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Panicking that the flat we just bought might have really bad neighbours (noise). What can we do?

9 replies

IlanaK · 20/03/2010 20:45

We completed on our new flat on Friday and were round there all day with workmen and stuff. We haven't moved in yet. It is a ground floor conversion with only one flat above (old guy - not problems). It is semi-detached and there is just a lady next door on the connnected side (again no problems). On the detached side, it is very close to the house next door (which may be split into flats - not sure yet). There is just a very narrow path between the two of us. I had thought it was a family living there with young kids as there is a trampoline in the back garden and a swing set. We have been at the flat a few times for visits before we completed on it, including one day we were there for about an hour or more with workmen doing quotes and we did not hear anything problematic. But today, when we were there, they had the front bay windows open and were blasting out music really loudly. This went on for hours. I left at some point to come back home and my dh was still there into the evening and it was still going on. He had to go and knock on there door at one point to ask them about water supply so we know it is people living there and not workmen or anything.

So, here is my question: the last 6 years we have lived in flat in a large mansion block. If there were noise issues after 11pm in particular (as stated in the lease), we just called to the porters who sorted it out. In some cases, we called out Westminster noise patrol who were very good. What are my rights in my new situation? Who would I call if I needed to? Obviously, once we move in we will go and speak to them nicely first if they play the music so loudly, but if they do not respond well, then what?

OP posts:
IlanaK · 20/03/2010 21:17

No-one has noise issues and can help me?

OP posts:
LadyBiscuit · 20/03/2010 21:19

I think you live near me don't you (NW6)? There is a noise abatement officer/department at Camden council who I think come round - they gave me a leaflet about it once. I am fairly sure though that unless the noise is above a certain decibel, they don't do anything before 11pm.

LauraIngallsWilder · 20/03/2010 21:27

Hi Ilana, that isnt a great start after your happy delight at buying the property!

First thing to do is see how it is for a few days - is loud music etc a regular thing or just occasional? Check out what sort of people they are - how scary are they, are they likely to take a complaint nicely or get cross

Then have a word, nicely and hope for the best
If the noise continues regularly you need to phone the council noise people (they have a special name, cant remember it though)
They will send you a diary form to fill in - day by day you have to fill it out for a while before the council will do anything. Its a drag but that is the way things are done, I think!

If you think they are scarey and you might prefer to complaign anonomously phone the council straight away for the diary form, then when your neighbours get the letter from the council they hopefully wont know the complaint came from you

Hopefully todays music was a one off

BarryKent · 20/03/2010 21:27

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

IlanaK · 20/03/2010 21:34

Thanks everyone. We are not Camden- just over the border into Brent. I will check their website and see what their procedure is. I just spoke to my dh who is still at the flat and the noise is still going on. It started at about 2pm!!! We had a water engineer around earlier this evening from Thames Water and he said he works that area a lot and hasn't heard noise like that before. Hopefully it is a one off, but what kind of one off goes on for 8 hours?????

OP posts:
HerHonesty · 20/03/2010 21:35

firstly, omg, i cant believe you have finally moved, congrats.

wait a few days, and see if it is regular. and then if it is, just go round and ask nicely if they woulnt mind turning it down... i am sure it wont be a problem.

expatinscotland · 20/03/2010 22:08


Hope it stops.

electrofagz · 20/03/2010 22:22

It can actually be a chavvy, territorial way of asserting their 'authority' over you as neighbours - showing you what they are capable of if you were to 'put a foot out of line'. Or there could be a more innocent explanation - party, celebrating the first of the good weather, perhaps? If you just had noisy building work carried out, it may be their tit-for-tat way of responding to the noise. You never know what you are getting in London, do you?

dinkystinky · 20/03/2010 22:25

Get hold of your local councillor - Mary Arnold (google her - should give you an email address) - and she'll be able to advise you best on what to do next. Hopefully its just a one off and wont be an issue going forwards. And congrats on buying your property.

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