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Topic: Nightmare neighbours  (Read 2583 times)

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Nightmare neighbours
« on: October 23, 2020, 07:31:31 PM »
Hi all,

We would like to get any advise from everyone from here as we are under pressure.

We have recently moved into a new flat.
Our landlady told us that it’s a quiet flat, which we really needed it. So, we just decided to take the property and 3 weeks in now, and we discovered that our neighbour is a monster. He lives in just above us, basically if we make any noise, he keeps making noise back probably intentionally. The flat has an echo, so it might be easy to hear our voice, but even if we speak in normal sound level, he comes out of his flat and start to slamming his door. We feel exhausted every single day and feeling not safe to be honest. We can’t like this anxiety level every day and start to having panic attack.  The other thing is that it seems like there is a hierarchy within the building, and he seems to have a power as he communicates our next door neighbour, and they also start to making noises too... We thought about going up stairs and knock the door to discuss, but we are worried if it escalates him...

Our contract is 6months, and almost 5 months left, but we don’t think we can live like this any more. Do you think we can ask landlord that if we can terminate the contract much earlier? (We have detail records that what keeps happening since we moved in...)

Your thoughts much appreciated.


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2020, 12:26:51 PM »
Hi all,

We would like to get any advise from everyone from here as we are under pressure.

We have recently moved into a new flat.
Our landlady told us that it’s a quiet flat, which we really needed it. So, we just decided to take the property and 3 weeks in now, and we discovered that our neighbour is a monster. He lives in just above us, basically if we make any noise, he keeps making noise back probably intentionally. The flat has an echo, so it might be easy to hear our voice, but even if we speak in normal sound level, he comes out of his flat and start to slamming his door. We feel exhausted every single day and feeling not safe to be honest. We can’t like this anxiety level every day and start to having panic attack.  The other thing is that it seems like there is a hierarchy within the building, and he seems to have a power as he communicates our next door neighbour, and they also start to making noises too... We thought about going up stairs and knock the door to discuss, but we are worried if it escalates him...

Our contract is 6months, and almost 5 months left, but we don’t think we can live like this any more. Do you think we can ask landlord that if we can terminate the contract much earlier? (We have detail records that what keeps happening since we moved in...)

Your thoughts much appreciated.

Can you put carpets down to try to get rid of the echo? Do you only hear your neighbours when they are reacting to the noise from your flat?

You can ask your landlord if they will let you out of the contract, but this will only likely be when they can find another tenant. They will have other costs if an agency finds their tenants for them and any other fees the LA charges them with a new tenant.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 12:32:46 PM by Sirius »


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2020, 12:39:40 PM »
If it was a quiet block of flats and you are the noisy ones, your neighbours might have already complained to the council and/or the Letting agents/landlord.


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2020, 12:56:34 PM »
You have a right of peaceful enjoyment of your property.  Regardless if your neighbor is able to hear conversations, he should not be reacting in such an a passive aggressive nature. I would speak to your landlord as well as the council, as the council can set up noise monitors.  Keep a diary of what happens, when, and what caused the issue.  Record anything odd.  I’d request the landlord to speak to the neighbor you are having trouble with as you are not comfortable doing so.


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2020, 01:18:49 PM »
You have a right of peaceful enjoyment of your property.  Regardless if your neighbor is able to hear conversations, he should not be reacting in such an a passive aggressive nature. I would speak to your landlord as well as the council, as the council can set up noise monitors.  Keep a diary of what happens, when, and what caused the issue.  Record anything odd.  I’d request the landlord to speak to the neighbor you are having trouble with as you are not comfortable doing so.

There is a covenant of quiet enjoyment of the home which all tenants are entited to, in the Housing laws, which is there to stop the bad landlords/letting agents. Pro-active councils' use this to warn these LAs/LLs and then take them to court on if they persist, or their tenant can take them to court.

He said it was two of his neighbours (above their flat and next door to their flat). As said, the neighbours might have already complained to their council and therefore would have been told to keep a diary so that the council can then monitor their noise.

They might not mean to be loud but some people shout when they talk. I can be sitting in the same office as somebody on the phone a few feet away and not hear what they say, while others further away can be very loud and every world can be heard.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2020, 01:36:35 PM by Sirius »


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2020, 02:01:46 PM »
Here are some ways to reduce the echo, but some you might have to ask the landlords permission (in writing to protect yourself) to do some of them, depending on what is in your contract.
Carpets/rug and bookcases are the easy remedies.
https://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Echo-in-a-Room


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2020, 06:12:47 PM »
If it was a quiet block of flats and you are the noisy ones, your neighbours might have already complained to the council and/or the Letting agents/landlord.

Thanks for reminding us that not always others fault. Sometimes we were probably talking in loud without realizing it.
We will keep in our mind:)  Also, thank you for the soundproofing technique link, we will try hanging fabrics on walls. It looks very promising!
If it doesn’t work, we will contact our landlord !


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2020, 06:23:27 PM »
You have a right of peaceful enjoyment of your property.  Regardless if your neighbor is able to hear conversations, he should not be reacting in such an a passive aggressive nature. I would speak to your landlord as well as the council, as the council can set up noise monitors.  Keep a diary of what happens, when, and what caused the issue.  Record anything odd.  I’d request the landlord to speak to the neighbor you are having trouble with as you are not comfortable doing so.

First of all, Thank you for replying!
That scared us most. He was slamming the door very loudly that we guess it's his sign of "you are loud"!!
It's been a strange situation last 3 weeks because the landlord told us that a young couple lives just above us, but after a few days we moved in, it seems like a single older guy moved in above us, who keeps causing a problem to us. We are talking currently very very quiet, which doesn't feel like "Home"..
We will speak to our landlord if this keeps happening next week. Thank you for your advice, it means a lot to us.

