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Floorboards in rented flat

(16 Posts)
PuntCuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 17:33:18

We have a flat which we rent out because we are evil bastard capitalist landlords as we had to move elsewhere and it did not make sense to sell.

For background, current tenant has been there about 2.5 years. He is clean, tidy, looks after the place, rent on time etc. He has two kids (age and sex unknown) who stay sometimes, (access arrangements none of my business and irrelevant here). They got a bit excited the first weekend he was there and the man downstairs complained about the noise. We pointed out he was just moving in and some disturbance was inevitable but to let us know if it persisted. Have heard nothing since.

Anyway, the man downstairs is now complaining that my tenant is too noisy when he gets up in the morning and that it is making the floorboards creak so he can't sleep. He has claimed that it is at 3am 'most nights'. Tenant says he occasionally has to get up at 5.30am for work and is conscious of being in a flat so tries to be as quiet as possible. His work pattern has not changed so this has been for the whole 2.5 years. He has not noted any creaking boards.

If the carpets needed replacing or we were between tenants, it would be easier to resolve, but I am reluctant to start pulling up carpets etc, disturbing my tenant's peace, to hunt for a possible creaking floorboard in an older building on the whim of a grumpy bloke downstairs. Management company seem to think I am completely unreasonable here and should either spend vast amounts of money having floors relaid and carpets replaced or get a new and silent tenant hmm.

Am I really being unreasonable to not want to mess my tenant around? I feel my obligation is to him and his right to a quiet life, not the man downstairs (who used to hang out of his bedroom window wafting cigarette smoke up through mine when I lived there!)

PuntCuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 17:33:45

Oops that ended up quite long blush

IHeartDodo Wed 22-Mar-17 17:36:59

It might not be that much effort? Go round and look (walk all around and listen) for a loose floorboard, and if there are a couple, bang in some long nails to secure them, which should stop the squeaking.
If you're feeling spiteful, do it at an inconvenient time for the grumpy guy!

IHeartDodo Wed 22-Mar-17 17:37:53

Ah I just realised you have carpet... slightly worse, but you can just pull a bit up then tuck it back down onto the gripper rods afterwards.

harderandharder2breathe Wed 22-Mar-17 17:37:54

I don't think yabu, the tennant is as quiet as possible, grumpy man downstairs needs to understsnd that there will be some noise if he lives in a flat.

I live in a ground floor flat and here normal living noises from my neighbours. Granted not at 3am, but can't imagine a squeaky floorboard would actually wake most people up anyway!

ToastDemon Wed 22-Mar-17 17:43:30

Letting agency is working for you, bloody cheeky of them to prioritise the downstairs neighbour over you and a paying tenant!

LuxCoDespondent Wed 22-Mar-17 17:46:54

YABU I'm afraid, as the landlord your concern should be as much for the neighbours as for the tenant. The tenant is not doing anything wrong but if his "normal" - even when he is being ultra-quiet - disturbs the neighbour, then as the landlord you need to sort the problem out. It is not a problem with the tenant, it is not a problem with the neighbour - it is a problem with the flat itself.

Hellmouth Wed 22-Mar-17 17:49:11

I think you are lovely to prioritise your tenant

Everyone should expect some level of noise when you live in flats. Don't like it, live in a house or get ear plugs!

specialsubject Wed 22-Mar-17 18:12:37

Offer to meet with dippydrawers downstairs and ask the tenant to walk about upstairs. If real problem, fix. If , as more likely, it is normal noise in a flat tell m that if he wants silence from upstairs, he needs to move to a house.

PuntCuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 18:47:48

Toast it is the property management company, not the letting agent. The letting agent's view is that it is up to them to sort it out between them, which I agree with.

Lux seriously? If I was living there myself (which I did, with a young toddler), I would not feel any obligation to do major renovations if I was living ultra quietly and there was occasional sound transfer. It's a flat in an old converted building.

The grumpy bloke didn't even speak to the tenant, just went straight to the property manager, which is probably what has got my back up. My impression is that he doesn't like renters and thinks only owners should be allowed but i am probably projecting.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Wed 22-Mar-17 18:56:28

I think that is what you get in a downstairs flat unfortunately so he will have to put up with it- did he never say anything before when you lived there?
I would probably arrange to go round to the downstairs flat (with your agent if possible) and get your tenant to lie on the bed and get up and walk around and see how bad it is. If it is bad you may have to think about fixing floorboards or extra thick carpet underlay, but really apart from that there's not much more you can do, and the downstairs neighbour will unfortunately have to put up with it. You can't expect people to not live normally. (He could always pay for soundproofing his ceiling)

Coastalcommand Wed 22-Mar-17 19:01:44

Stupid question but is it actually your tenants walking around that's making noise? I am the ask because when our heating goes on it makes our floorboards creak. We thought it was dripping water for ages but when we investigated it was the sound of the floorboards expanding. If the tenant isn't up at that time surely it can't be him moving around?

PuntCuffin Wed 22-Mar-17 19:29:38

DH has just said that when he went to the last owner's meeting with the property managers, there was definitely an attitude about the flats with tenants and snobbery directed at them.

The reason I asked on here today was following an email chain with the letting agent about an unrelated maintenance issue. DH is going over there later so is going to have a walk round and chat with the tenant about it to see if there is a real problem or whether the grumpy man is just a twat.

ratspeaker Wed 22-Mar-17 19:41:30

We had some squeaky floorboards, we could tell if the cat was walking through the hall!
We pulled back the carpets and added more screws through boards to the joists. Talc between some others helped them

DontKnowForTheBest Wed 22-Mar-17 20:05:29

In my old house when it warmed up and cooled down, the floorboards would shift and it sounded like someone walking in the upstairs bedrooms - if he's hearing it at 3am, it could be the floors constricting.

MrsCrabbyTree Thu 23-Mar-17 01:10:30

Two thoughts. Firstly noises at night sound worse as everything is quiet and secondly the downstairs neighbour maybe a light sleeper.
If your tenant is not up and about when the complained of noises are heard, it isn't something for you to fix.

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