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Would this put you off? Potential noise nuisance

(49 Posts)
stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 04:23:47

Hi, I went to see a flat yesterday, which is all I can afford in London.

It was a second-floor flat in the middle of a mansion-style block, and so sandwiched between the ground floor and top floor flats.

The minute I walked through the door I loved it - the flat was gorgeous and the communal areas of the building were clean and well maintained. The wider area, ie. Woodford, East London is okay, but the immediate locality was "poorer", ie. a few ex-local authority blocks nearby. (Not that this should make any difference.)

However, there was loud music booming out from the flat upstairs and it could clearly be heard as we stood in the living room, so much so that it was hard to concentrate on what the estate agent was saying to me.

I asked him if the occupant upstairs did this regularly. The EA said he had been to the property about 7 times and had never heard it before. He said that the vendor was "pretty straightforward" and would tell him "if it was a problem".

But then he would say that, wouldn't he? Wink:

Is a vendor going to admit to having a noisy, inconsiderate neighbour?

This was 3.45pm on a Saturday afternoon and my first viewing of the property. What are the chances that the occupant in the flat above is normally a considerate person and that this was a rare occasion?

The EA suggested that I come back at the same time next week for a second viewing, to see if the same thing happens again, but I am suspicious! Perhaps the vendor will just ask the noisy occupants to be quiet for the 20 mins or so that I am there?

Avoiding all noise in London is difficult - for example, traffic noise I can tolerate - but having to put up with loud music on a regular basis is not what I want.

Does anyone have any advice for me please? I will be putting most of my capital into whichever property I purchase (a big deal for me as I am a first-time buyer and have been saving for years) and I don't want to make the wrong choice. This flat was really lovely, so it's hard for me to write it off so readily.

All advice - however harsh (or not!) - gratefully received. Thanks for reading.

Roshbegosh Sun 05-May-13 04:34:32

It would worry me and I would not be convinced by a quiet visit next week. As its not a GF flat you can't just walk by at another time of day and listen. Loud music now and again is tolerable I suppose but noisy neighbours can make life utter hell IME and you end up extra sensitive to noise afterwards. You could just go to the flat above and knock on some pretext and look them over, maybe that sounds weird, yup that's me.

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 05-May-13 05:02:16

I think if you live in a flat in London you need to expect some noise. My main concern would be whether it goes on into the night when trying to sleep. I lived in Holloway for many years in a flat that sounds similar to the one you looked at. I often heard the people upstairs having sex and the people downstairs playing music. That's the way it goes in flats.

I wouldn't go back at the same time next week if I were you. Get an after work on Friday slot and hang around into the evening to see what the area is like then. It's important that you'll feel safe walking from the tube home at night for example, and if the upstairs neighbour is playing music late in the evening then this will be more of an issue.

Roshbegosh Sun 05-May-13 05:04:47

That's good advice AKiss

Meringue33 Sun 05-May-13 05:33:25

Don't do it. People who like loud music in the afternoon tend to also like loud music at night. Been there, have the emotional scars to prove it! Can also trap you so you can't sell on, as you need to disclose any problems with neighbours.

Longdistance Sun 05-May-13 06:10:02

Go for a second viewing.
It could have been that the neighbour was home, and having a small party.

stargirl04 Sun 05-May-13 06:15:42

Thanks for the advice everyone. AKissIsNotaContract - I live in Holloway now, coincidentally.

Our current next door neighbours are quite rowdy and drunken and often have screaming matches in the street, but it doesn't bother me that much as it doesn't happen often and the disturbance doesn't last long.

On the other hand, I used to live in a high-rise, new-build, yuppie-style block where the occupants below had noisy parties seemingly every weekend, which drove me mad. I was relieved to leave that place.

Meringue, I know people are supposed to disclose problems with neighbours, but how would this be enforced? Surely people bend this rule all the time?

Would you be willing to share a bit more about your experience?

Roshbegosh, I don't think I'd have the nerve to knock on their door (wuss that I am)!

lostinindia Sun 05-May-13 06:32:49

i would go see the people in the flat above and ask for an honest answer. Also speak to people in gf flat and those either side to see if they've experienced a prob. Its too much of a gamble not to.

MummaBubba123 Sun 05-May-13 06:49:13

It's a 'no' from me. If you're in love with the flat though, you could knock onto the noisy neighbour as well as whoever is either side and above him/ her.

AliceWChild Sun 05-May-13 06:53:17

It would totally put me off. But then I would never live in a flat in London as the whole thing would be too noisy and chaotic for me. When I had inconsiderate noisy neighbours I found it stressful even if they weren't being noisy as I'd wonder what was about to happen so it would affect my sleep, for example, regardless. However my current neighbour can be a bit noisy but is considerate with it so I find that less of a problem. If I had to guess who the considerate and inconsiderate ones were though, I would absolutely have got it wrong.