Thank you!


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2020, 07:00:26 PM »
I hope you manage to get it sorted one way or another.


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2020, 03:07:12 PM »
I'm going to give some completely different advice:
Totally ignore the upstairs neighbour.  Let him slam his door as much as he wants.  If he wishes to make some point about the amount of noise you are making, then he can stop being passive aggressive and come and talk to you.  Until then, pretend he doesn't exist.  Speak normally and make yourself at home. 

Stop worrying about any hierarchy in the building.  In my experience, British neighbours do not usually form enough of a community to even recognise each other much less form a hierarchy.  Even if this place is special and they have, completely ignore them as well.  What's the worst that can happen? Being ignored in the hallway?  It's totally normal for UK neighbours to ignore each other in the hall anyway. 
Even if the upstairs neighbour starts a complaint with the council, unless you are generating CRAZY amounts of noise and chaos, the council will do nothing.  The council doesn't get involved unless you are playing music at full volume for hours all night long and inviting all the homeless around for a crack party.  If you are living normally , you don't have to fear the council even if the upstairs neighbour actually does complain.  Even then, it would take 6 months and 20 letters from the council to evict you.

I think there might be some cultural problem here and you are interpreting the normal British lack of friendship and neighbourliness with hostility.  I also think it is likely that because UK construction is so shoddy, an upstairs door slam is way louder than you are used to and the upstairs neighbour is not making any point at all, just closing his door.  After all, it's usually the people below who are more impacted by noise from above.   

From what you have described, you have worked yourself into a panic attack without a single cross word from any of your neighbours?  That sounds like you may be a bit sensitive to what you think the British people are trying to say.  I've lived here a long time and my policy is to completely ignore any hints, nudges or unsaid BS people may throw my way.  If you actually force people to say whatever (usually stupid) thing that is on their minds out loud, most people drop it because even they recognise it is too stupid when said out loud.   


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2020, 03:41:29 PM »
Thank you very much for your advice.

Your message has helped to put our minds at ease. We are trying to be a bit more normal at home now compared to last week, but also don’t want to be the ones causing the problem, so try to be quiet in the evenings. As a new tenant, I had been thinking about how would be best to fit in with the existing community, but actually, I don’t know if such a thing exists here, like you said. So far, I haven’t seen or heard anyone interacting with each other in the hallway…

We are both quite anxious people as well and after living in our previous flat for 7 years with a super friendly neighbour upstairs, this new environment has perhaps made us a bit too sensitive. Especially as we are currently working from home, so noise problems are a really big issue for us. Actually for a couple of days the neighbours have been relatively quiet compared to last week, but unfortunately, now the shop downstairs seems to have started some construction work….  We feel like we made the worst decision ever by moving here and have already started to count down the days until our contract ends and we can of move out.. Our contract is 6months, but we might try to negotiate with the landlord if we can leave 3 months earlier.

 Anyway, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to my post. It was really helpful to hear your opinion.


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2020, 10:38:57 AM »
I've lived here a long time and my policy is to completely ignore any hints, nudges or unsaid BS people may throw my way.  If you actually force people to say whatever (usually stupid) thing that is on their minds out loud, most people drop it because even they recognise it is too stupid when said out loud.   

Weren't you the person who said you had your car window smashed when you got into a disagreement?


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2020, 10:47:58 AM »
We feel like we made the worst decision ever by moving here and have already started to count down the days until our contract ends and we can of move out.. Our contract is 6months, but we might try to negotiate with the landlord if we can leave 3 months earlier.

It's worth a go.

Even if they don't agree, you can move out when you want to anyway but would have to pay two rents until the end of the fixed term, unless a new tenant moved in during that time or the landlord had workers in the flat.

Have you spoken to your neighbours and asked if you are making too much noise/are noisier than the others? You could tell them you are going to take steps to reduce the echo if you are.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2020, 11:05:08 AM by Sirius »


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2020, 02:18:56 PM »
Weren't you the person who said you had your car window smashed when you got into a disagreement?
It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a disagreement as I was parked in a legal space and someone broke my rear window without ever talking to me.  It’s possible they did get to talk to the police though as they seemed pretty interested.
That’s OK, a £50 deductible is a small price to pay to spend 20 years without having to worry about what hint some passive aggressive weenier is trying to telepath my way. 
I disagree with your advice by the way and would not go and have some snivelling conversation with any neighbor who hadn’t actually complained or ever even said anything to me.
If the neighbor is incapable of bringing the subject up on their own and can only communicate via door slamming, any attempt to have a normal conversation is unlikely to be productive.
I still believe it’s likely that it’s all an overactive imagination and the upstairs neighbor would just say “I’ve never heard you “


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Re: Nightmare neighbours
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2020, 09:12:08 PM »
Hi all,

Thanks so much for your advice a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d give a bit of an update.

We are still living in the flat, and got a large rug, but unfortunately we are still having problems with sound.. Not so much with the guy upstairs slamming doors, but other sound issues keeping us on edge.

It’s been really weird here, last night for example at about 2:00am there was a hammering sound, lasting about for 20mins! We had no clue who or why, but what are they doing at such a late time?!

We have decided we need to speak to the landlord about leaving. We keep a record of the sounds with details, but the question is what’s best way to start to discuss this with the landlord.. Our contract doesn’t have a break clause, so if we do want to leave early we are liable to pay “reasonable costs” to find a new tenant, and to cover the rent until the next tenant moves in (assuming they do).

Obviously, we don’t want to have to pay 3-4 months extra rent if we are not living here, nor can we afford to, but this has been such a huge problem for us both and it is having a detrimental affect on our health, so we don’t feel staying here until the tenancy ends officially is viable either.


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