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Council failing to investigate noise complaint correctly


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Hi,

I'm seeking advice of what action can I take against the council who in my opinion have failed to investigate a noise complaint correctly, that was first raised with them in February 2020.

The complaint is regarding a water pump sited in the communal ceiling approximately 2m from my bedroom, it sits on the same joist level and the noise is heard through the floorboards within my bedroom.

It disturbed my sleep 118 times between 13th October 2020 and 11th April 2021 and the council concluded the noise had not been assessed as unreasonable as it is caused by a water pump to a neighbouring property and is working as required; and the level of type of noise was witnessed to be low.

When they had eventually arranged witnessing of the noise, I am informed that a tap was turned on, the officers could hear a faint humming noise. This was assessed as not constituting to a statutory nuisance, however they did feel it could constitute an annoyance. I stated at the time that I had not heard the noise through the ceiling in the lounge (directly under the bedroom) and that usually it could be heard through the ceiling. I believe that the true level of noise had not been witnessed and therefore their assessment was wrong.

I submitted my own recordings to the investigating officer and his initial response was that the noise from the water pump could not be heard on them, however, it is clearly evident and is not a faint humming noise.

When they ended the investigation on 25th March they stated "Based on the noise witnessed to date we have been unable to witness a statutory nuisance; I acknowledge that noise from the water pump can be heard, but this is not an unreasonable activity nor is the level of noise associated with it. The water pump is essential as it needs to draw water for your apartment and your neighbour’s properties, and as such a level of noise is to be expected."

They concluded "If you still do feel that it is very loud there is other options you can take by either soundproofing your wall or taking your own action under the Environmental Protection Act 1990."

The water pump provides water for the top floor flat only and the officer was fully aware of this and that the noise emanates from under the floorboards and not through my wall.

I am currently following the formal complaint process and have recently received their 2nd stage response from the Head of Service. I have further concerns that the correct legislative process was not followed and the lack of candor received to date from the 1st and 2nd stage responses.

I would appreciate any advice of the next steps that I could take to finally resolve this issue that has plagued me for over 5 years now.

Thank you.

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Hi. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

I've moved your thread to our lettings forum for further advice. People should be along over the course of today, please bear with us until they're able to get here. :)

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi

 

Welcome to CAG

 

Are you in Private Housing or Social Housing?

 

If you are at the end of the Stage 2 Complaints Procedure the Counciul should have made you aware that if you are unhapy with there Stage 2 response that you can escalate this to the Housing Ombudsman.

 

Even a small humming from this water pump during the day is completely different to the noise level when in your bed and everything is quiet the noise level is enhanced.

 

 

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Hi stu007,

 

Thank you for your reply, I am a long leaseholder in a flat that has the bedroom above the rest and have lived here since October 2011 and had no issues with the noise from the water pump until the communal ceiling flooded and part of the insulation was removed.

 

The council appear to dismiss the point you make and have shown little interest that I have been disturbed 118 times between 0200 and 0800 hrs.

I've also made it clear to the council that during the warmer weather, when the roof windows are open, the sound of the traffic appears to mask the noise from the water pump and the disturbances are much less frequent. 

As you say when these are closed, during the winter, the noise is enhanced especially as it comes from under the floorboards.

Given the disturbances it is certainly interfering with the enjoyment of my property and affecting my health, however, the council appear to dismiss these points.

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Hi

 

I think you need to Formally Complain about this Noise from that specific Water Pump and ask the following:

 

1. You require the DB Level of the Water Pump after the Officers were out and also listened to your own recording as the Noise Level according Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act 2004: noise nuisance guidance: 

WWW.GOV.SCOT

Scottish Government guidance on noise nuisance.

 

Should be:  Night-time 23.00 - 07.00 hours L Aeq 31dB.

 

I now require that the DB Level is fully checked between the above hours stated as to date this has not been carried out.

 

2. When the flooding Happened in the Communal Area beside this Water Pump the insulation was removed due to the damage due to this I required confirmation from yourselves that this Insulation was re-instated when the repairs works were carried out to that area.

 

I also require copies of the following:

 

Complaints Policy (not the leaflet)

Customer Care Standards/Charter Policy (not the Leaflet)

Anti Social Behaviour/Noise Policy (not the leaflet)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Posted (edited)

Thanks again for the reply.

 

I'm not sure if levels were taken, as stated two officers visited the flat and asked that a tap be turned on, by how much I don't know. What I do know is that I commented at the time that I had not heard it through the ceiling which I normally did and have done since.

 

On the second point I submitted photographs of the area where it clearly shows that the insulation has been removed from my property wall (at joist level). The council had asked the managing agent for photographs to decide if any further insulation was required, also for an engineer to pump (their words), but then received an email from the managing agent stating they believed no insulation had been removed, so the photographic evidence was not provided.

Edited by annoyed9333
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Hi

 

You need to challenge both the Council and Managing Agent to prove the DB Level and that the Insulation that was in place was removed and not re instated as it should have been.

 

You write to both or simply do one letter CC it to both to see what they say

 

With the Council you want to know the DB Levels recorded by their Officer that came out to inspected this and for a full report on the works that were carried out to re instated the damage.

 

With the Managing Agent again you require them to prove the DB Level before the damage and after and for them to provide you with proof that no insulation was in that specific area before the damage occured and full clarification of the remedial works carried out to re instated the damage.

 

 

 

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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Again thanks for the reply.

 

I have today received notification that I will receive a stage 3 response from the Chief Executive, the points you kindly raise will be submitted and hopefully I will get a reply.

 

As regards the managing agent the cost of the insulation has been identified as £40.00 and they state that it will be completed next week. Considering the affect it has had on my health and that they had agreed to invesigate the noise from the water pump in the New Year of 2020 but failed to do so, I find it really unacceptable. They basically stated that as it only caused me annoyance they would take no action and also refused mediation.

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