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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20678
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hi, I have just purchased a property that I now rent out. I

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have just purchased a property that I now rent out. I have completely renovated the property with like for like fittings. I replaced an old battered laminate flooring with Engineered Oak and 5 mm sound insulation, because I thought it would be kinder to the downstairs tenants. Last night, they were complaining of "noise", they can hear the tenants walking from room to room, mobile phones going off etc. I am now put down rugs to help absorb the noise however, they are still not happy.
When I questioned whether the old tenants, prior to me buying the property could be heard, they said yes but not as much. When I questioned them whether the new tenants were having parties, they said no but they "have heard them once"
Have I just been unlikely and got "complainers" downstairs?
I checked the lease last night, there is a clause in there that staes no laminate, which I wasn't aware off however, as I state, I replaced like for like and can prove that laminate was in the property before.
What shall I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to help you with this today.

Please bear with me if I ask for more information.

 

How long have the people been in the property downstairs?

 

Do they know that you fitted the new floor? (That is really important believe it or not!)

 

I appreciate that there may not be a clause that states no laminate, but is there a clause which says that the floor must be carpeted?

 

Have you ever had tenants in this property before?

 

 

 

 

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi, I believe the downstairs tenants have been in the property a while, certainly over 5 years.


They were aware we had renovated the property but they are not party to what was done. I had said I replaced, but have not stated wholly, just replaced.


I cannot recall whether it said carpet must be used, just no laminate I think (I don't have the lease with me) but I can check if it helps.


No this is my first Buy to let, the tenants moved in on the 05/10/2013

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I've just remembered something, not sure if this helps the cause. When we were renovating, the downstairs tenants asked to come in to the property to gain access to teh ceiling, therefore we allowed them to take up the floor so that they could fix a light to the ceiling tio minimise damage for them so most liekly we could argue that they were aware.


Am I clutching at straws !

Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.


You
need to check the lease. It is relatively unusual for it to say "no laminate."
But it is extremely common for it to say that the floors must be carpeted.

 



If
that is the case, whilst I appreciate that you replace like-for-like, you are
in breach of the terms of the lease if you do not put carpet down.



I
appreciate how annoying that might be for you, but I can only tell you the
situation.



I can
probably tell you what has happened with the neighbours downstairs. They had
become used to all the previous noise of the previous tenant. They know that
you have been undertaking renovations and they probably know that you have
laminate flooring down even if you have not told them specifically. In their
mind, if they know it is different, they will be alert to the fact.



They
had also been used to having no one living in the upstairs property.



Now,
they have become "aware" and are actually listening for every single little
noise.



So,
what can they do?



With
regard to what noise is acceptable and what noise is not, generally, any noise,
such as music or television etc should not be audible outside the property.
That does not apply to "the noise of life". If therefore this is just the
normal noise of life in an adjoining property which can be heard through the
walls or the floor and not the sounds of dancing or a party, then it is not
actionable by them either in nuisance or for breach of quiet enjoyment in the
terms of the lease.



They
are not entitled to live in absolute silence from the outside world.



 



Does
that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points for you?

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 20678
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX check the lease again tonight to make sure. I just hope it doesn't mention carpet! I will stress again to them that I have now put rugs in all the rooms, which will minimise the noise and hope that they appreciate that I am trying to be a good landlord and not un-reasonable.


 


Thanks for your answers, it has been helpful.

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Stuart J
Stuart J
Solicitor
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PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice