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Upstairs neighbours installed Saniflo toilet above our living room

(68 Posts)
carrie105 Thu 03-Oct-13 10:39:05

Our upstairs neighbours wanted to build an ensuite bathroom to their master bedroom which is above our living room. We said we had no problem with that as you can't stop people doing these things, and we don't want to fall out with our neighbours as I am pregnant and they are childless in their early 40s and I am very aware our baby will be annoying them enough in the near future.

They actually completed the work while we were on an extended holiday (partially planned by us to co-inside with the time they were doing the work).

We have returned to them telling us that proper plumbing was too expensive and they have installed a Saniflo unit. Anyone with any experience with these will know what I mean when I say they sound like a helicopter taking off! We literally have to pause our TV now when they have done their business while the machine chops up whatever it is they have done, it makes our ceiling shake (and its very obvious to us what they have done by the kind of noise the machine makes), and its quite disgusting also to have the neighbours 'business' so in our faces when we are sat down for dinner.

Obviously its quite a big deal to ask them to remove it and I dont feel like I can. I just wish they would use their normal bathroom during evening hours so we can have some peace in our living room. Ive tried mentioning the 'vibrations' in a jokey way, but they just laugh it off. Is it weird for me to invite one of them down to see how much noise it makes in our living room?

Sorry for the rant.

WilsonFrickett Thu 03-Oct-13 10:41:23

Not at all weird.

I'd also be checking your planning regs.

If it is as bad as you say, you need to give them a chance to put things right (maybe more insulation in that room?). Ultimately you can complain to the council though I get you don't want to take that step just yet.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Oct-13 10:41:56

That sounds horrible. I would invite them down to have a listen if I were you.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Oct-13 10:42:19

YY to checking planning regs too-that can't be right.

BillyGoatintheBuff Thu 03-Oct-13 10:44:29

oh yes, get them to listen to it, spell it out for them that when they are taking a dump you have to pause the flipping tv. yuck!!

Tailtwister Thu 03-Oct-13 10:44:57

That sounds grim. I would invite them down to hear it and come to an agreement about when they use it. It's not as if they don't have another bathroom is it?

whatnameshallibetoday Thu 03-Oct-13 10:46:18

Id have to ask them to come and listen to - it will make it harder for you to move

ShakeRattleNRoll Thu 03-Oct-13 10:47:04

I just hope you get lucky on the lottery and that way you could afford to live somewhere without these problems.I feel for you I really do.I just hope you can't here the build up to the helicopter taking off ! shock

Hard luck all the best .Try and rise above it you don't want this floating about any longer than it has to

Sallyingforth Thu 03-Oct-13 10:47:05

Certainly get them to listen. Those things are very noisy and shouldn't be fitted in such a place. Quite apart from building regulations, are the flats leasehold? There will be specific rules in the lease.

ShakeRattleNRoll Thu 03-Oct-13 10:47:39


cazzmags Thu 03-Oct-13 10:48:49

Poor you! I may be well off the mark here but years ago I worked in admin for a local authority in planing and building control. At that time you needed building reg approval for a saniflo. Unless the rules have changed massively I don't think it likely a building inspector would have given permission for one above your living room. Speak to your local building inspector at the council they probably will have to remove it to comply with building regs. If they have installed without proper approval they'll have one hell of a job selling if they ever decide to move.

ShakeRattleNRoll Thu 03-Oct-13 10:48:51

Keep a diary like a poowatch thing .hth

oldgrandmama Thu 03-Oct-13 10:49:40

Oh gosh, poor you. I have a Sanflo lav, but on my ground floor and it does indeed make a heck of a rumbling noise when it 'digests' whatever is flushed. You would be quite justified to demonstrate to them how noisy it is for you and to ask them to use their other bathroom during the evening. And I would check out planning regs. too, and the lease of your flat.

Sparklingbrook Thu 03-Oct-13 10:50:50

Go and have a cup of tea at theirs. Ask to use their lav, flush a pack of wipes down while you are in there. hey presto! Broken Saniflo.

