.

    Hope this helps.
  • I deal with lots of censored like this so lets cut to the chase.

    This resentment is going to build up until one of you snaps and kills the other. The secret is to get in first.

    Don't worry about witnesses as quite honestly people don't like to get involved.

    Your main problem is where to get rid of the body. Wheelie bins can be good but the chances of being found out are quite high. Burying them under the patio used to be popular but those lesbians in brookside ruined that. A newly laid patio will be the first place cops look. A shallow grave in the woods is popular, but again, bodies get found by pesky inquisitive dogs. Deep graves are better but can be quite hard work unless you've got a jcb type device.

    So that leaves limited options, burial at sea is favoured by the criminal underworld but again you need one of those boat things and some heavy duty chains.

    So on reflection the best, and easiest, thing to do is to kill him, place an old bike between his legs, a winter bike or something, definately not the best summer bike, then park your car on top of him. Yeah you'll get in trouble but a £75 fine with a £15 victim surcharge is probably worth the peace and quiet.

    Hope this helps.
  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    I deal with lots of censored like this so lets cut to the chase.

    This resentment is going to build up until one of you snaps and kills the other. The secret is to get in first.

    [...]

    This place needs a like button.

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