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Gordy

Huge amount of noise coming from flat upstairs (structural problems)

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Im a housing association tenant and have been complaining for 6 years now of noise from the upstairs flat. Its not music, i never hear that people walking around heavily/kids jumping around/things being dropped on the floor make almighty booms and creaks. ive lived in lots of properties in my life and not once made any complaints or even noticed bad noise. Its so violently loud it sounds like people are playing catch with heavy pieces of furniture! Its literally driving me crazy and i have just received a letter today saying they are doing nothing about it. Im devastated.

 

Ive had a council sound monitor in some years ago. They quashed any problems by putting it down to children noise and wouldn't take it any farther even tho they said it was very loud. Same story from housing association they wont even install any monitors.

 

Ive had numerous arguments and a beating from 2 friends of the neighbour through the noise complaints i have made.

 

They were finally starting to go though files for the property for the sound testing but after months of waiting because of 'corrupt dvds' they have suddenly gone silent on me and just sent out a letter saying they are doing nothing.

 

I really am close to breaking point. Im moderately agoraphobic so spend about 70 hours a week inside.

 

I would be overjoyed if anyone can offer some help and advice. Im kept the post pretty brief as i just wanted to get it out there so if you need any more details please ask.

 

Many thanks.

 

Gordon

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You could try writing to the Housing association and asking them to confirm in writing that the correct sound insulation was put in the building infrastructure.

 

If the council and the Housing association are not willing to help you I would try writing

a) to your local MP

b) a local councillor

c) a consumer programme like Dominic Littlewood, to see if they can get you some help.

 

If the 'noise' above is just children and people walking heavily across the floor then it would seem this would not be deliberate or unreasonable by your upstairs neighbours just a question of the insulation. Even if the correct amount of insulation is shown on the building plans it doesn't mean to say it was actually put in.

 

Try recording the noise on your phone or some other recording device and keep a log of the dates and times of the disturbance. Especially if you believe there is any malice in it.

 

If you can afford an independent survey of the sound proofing I would get one. If not, try speaking to a local surveyors company and ask if they would consider doing one free or for a reduced fee. They may be more willing to help if you have some evidence to show that it is bad and having a negative impact on your health as you have to spend so much time indoors.

 

If you can get a letter from your doctor to say you have told them about the noise and there has been a negative impact to your health it might add weight to your case. Six years is a long time to be subjected to something which you believe is excessive.

 

Citizens Advice may be able to offer some help, a mental health charity or community legal support are worth trying.

 

If there is noise at night try using some ear plugs. There are many different types on the market and although they are unlikely to stop the noise they may dull it sufficiently at least for you to be well rested.

 

Whilst it may be irritating for a family being told for six years that someone was complaining about the noise of them walking across the floor and dropping things, having you beaten up is outrageous. I hope this incident was reported to the police and they took it seriously.

 

I have actually seen something similar in a private house where the freeholder has the house made into two flats. There were two male occupants in the flat above both who removed their shoes when doing into the flat. One you could hardly hear at all but the other sounded like an elephant crossing the floor. Big cracks started to appear in the ceiling and running down the plaster in the walls. For the floor to be that springy I would have thought that there hadn't been enough floor supports or soundproofing put in. The fact that the whole area was so peaceful and quiet added to the tension when there was noise from above. The owner moved elsewhere and let their flat out. For some people that are out all day and most evenings, they might not be in enough for this to bother them but if it does, then feeling trapped and subjected to an unwelcome level of noise becomes very debilitating.

 

Hope some of these suggestions might help.

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Thanks for the reply. The upstairs landing outside the flat is very spongy and im assuming inside is the same. I did some checks about the building (they were only built about 2005) and it has got a certificate but the man who issued it also told me that only a small percentage are actually tested not all of them. the housing association wouldn't believe this for some months and still wont acknowledge it. maybe time for me to stop making phone calls and start to prepare some proper letters with proofs. I shall definitely get in touch with the various people you have recommended tomorrow.

 

Ive made some recording with a phone but due to the bassy nature of the sounds they dont record too well. I did send some recording to two people via email and they would not comment on them. Ive looked into paying myself for a 3rd party test but its very pricey (around £400 i believe) and i understand i would have to have the cooperation and permission of the upstairs neighbour which is very unlikely. Ive even looked into buying expensive mics to do recordings myself but again they are way pricey and ofc would carry absolutely no weight legally.

 

edit: just added a little mp3 snippet. thats not construction work going on.

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yoyu need to have it checked out by someone who knows both building regs and about noise measurment as it will need to be monitored with the right equipment to measure DbA and DbB over a period of time. If you have a college or Uni nearby that has a building or architecture course you could most likely get this done for free as a project

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Im going to ring the Council tomorrow and CAB to start with for some advice. Then im going to be putting out letters to the housing association and the council asking for all the info they have on this case and why so and so hasnt been done etc. I think its something i should have done a long time ago but i have been just making phone calls all this time.

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Just a question. Have you talked to them upstairs? Assuming they are not the ones who beat you up it might be an idea.

 

With your Agrophobia obviously this adds to the complications and u might need support.

 

My idea if not already done would be to engage with them to help sort the problem. De personalise the issue a bit by not blaming them but instead direct blame to the insufficent soundproofing.

 

Let them know the impact it is having on you. Gain their support to get the sound proofing tested and done or enhanced.

 

However do not put yourself at risk and do not do this alone. And if you have done this or they are violent or not interested then explore other avenues.


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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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A lot of this will depend on when the noise happens! reading your post it seems the housing ass has tried to say its general living noise. But not at or after 10pm in my contract. So to have more of a case if they are doing this late into the night these are the time frames that will help your case.

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