Neighbours Causing Nuisance

Most leases will have a provision with regards to causing nuisance to other occupiers in the building. Some leases specifically state the hours of the day when not to make excessive so as to be audible to others and some leases may have a general noise not to cause nuisance, disturbance or annoyance.

The lease should set out how these terms can be enforced. It is normally the Lessor/Management Company who has the power to enforce the terms of the lease. This means that a leaseholder will generally need to instruct the Lessor or Management Company to enforce the covenants against another leaseholder and where required by the lease indemnify the landlord against the costs involved.

Should you have the misfortune to encounter noise nuisance or anti-social activity which is becoming a nuisance in the first instance, it may be advisable to try to resolve the matter amicably by calmly speaking directly to the neighbours in question. With disputes that arise from noise levels, it’s often the case that the people concerned are not even aware that they are causing a problem. Therefore, in explaining the situation to them, it may be perfectly possible to rectify the issue amicably.

If your neighbours are uncooperative, however, the next stage should be to inform MRM and ask them to speak about the nuisance with the residents and/flat owner. A stern letter from the Managing agent reminding the flat owner of his/her obligations in the lease might be sufficient to eradicate the

Should all of the above fail, you should contact your local authority who should appoint one of their Environmental Health Officers to look at the case. An Environmental Health Officer can issue a warning to your neighbours if noise levels exceed a certain level or if anti-social behaviour is adversely affecting your quality of living. If the tenants fail to reduce their noise levels, further action can also be taken.

In some instances of noise nuisance, it may simply be a case that better soundproofing is needed in the property. Also, remember that your local authority is going to look more closely at excessive noise levels which persist between the hours of 11pm and 7am, and allow a little more leniency at other times.

If you feel as though you have no option left but to turn to the Environmental Health Department, make sure you keep a log as to what time of day the excessive noise is taking place and what it consists of. You should also see if you can get any fellow neighbours to do the same if they the noise levels have become an issue to them too. All information you can gather will assist the Environmental Health Officer if they decide to investigate further.

For further guidance please view the booklet from DEFRA.


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