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Living with Noise - Carers UK Forum

Living with Noise

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Hello Everyone!
I am 62 years old and have been caring for my husband for over 10 years now since he had a massive stroke. Last year a ruptured aneurysm, this heart diagnosed with heart problems. Life has been tough and worrying to the core but.....we are happy and I am so grateful I still have him.....but the noise overhead is driving us mad. The neighbours have installed wooden flooring (with the correct insulation I'm told) but to us it is a nightmare, impact noise is dreadful. No matter what I do we cannot get any help, at the moment we are practically living in the bedroom when it's quiet or the garden when our neighbours are in. Only deliberate noise is an issue apparently the council say they only have to offer adapted homes and noise isn't something they have to concern themselves with.

Human rights say we should be able to enjoy our home. I am ranting because I am exhausted through noise, has anyone had similiar experience or resolved the problem. Our ceilings have been insulated but they are not up to wooden flooring.

Anyway I'm not always this moany, sorry!
Hi Teresa ... an unusual one but most relevant if one resides in a high density area with residents virtually living on top of each other.

Said problem will not have been experienced by many readers not having been born and breed in such areas.

Traffic noise levels / aircraft / children playing in the street / passing football fans / pubs turning out at night ... all part and parcel of " City " life ... noisy neighbours are a different category and can be anywhere.

Best I can offer is the guidance provided by the Government itself :

https://www.gov.uk/how-to-resolve-neigh ... he-council
Resolving neighbour disputes

Contents :

Talk to your neighbour
Contact your neighbour's landlord
Use a mediation service
Complain about noise to the council
High hedges, trees and boundaries
Call the police
Take action through the courts

Not a " Dispute " yet but ... it will not be going away sometime soon.

Any action you could take to cut the noise level ?

Why should you , the nuisance was NOT of your making !

Yell if you need any further information.
Hello Teresa

Do you rent or own your flat ? I ask because I have a leasehold flat and my lease states (categorically) that the flats above ground level must have carpeted floors - no wood or laminate flooring. Perhaps there is a similar clause in your lease ?

In the past I did live in a ground floor flat where the neighbour above me had laminate flooring and the noise level was unacceptable - I was able to have an amicable chat with my neighbour and, as a compromise, it was agreed that they would only wear soft slippers or go barefoot whilst indoors to minimise the noise - wasn't a perfect solution but was 100% better than before !
Good point Susie.

Turn the clock back a few decades ... ghetto blasters.

Even better ... the private radio stations operating from tower blocks ... trying to out do one another despite being a quarter of a mile apart !

One case of a resident complaining to his neighbour in the flat above only to be told that it wasn't him , it was his neighbour above him !
This isn't one I can post a rational answer to. I'd get a machine gun and slaughter the lot of them.

I am PHOBIC about other people's noise........

Have you tried talking to them, or are they exactly the kind of neighbours who will do what they want, and to hell with everyone else?

Can you move? (If you own the flat, would anyone buy it with that noise level?)

That said, (and bearing in mind my machine gun solution above!), we aren't all as sensitive to noise anyway - ie, so a new owner/tenant might not care - and to particular types of noise. I could probably tolerate footsteps better than I could a thumping bass, which definitely calls fort the machine gun option (at least to be used on the speakers, anyway!)
Having suffered a neighbour's kitchen extraction fan that plumed very strong cooking smells into our small courtyard garden and necessitated we had to keep all windows shut in summer from 6pm till 10.30pm (as she often cooked later) I can quite categorically tell you, that there is such a thing as statutory nuisance.

If your neighbour's noise is affecting you to the extent that you can't use certain rooms (like we coudnt) you can apply to a court to have the nuisance abated. I sent a polite letter to my neighbours explaining how their smells were impacting our lives. First time around I got ignored. But as they are a young couple and she is very 'upwardly mobile' once I had explained my legal rights and that it would have to be stated that there was a possible legal problem with the fan if their house went on the market - we very rarely have the problem - and when we do, its at a more 'normal' mealtime and the fan is on low.

I hope this all helps. More info here: http://www.richardbuxton.co.uk/the-law/nuisance
Diane - I think the issue of making a house 'less saleable' as now owners have to declare any conflicts with neighbours is a REAL weapon in our hands finally! Well done for applying it.

I wonder whether the kitchen fan could have had some kind of 'cowling' placed over it to force her kitchen fumes upwards rather than across your garden? Smelling other people's meals when you don't want to is horrible!

(I raged at the Daily Telegraph this Saturday - it recommended rigging up an 'outdoor cinema' in your garden to enjoy the hot weather...yeah, right, GREAT for the wretched neighbours! NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) (Even just having the telly on with the living room windows open can create a noise nuisance - I'm really conscious of it myself re my own neighbours, and keep nipping into my garden to check they can't hear anything from my set)
My immediate reaction too was to ask what the lease says: many will indeed require upstairs flats to have carpets fitted. And I understand that the lease conditions still apply even if you buy out the freehold. Unfortunately, in this day and age hard floors are all the rage, and people who've never had to live under them have no idea of the problems they can cause. (My former downstairs neighbours ripped all their carpets out, and suddenly the noise levels increased to the extent that we could hear their conversations. And I mean actually hear what they were saying, not just hear them talking!)

If you're renting, obviously you need to speak to the landlord/council/housing association etc. I believe there is the concept that any tenant is entitled to "quiet enjoyment" of their residence, but am not sure whether that would actually apply here.

My heart goes out to you, so I hope you can find some way of getting this sorted - preferably amicably.
The "quiet environment" is roughly the Human Rights Act, the enjoyment of your own property. However, there is a glimmer of hope, perhaps. People who are disabled have extra rights. Whereas other people have to go through the council's Environmental Health Department, where someone disabled is concerned, you can go straight to the Police. My son with LD had the upstairs neighbour from hell for a few months, until he was evicted. The Police helped him sort it all out. I think the reasoning behind their involvement may be that it's potentially classed as a Hate Crime?
I have very sensitive hearing, carpets everywhere apart from the kitchen, and curtains with thermal blackout lining. These certainly help deaden the noise, I didn't realise quite how much until I took my front curtains down facing a busy road! The difference was significant. I think it's because sound bounces off hard surfaces, doesn't bounce off soft furnishings, carpets, curtains, cushions etc.
"Quiet enjoyment" doesn't refer to noise - it means being able to live in your property without other people coming in.There can very occasionally be a claim relating to noise, but that is not the basic meaning - see here:


I'm not saying you haven't got a claim under nuisance though.