Weeantwee Thu 03-Oct-13 10:58:18

I feel your pain. We have one of these in our rented flat and it is sooo noisy. It doesn't just make a noise when the loo has been flushed either, It will randomly make sounds in the middle of the night and scare the life out of me! I don't know if it disturbs the neighbour downstairs, she's never complained to us. If I were you I would mention it to them and get them to hear it from your living room, then go from there. Not sure what the solution is though, sorry.

CailinDana Thu 03-Oct-13 11:01:04

I'm sure the regs around this are quite strict, check it out.

Viviennemary Thu 03-Oct-13 11:07:22

A bit of information here. Scroll down and there is something about insulation for noise. How cheeky of them that you should have to be putting up with this. I agree with asking them to listen to the noise. You shouldn't have to put up with this.

WetDog Thu 03-Oct-13 11:08:38

They have to have it checked for building regs by an inspector from the council.

Ask them if they've done this yet - they probably haven't. Then you'll have the opportunity to raise with them that the noise is unacceptable.

MammaTJ Thu 03-Oct-13 11:10:46

They are loud!! YANBU!!

IndridCold Thu 03-Oct-13 11:21:07

I assume that this is a flat, and you own it?

You should check the terms of the lease, I'm sure there would be something in there about causing disturbance to neighbours. In my flat, for example, you couldn't have I carpeted floors because it was too noisy.

quoteunquote Thu 03-Oct-13 11:21:50

What age building?

lease hold, free hold?


Where are the down pipes on the outside of the building?

what is the floor plan?

and yes invite them down to listen, it gives them a chance to rectify the situation.

Is there sound and fire insulation between the floor and ceiling?

sparechange Thu 03-Oct-13 11:22:52

YANBU and without wanting to scare you, when they go wrong, they go very wrong
I had one in my old house, and a visitor flushed a tampon down, which clogged the whole thing up and ended up with water gushing through the ceiling.
Might be worth voicing your concerns now, and making sure their insurance policy covers it failing due to someone 'misusing' the loo

carrie105 Thu 03-Oct-13 11:25:32

Thanks for the advice so far! I feel a lot better now I know everyone thinks IANBU! It's nice to get it off my chest and feel like Im not going mad..

My two concerns about moaning about it to them or contacting our freeholder are:

a) we complained to them after they installed a tumble dryer above our bedroom and started setting timers for it to run in the middle of the night.

I think they wanted to run it during a cheaper electric time and therefore moved it out of their kitchen which is closer to their bedroom (they have messed around with the layout of their flat, it is two flats in an old Edwardian building and when it was converted the rooms were stacked like for like, they have moved all their room's around, but this happened before we bought ours and we were not aware of this at purchase), and put it in their guest bedroom (odd), which is above our master bedroom.

When we (nicely) asked them not to run it in the night. We suffered weeks of stomping and banging on our ceiling and slamming of doors. I have to say though it is always her that does this, we never have any real problems with him. Now I'm pregnant I'm not sure I could take this kind of a temper tantrum again from her, Ill probably flip out and bang back, which I managed to avoid doing last time! The tumble dryer is still above our bedroom, but they have conceded and don't run it at night. However, it will put any likelihood of daytime naps with my new baby out the window.

b) I have been warned by people that if you go to the freeholder (or our council which is Wandsworth in London), about an issue with the neighbours you have to declare it when you come to sell. The flat is fine for first baby (noise problems aside), but we will have to move when we go for baby #2, and I dont really want to have anything that could jeopardize that. Although as cazzmags pointed out we may have a problem selling anyway if the neighbours ever decide to take a dump during viewings! :-/

pigglepaggle Thu 03-Oct-13 11:26:50

Our downstairs cloaks has a Saniflow toilet and it is noisy. It's actually built in the lounge extension with a door leading from the hall and I know what you mean about drowning out the TV.
We only use ours occasionally like I presume you would an en-suite. It's not the main bathroom.
You shouldn't have to put up with noise that is spoiling your family life. I'd ask them to come down and listen

hippermiddleton Thu 03-Oct-13 11:36:02

I would check the planning regs about saniflos because - really sorry to add to the gloom - as a previous poster has mentioned, when they go wrong, they go wrong. I know of at least two people who've had major Saniflo dramas involving collapsing ceilings, rivers of poo, etc, and I can't think that you'd be allowed to install one above someone else's sitting room for that very reason.

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