Landlord myself badly bothered by noisy tenant and desperately need help!

by Readers Question

11:40 AM, 8th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Landlord myself badly bothered by noisy tenant and desperately need help!

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Landlord myself badly bothered by noisy tenant and desperately need help!

I’m a landlord myself, but this is a situation with my own home in Newham in London desperately needed someone’s help. The next door neighbour flat renovated after a floor I reported, and put in new hardwood type of floorings. noisy

In Feb, the flat was let out to a family with a kid and I had been having terrible and continuous noises from their bare foot heavy walking, dropping heavy items to floor and the worst of them all, the child’s jumping, running and screaming ever since.

I wrote to the tenants, management company and the flat owner, the tenants lied initially about their making noise to the management company and then the management company said they didn’t want to get involved because it’s a neighbour dispute. They then said they didn’t want to take action, because the tenants said they would move out at July. July came and went, the tenants lied about moving out by July and kept staying.

I contacted Newham council in London many times by email and phone calls, they sent out their standard letters to the tenants twice, then nothing else happened. I called the flat owner last Friday, he was full of abusive words and said he had asked the tenants to stay as long as possible to keep making noise!

The tenants themselves didn’t have the tiniest amount of consideration even by wearing slippers or having a rug to reduce the noises for four months I had been complaining, and the impact on my and my family’s daily living and sleep were terribly bad.

I went through the lease of the flats and the next door flat owner’s breaches of lease are clear as below and the flat owner doesn’t even have Freeholder’s permit to sublet nor Newham council’s landlord license to legally let out the flat:

Forth Schedule
8(a) not to assign or transfer the whole of the Demised Premises without the prior written consent of the Landlord which shall not be unreasonable withheld.

The Fifth Schedule
1(a) Not to do or permit or suffer to be done in the Apartment and/or in the Building anything which may cause damage or inconvenience or be or become a nuisance or annoyance to the Landlord or to the lessee or occupier of any other flat or part of the Building or to any person lawfully in the Building or in the neighbourhood generally (and the generality of this paragraph shall not be restricted by the remaining paragraphs of this Schedule)
8(a) To ensure that all guests and other invitees or licensees of the Tenant while in the Building confirm to the stipulations and regulations contained or referred to in this Schedule
11. To keep the floors of the Apartment (apart from the kitchen floor and (if applicable) any balcony floor) covered with carpet or some other suitable sound deadening material or utilising some suitable sound deadening mechanism

I felt I almost ran out of places for help, neither management company or council would step in. Is there anything effective that I can do other than hiring a solicitor for legal action against the next door flat owner?

If so, can someone help further on the legal action please?

Many thanks

Mike



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:49 AM, 8th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Mike,

You answered what would have been my first question in that the lease often states there cannot be a hard wood flooring.

I believe It is the Management Company or Freeholders responsibility to ensure there is not a breach in the lease and that you are entitled to quiet enjoyment. I would try tacking them again and if you get nowhere you may need a strongly worded legal letter.

Short of any better ideas from others and you feel the need for legal assistance you can contact our partner team at Cotswold Barristers from the members profile of Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) >> https://www.property118.com/member/?id=1945

Wyn Burgess

9:27 AM, 13th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Agreed, it is the freeholder who has to threaten forfeiture of the lease due to the lease terms not been met. Once the lenders are aware the lessee above will be forced to act because they will not want to loose the flat.

Kate Mellor

10:15 AM, 15th August 2016
About 2 years ago

Hi Mike,

The terms of your lease will normally stipulate the remedies available for breach of covenant (as in whether you as leaseholder have a right of redress or whether the freeholder has to tackle it.)

This link discusses this type of issue: http://www.lease-advice.org/faq/if-a-lease-stipulates-that-floors-should-be-carpeted-can-a-new-owner-of-the-flat-disregard-this-provision-if-the-floor-was-not-carpeted-at-the-time-of-purchase/

As a matter of interest is the management company a member of a redress scheme?

You could look into forms of arbitration which may be available to you.

The Leasehold Advisory Service will be a useful source of advice and information. Here is a link regarding non-binding mediation, although your situation seems to have gone beyond this point as you state the other leaseholder has been abusive to you.

http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/using-lease-mediation-to-resolve-your-dispute-non-nlg-members/

As a final stage your freeholder would need to take the leaseholder who is in breach of covenant to a First Tier Tribunal to instigate a claim for Forfeiture of their Lease for Breach of Covenant. This application for this purpose is free, however their is a charge of £190 for the Hearing Fee. This is the link to the information guide regarding First Tier Tribunals on the Leasehold Advisory Service website (the relevant section will be 6. Fortierture; 6.1 Breach of Covenant):-

http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/application-to-the-first-tier-tribunal-property-chamber-2/

You can also read the FAQs on the site for more information on this topic. It will be your Freeholder who will need to instigate this procedure though, so it may be that you need to provide this information to them in writing, or use a solicitor to write to the freeholder to advise them of their obligations. The Leasehold Advisory Service provides a directory of leasehold practitioners http://directory.lease-advice.org/ who can help you with this.

It doesn't seem too much to ask your neighbours to use slippers and put down some rugs, it's a shame when it has to come to this point.


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