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Noisy neighbours have cost me a tenant – how should I handle this.?

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Noisy neighbours have cost me a tenant

Noisy neighbours have cost Graeme a tenant and he’s looking for advice from other landlords who have had a similar problem. Graeme wrote.  

“I have a terraced house in the Manchester area and have had an excellent tenant for the last year. Three weeks ago new neighbours moved in next door. Apparently they are constantly arguing and blasting loud music late into the night keeping my tenant awake.

She has now handed her notice in because she can’t stand it any longer.

I think the new neighbours are tenants, not owners, so I can try to find out who the owners and/or letting agents are and formalise a complaint – perhaps their tenancy can be terminated.

I could of course report it to Environmental Health.  But equally, I don’t want to antagonise these people so that the problem is even worse.  

I am a bit concerned that my property could become unlettable. I don’t live in the area, so at present haven’t been able to speak to any of the other neighbours yet to establish really how bad it is.

However, I would be pleased to hear from any other landlords as to how they resolved this sort of issue.

Many thanks,

Graeme Wallis”

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Comments

  • Juicy Property says:

    First thing has to be to keep it simple, and for the tenant and/or landlord to knock on the door and have a friendly chat. If that doesn’t work, have a slightly more formal conversation and be a bit more direct, but very polite, about what the issue is, and the impact of it. If that fails, I’d drop the rent significantly and ask the tenant to stay for six months and work with them to solve the problem together (great landlord brownie points if it works out well). Provide her with equipment to record the noise, and a diary to note noises & dates & times, with the aim of building a very strong case to take to the council’s environmental health team. I’d also find the agent & landlord and contact both, professionally, but regularly and repeatedly, to make it as much of a problem for them as it is for the tenant. If it got really bad, I’d consider threatening to sue the landlord for loss of rent to encourage him to act. If the area is rough and it seems things may escalate, try re-tenanting on a lower rent to someone who doesn’t mind the noise, and if that fails, sell it. No-one wants to sell in this situation, but if it’s likely to go on for years, life’s too short, get out. This type of issue is a landlord’s nightmare as there are very real limits to what can be done, but my advice would be to take the shotgun approach (not literally!) and try everything.


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  • BristolwideProperty says:

    Environmental Health is the way to go, I think. They will measure the noise levels, particularly at night, and the people causing the noise need never know unless or until the noise levels are deemed to be too high. If they are, Env Health can serve a notice on them. The people causing the nuisance will not know who made the complaint, although, of course, they may draw their own conclusions. They can be fined if they don’t comply with the notice.

    Now, I always think its much better if tenants try to strike up a relationship with neighbours (nuisance or otherwise) so they can manage any problems by simply talking, you know, like normal people do. However, I do accept that some will never do this, and some neighbours are too anti-social or intimidating to allow reasonable relationships. That being the case, Environmental Heath is the best course of action.

    You could try to trace the owner/managing agent but, in my experience, the response from them depends on whether their tenant is paying rent, whether they believe you, whether they can be bothered etc. If you have an official measure of the noise levels from environmental health, you could still then approach the owner/agent and they will be much more likely to listen when you have an objective measure of the problem.


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  • Jo Chapman says:

    I have a very similar problem to you and have lost 2 tenants in 2 years due to the noisy neighbour, the third tenant has only been resident for 6 weeks and has already contacted me regarding the noise from next door. Our council has an anti social behaviour team who deal with problems like this, the first thing they ask is for the tenant to keep a detailed diary of the noise, type of noise ie shouting, loud music etc and length of the disturbance. They will then write to the neighbours to inform them a complaint has been made, this is where my previous tenants both said they did not want any action taking for fear of being identified as having made the complaint. I have told my new tenant to start keeping a diary of disturbances. I have also obtained the house owners address via the land registry and intend to write to him outlining the problems. I will keep this letter as cordial as possible and ask that he speak with the tenant regarding her behaviour. I can’t think of anything else I can do, I was considering selling the house but would have to disclose the problems with the neighbour so that was a non starter. Contact your council and see what help they can offer you and go from there. Good luck!


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  • Ian Ringrose says:

    Two thoughts,

    “Rent to buy” and can you make anoffer to buy the next door house, so you can use a S21 to sort out the problem?


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  • BARD says:

    I had a similar problem but from the other side of the fence. It was my tenant who was the anti-social neighbour.

    I had the ASBO team from the council on to me threatening all sorts but when I said it might be best if they followed through with their threats they back-tracked and said it was very difficult to actually get anything done about nuisance neighbours unless it was a drug factory. In the end I had to get them out using a section 21 notice via the courts.

    This was also in Manchester so if you can’t get anywhere by consent be prepared for a long struggle. 9 months in my case.


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  • Ray Doyle says:

    High, I had the same problem with upstairs flat that is let to youngsters, I contacted the owners having found them on land registry only to find out it was being managed by a local agent and the owners were not happy.
    The agents then turned up and although I do still get odd problems they now know that there Tenancy will be terminated if I complain again.

    My advice first contact the owner as loud music etc usually means tenants who are not looking after the property and no landlord wants this. All tensncy agreements have a right for neighbours to enjoy there properties that can be enforced.
    Hope this helps
    Ray


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  • Thank you all for your comments! Much appreciated. My tenant moves out at the end of the month and I will be going to the property to inspect etc. and will probably sleep over in it a couple of nights myself. I will let you know what happens and the outcome in due course!!


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