There's no way of knowing the extent of the problem, so it would rule it out for me. But then I imagine you'd die of boredom where I'd choose to live. Noise is all part of London, isn't it? And all flats will have this problem potentially.

DoodleAlley Sun 05-May-13 07:25:16

I've seen friends struggle with noise nuisance.
Yes it is part of living in a city but I'd avoid a known issue like this.

dimsum123 Sun 05-May-13 07:36:04

I would knock on the neighbour's door and try and suss him/her out.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 05-May-13 07:43:01

don't buy it
or at the very least, ask the other neighbours in the block
we rented a lovely flat where everything was great for a year. then we got a new upstairs neighbour....

when we handed in our notice, the landlord decided to sell. we tried very hard to tip off all the potential buyers about the neighbour problem before we left.

we always lived in flats in London, so were used to a bit of give and take over neighbour noise, but constant nuisance noise is very different.

flow4 Sun 05-May-13 07:46:29

I spent my childhood aged 9-18 in a London flat like this, and it made me really miserable very often. I actually think the stress of being disturbed by music, or worrying that I would be, stays with me even 30 years on - I grind my teeth in my sleep and am very sensitive to night-time noise.
The music is probably audible outside the flat. As well as booking another viewing, at a different time of day/week, I'd drive round a couple of random times.

Delayingtactic Sun 05-May-13 07:56:33

If knock on the neighbours doors, they are more likely to be honest with you. It might just be a random one off - I wouldn't dream of playing loud music past 6pm but might turn the stereo up during the day if a really good song came on blush. What song was playing?

Naebother Sun 05-May-13 07:59:56

This would put me off. Having had to deal with complete arsehole neighbours in the past.

Keep looking.

deepfriedsage Sun 05-May-13 08:03:51

It would put me off, I lived next to a family who as soon as the parents were out, the teenaga Son who would play on repeat very loud that lonely song, over and over, it burnt on my brain "lonely, I am so lonely, I need somebody..." Arghh.

Dolallytats Sun 05-May-13 08:05:34

I wouldn't do it. I live on the first floor of a flat in London (not too far from Woodford) and have had noisy neighbours who loved to play loud music at any time of day/night for hours on end. It is Hell.

Unfortunately, if you live in the middle, you get the noise from upstairs and down. If I ever want to just sit and relax, it's near on impossible. I have Gob-on-a-Stick downstairs, who thinks everyone needs to be shouted at (including having regular rows at 5.45am) and her poor children get the brunt of her screeching. Upstairs is not as bad, but the little girl who lives there sounds like a baby elephant when she regularly plays with a skipping rope. I swear she is going to come through the ceiling one day!!

If I had the money to choose (I am HA, so not my choice), it would either be a ground or top floor flat so I only got one persons noise, or a smaller house.

purplewithred Sun 05-May-13 08:08:42

absolute nono for me.

VinegarDrinker Sun 05-May-13 08:13:21

Yesterday afternoon was really warm here, our normally quiet road was full of noise - every man and his dog seemed to be having friends round, including our lovely downstairs neighbours who had a BBQ til 2am... Warm weather makes Londoners a bit bonkers IME.

domesticslattern Sun 05-May-13 08:15:09

I live in a London flat with neighbours above so don't expect sepulchral silence but peoplewho play music so loud you can't cconcentrate on what someone is saying to you- run run run for the hills! The state agent and vendor will lie to you- why would they tell the truth? Remember sometimes people sell and move just to get away from neighbour noise. I cannot say enough how much bad neighbours can ruin your life. Please fgs do not take the risk.

Jan49 Sun 05-May-13 10:35:18

I would give up on this flat. Loud noise can make your life a misery. sad

Jan49 Sun 05-May-13 10:39:36

Just a thought, you could ask the local council if they have had any complaints registered about noise at this block of flats. I'm not sure if they can tell you or not but if they do, it might make it clear that this is why the owner is selling! Then you'll know you are doing the right thing. But I would give up on it anyway.

fussychica Sun 05-May-13 14:39:44

A big NO from me - been there - moved as soon as we could.

Aethelfleda Sun 05-May-13 15:33:04

Vendors lie about neighbour issues all the time. Estate agents will say anything to flog a house as they have many disclaimers and they specifically avoid asking vendors about neighbours too much as then they don't know anything they might have to disclose.

Run like the wind my dear. There will be many other flats and you don't want to get trapped in an unsellable noisy one.

(When we went on the market, one couple loved the house but were put off by a group of random yoofs who walked past swearing loudly as they came out. We had no issues at all in the area but could see how they were worried as they had no way to tell if that was usual). .

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