Acoustic Advice – noise nuisance between flats

We have recently been approached to advise on a long-running problem of noise nuisance between 2 flats in London.  The flats are within a period terraced property which was converted some decades ago and the flats were formed one above the other.  The upper flat installed timber floor coverings in recent years and since then the flat below has reported that footsteps, movement and general noise were audible from the flat above.

Noise complaints and problems between flats are common especially when buildings were constructed or converted before general building practices considered noise transfer in the construction.  In addition to sometimes poor acoustic attenuation between dwellings, the fashion for hard flooring in homes generally increases noise transfer and nuisance between flats creating neighbourly disputes.

We undertake instructions for owners and property managers on a number of residential mansion blocks, purpose build flats and properties converted into flats and are able with our acoustic partners to advise on acoustic issues and complaints in flats.  We are able to arrange appropriate testing of floors and walls as required to advise on the acoustic performance of floors and walls and provide advice in relation to compliance with building regulations and specific lease provisions as applicable.

Acoustic issues commonly arise when owners refurbish their flats.  We work with property managers and provide advice on Licences for Alterations for refurbishment works.  Within those licences, we ensure the works are planned and undertaken in accordance with the lease, building regulations and best practice requirements.  As part of this, we carefully consider acoustic issues to ensure the works do not create a future noise nuisance or potential dispute with neighbours.

We work with both landlords and tenants to ensure that any Licence for Alternations proposals is acceptable.  We also inspect refurbishment works whilst builders are on site to ensure the carefully considered and approved works are constructed correctly.  Poor installation and failure to construct details correctly can lead to a reduction of acoustic performance which could fail to achieve the required standard.

We have experience in working with Clients offering advice and technical support on acoustic issues in residential blocks and are able to ensure all parties are clear on the issues and how they can be resolved.