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to speak to my upstairs neighbour about noise (or get the freeholder involved)

(12 Posts)
dancingwithmyselfandthecat Tue 07-May-13 18:55:31

I live in a downstairs flat, with one flat above me. The owners have two young children (a 3/4 yo and 2yo). I absolutely get that if you live in a downstairs flat you get noise and within reason I will tolerate it (and moving out is not an option that's going to be available for some time). I also get that young children make noise, so within reason I'm willing to be even more forgiving than I would otherwise be.

The issue seems to be (I don't know because I've never gone inside) that they've either removed their carpet, or replaced it with something more flimsy. And they, and their kids really do like to dash about - from the sounds I hear, I think that one of the kids likes running, in circles, in the sitting room, (which is directly above ours) and in the kids bedroom (which is also directly above ours). They also do something which sounds like jumping from their staircase onto the floor below. My ceiling rattles with this.

If it were for a short period or a few times a day I could cope, but it is starts about six in the morning and will continue for between 10 minutes to half an hour every hour or so. When it was getting dark earlier I think the kids went to bed earlier because it stopped around 630 but at the moment its going onto around 830.

I can hear it over music and over the television. It is a really wearying and grating sound - nothing like regular footprints (which I also hear and can put up with more easily) because its got an urgency and a repitition to it. On days when I have to work from home (no choice sadly, and because of company equipment no I can't leave the house to do it either) my neves are absolutely shot by six or seven.

So would I be unreasonable if I politely approached the parents and asked them if they would take some steps to modify the noise - preferably carpeting or putting a big rug with something under it down in the two rooms affected or by trying to get their kids to play in some other way, at least some of the time (they have a garden and there is a park opposite us, BTW). I would happily contribute towards the cost of carpeting.

I could, technically, speak to the freeholder about this, but I'm reluctant to do that because a) I'm worried that it will blow it up out of proportion and b) they might respond that we don't have carpet in one room (our sitting room) - which is true, but not strictly required by the lease and as we are the downstairs flat the noise reverberation is less of an issue.

CreatureRetorts Tue 07-May-13 18:59:23


I have two small dc and live in an upstairs flat. However downstairs also have two dc.

I'm very wary about mine making noise - they're not allowed to jump around off furniture and I try and keep noises in any hard floored rooms to a minimum!

CreatureRetorts Tue 07-May-13 19:00:47

Actually just tell them it's too noisy and ask them to rectify. Let them decide how.

CreatureRetorts Tue 07-May-13 19:01:22

Actually just tell them it's too noisy and ask them to rectify. Let them decide how.

TheCraicDealer Tue 07-May-13 19:06:53

We live in a semi, the couple next door have a little boy who is severely autistic. He spends a lot of time running on hard floors (they have laminate even in the bedrooms), jumping, shouting and bouncing on beds. It's wearing, but they've got enough on their plates without us weighing in complaining about something they don't have any control over.

Anyway, your situation seems different. Ok, kids'll be kids, but they could put some mats down to try and reduce the noise a bit, even if it's just in the bedroom. I'd have a "friendly" word, maybe have one of them down in your flat to hear how much you can make out when their DC's are messing about.

getmeoutofthismadhouse Tue 07-May-13 19:17:36

Are you my DM? she had the same problem for years and it got to the stage where my parents hated being at home because they couldn't watch tv or enjoy living in their own house. The children upstairs were left to run riot, quite literally. They too had laminate flooring down. Eventually they sold the property and my parents spoke to the landlord who bought it and he took steps to rectify the issue before putting in tenants. Know the noise from above is bearable. Definitely ask the neighbour, perhaps they don't realise you can hear so much. If then afterwards they refuse maybe look into taking further steps.

marjproops Tue 07-May-13 19:29:58

Thecraic. i get this the other way round. DC is severely autistic and i have to try to keep her quiet. ATM there is building work next door (were in a semi) and i habve to take her out during the day (shes homeschooled). i get they want to diy, theyve just bought the house, but i wish landlords -going back to the OP- would soundproof before letting. in OPS case the ladlord could lower the ceiling and soundproof it, and if the upstairs people are tenants, then if a friendly word doesnt work (as is often the case) then their landlord should carpet or something.

mine are driving me and dc mad atm as they like to bang doors and it sounds like a 21 gun salute which makes us jump out of our skins, setting DC off and then THEY complain about HER noise. cant win either way.

i feel for you OP.

TheCraicDealer Tue 07-May-13 20:08:52

That's precisely why we'd never say anything marj. Parents of children with autism have a tough enough time as it is, never mind tiptoeing around their own home trying not to offend the neighbours. They're good people, we wouldn't want to upset them over a bit of stomping.

LittleMissLucy Tue 07-May-13 20:11:08

I agree with Creature

marjproops Tue 07-May-13 20:37:04

thecraic i do feel for you, and its great you're so understanding. (wish you were MY neighbour).thanks

but at least, (i have laminate too as were both asthmatic) i put rugs down and try to put as much furtinture (especially wardrobes and tall bookcases)against party walls, with heavy rugs pinned up behind them to try and muffle sound a bit. and have put Dc in bedroom not against party wall.

your neighbours could do the same.

Maxium12 Tue 07-May-13 21:35:12

OP, it was quite a few years ago now but I lived a first floor maisonette and it stated in my lease that I was not allowed to to remove the carpet and have bare boards/other floor covering due to the effect of the noise on the flat below.

Worth checking with the freeholder if you can contact them.

Notcontent Tue 07-May-13 21:48:21

Can I just give another perspective?
I used to live in a flat with my dd. I had carpets, etc. No noisy toys, no jumping allowed, no shoes in the house. No friends over, no parties. Yet my downstairs neighbour still complained constantly about the noise caused by us just walking around and my daughter toddling around, as children do. The fault, of course, was poor insulation in an old building. There was absolutely nothing I could do. After a few years of horrible stress I was able to move out. Living in a tiny terrace is bliss as I don't have to worry every time I take a step in my own house. UK housing stock is really shit.

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