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    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2017
     
    I own a flat that I rent out. It's the upper floor of a former semi, 1930s built and converted long before my ownership.

    The downstairs owner recently sold and the new owner has approached with a complaint about the level of noise my current tenant generates. The tenant apparently doesn't do anything abnormal, just walks around, watches TV and talks, but the downstairs neighbour feels the sound attenuation between the flats is inadequate

    They've suggested I replace the laminate flooring in my flat with carpet, and have offered to contribute towards the cost..

    I'm split between saying "sorry pal; caveat emptor- sue your surveyor or sell up, because I don't think it's reasonable to subject my tenant to to upheaval and inconvenience of replacing my floor coverings with a less durable alternative just because you've realised that a ground floor room occupant hears footsteps of an upstairs occupant" and looking for a solution on the interest of keeping a good neighbour (a bad neighbour of course having an impact on my ability to keep a good tenant if a grievance develops and they take it out on my tenant - prior experience)

    Any suggestions to solutions that are low disruption, that he can fund? I'd far rather he install a layer on his ceiling than rip up my flooring, even though I acknowledge laminate is noisy, it's better suited to a rental property..
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2017
     
    In lots of blocks of flats laminate is not allowed due to the problems that you have.

    Sound deadening in the floor is now a requirement above lounge ceilings in new houses.

    I would say rock wool in the ceiling, carpet upstairs as a minimum
    • CommentAuthorArtiglio
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2017
     
    In a period building i converted where the original ceiling was to be saved.

    Floorboards lifted, chicken wire folded to follow line of joists/ceiling, 100mm rockwool soundslab between joists,floating chipboard floor, decoupled from joists with "foam isolation tape". Duralay Treadmore underlay. Then laminate over. Tenants are provided with large heavy ( but cheap) rugs , to cut down the echoing and impact sound. Has been very effective but major upheavel in a tenanted property.

    Large rugs in lounge/bedrooms, cushioned vinyl in kitchen and bathroom , will be a reasonable gesture and help a bit.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2017
     
    Is the flooring yours or your tenants?

    If http://www.propertylawuk.net/neighbouringnoises.html is correct,there's no obligation on you or your tenant to do anything.

    But carpet with an acoustic underlay would be a helpful gesture as Artiglio suggests. Maybe some resilient pads underneath the TV. More than that, I'd think it was up to the downstairs owner to fit a false ceiling or resilient bars, or take his ceiling down and fit rockwool first.
  1.  
    What does your lease say?

    If it says no hard surface coverings or similar, then you are bang to rights unless you take a "so enforce on me" stance.

    His route for progressing the complaint if you do nothing would be under the lease or through a Council nuisance complaint.

    F
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2017
     
    Flooring's mine, been down since before I bought

    Bit of a tricky one, the lease.. Apparently it's reasonably common in situations there a house is split horizontally into 2 flats, to make the downstairs freeholder the leaseholder for the upstairs flat and vice versa, rather than form a management company that both leasers are members of. There's something messed up with this one though, but I don't recall the specifics - something like one of the freeholders is a defunct housing association and the other (my) is someone other than the ground floor owner, and has been untraceable for many years (approaching the time where it can be reverted to a present occupier through adverse dispossession). I'm not certain on the wording of the lease either- might be filed with the title at LR - will check
    • CommentAuthordelprado
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2017
     
    • CommentAuthorsam_cat
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2017
     
    If they are offering to contribute I would take their money and fit some good carpet and underlay.

    Its a tax deductible as its not an improvement (there is already a floor covering).

    Cloud 9 cumulus 11mm or cloud 9 trade underlay. Everything else is inferior ime. Its lovely to walk on, reduces noise and has insulating properties (not great, but its about 5tog from memory), then take some advice from carpet fitter on what carpet, but dont go cheap, get something with a 10-15 year life and hard wearing, not deep pile and is bleach cleanable... This will make it last a good while and cleaning between lets easier. :)

    Only complication will be working with your tenant to get it fitted at a time that suits... And they might grump as they 'only rented due to laminate floor' or some such, so might need persuading.
  2.  
    Could there be a compromise where you say you will gladly accept their offer to pay / contribute towards a carpet when you change tenants but don't want the disruption for your sitting tenant?

    You could always ask the tenant if they want a carpet as they might quite like it in certain rooms and therefore they wouldn't consider it a disruption.

    As mentioned by different people above:
    rock wool between the floor is recommended (don't think you want the disruption of this though)
    they could insert a false ceiling, something like MF framing, which would all be from their side. Perhaps send them some links for options they could do?
    • CommentAuthorcjard
    • CommentTimeOct 15th 2017
     
    There isn't anything specific in the lease regarding floor coverings- the closest clause being a "thou shalt not do anything that causes a nuisance to th neighbour" but that seems to be more related to treatment of the shared services, drainage, accesses etc..

    All in I think the combination of suggestions is the best route- I've few qualms if he wants to fund the carpet and my tenant is willing to accept the disruption, or he is willing to wait til tenant change time if she doesn't want upheaval.. and if it's still an issue post, he can look at fitting some ceiling system..
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