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  • NFH now accusing US!

    Hi Everybody,

    Thank goodness we have found this site, just reading your posts has been a help already. However, I really need advice and your experience on what to do next with our NFH noise issues, as last night we received a letter from them accusing us of disturbing them deliberately and not behaving in a civil manner - after 4 months of constant disturbance from them!

    We are a couple who live in a purpose built one bedroom ground floor flat, there are 4 together, they look like 2 houses from the outside, 1930's. We have lived here for 19 months, 12 of which were happy - until upstairs neighbours moved and sold to a landlord.

    We have had tenants upstairs for 4 months, a couple with 2 young children, under 4. The flat upstairs flat is exactly the same layout as ours although they have made it a 2 bedroom (2nd bedroom tiny), quite small for a family of 4.

    Since they have moved in, we have not had one day where we do not have loud bangs on our ceiling, the children running, thuds over our heads continuously, backwards and forwards from the kitchen through the lounge (the kitchen leads open plan off from the lounge towards the back of the house). Sounds like a ball being bounced over our head. The children screaming and crying for hours. The child being put into the bedroom, the door being slammed shut then the child screaming let me out and banging the door to and fro trying to get out while we are in bed trying to relax. The chldren go to bed later than we do, even on week nights. We have constant banging all day every day over our heads.

    We have politely spoken with the tenants 3 times, the first time shortly after they moved in, I introduced myself and welcomed them (!) and offered advice on local shops etc and mentioned they may not realise that we can hear them banging on our ceiling and when they slam doors, and if we are disturbing them please let us know. We have tried twice since then, immediately after we have thought our ceiling was about to cave in, politely speaking to the lady, all the lady says (the man will not come to the door) is what can I do? I have got 2 small children, it's the baby crawling. (This must be a big baby to make the amount of noise they are making?) They do not think the problem is theirs? Nothing changes or improves.

    They stay in the flat all day everyday, they do not appear to work. I can understand the children becoming frustrated (if it is them causing the banging, we cannot imagine what they are doing to make the level of noise coming through the flat). They have a 90ft private garden though that they only go in when it is 30c, for half an hour. There is a nice park over the road with a children's play area, we have a nature walk by the river within walking distance. There are things for them to do to let off steam.

    While typing out the letter and diary entries (we have kept a record of the times dates and noise (hard, how do you describe a bang?), to the Landlord, we received a letter through our door last night from the Tenant, saying they believe WE are now making noise deliberately to annoy them and say they believe they are being harassed.

    I cried all last night. The pressure and constant noise is getting to me, her letter was the final straw, what a cheek after what we have put up with!

    We have tried to be so reasonable about the noise however, this last month, after it getting worse and worse, and our polite requests to try and resolve it amicably being ignored, we now turn up our TV to drown it out, we put on the stereo at reasonable hours to drown it out, we bang to let them know it is out of control and then it stops. It is the only way we can deal with it and try and live in our home. Now she is complaining and threatening harassment?

    My partner works shifts and never sleeps during the day as he is woken by the noise upstairs even though we have explained to her that he works shifts. We confess he has been known to shout upstairs to shut up! when he has been woken up after only a couple fo hours sleep.

    Can she do this? If we are now in a position where we cannot retaliate (advice I had taken from these boards), where we cannot ask her anymore to please control the noise from their flat as this is ignored, What Can We do? How can we deal with this effectively?

    Are we expected to sit all day and night listening to the noise without complaining at all?

    We have been reluctant to bring in the landlord of her flat as we feel he will not be responsive as the flat was empty for 6 months before they moved these tenants in but now we have writtne to him with examples of the disturbances. We have clauses in our lease for nuisance from the flats but how do we prove banging apart from the diaries? We are also concerned if we sell the flat having to declare the problem, but at the moment that is the least of our worries.

    Can someone please help us;

    Can she make a claim for harassment against us?

    How can we resolve this ongoing noise problem, has anyone else succeeded with this type of problem?

    If it is the children as she says, will anyone (Eviron. Health etc) ever do anything or are we expected to live with this? (we are not anti children, I have 5 nieces and wish for children of our own, this noise is excessive and unreasonable, they themselves wouldn't want to live beneath it).

    I would be so grateful for any help and advice on what to do next as I am so worried.

    Thank you very much,


    (I'm a girl!)

  • #2
    Hi Scotty and welcome to the forum. Although I'm sorry that you have to be here

    Your situation sounds truly awful. I cannot understand why a young couple with two small, active children would want to live in a one bedroom flat and stay there all day every day! Doesn't that constitute overcrowding, anyway?

    They do however sound like typical NFH, turning the tables when asked to keep the noise down and accusing you of harassment. It would never enter their tiny brains that if your tv is a bit louder it is because you are trying to drown out their cacophony of noise.

    I've been lucky in that I've only really had one noisy neighbour so I'll leave it to other members to give you advice as many of them have had similar experiences to your own. You'll get a lot of support and understanding here

    Come back often and if you ever feel the need to rant go to the rants folder and vent your spleen

    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


    • #3
      hi Scotty

      sorry to hear this story, dreadful to have to put up with noise that is out of your control.

      You need to get the land lord round to your home and make him listen!!

      show him the logs you have made and tell him that he needs to do something.

      our old nfh were tenents and although we communicated with the landlord regulary he did not believe us .....until....he moved them out into another of his properties as they could not afford the rent and owed him money,

      he actually came and aplogised to us....and admitted she was "a mad b*tch!"

      you can tell the landlord that if he doesnt act in some form you will be contacting environmental health, and if his tennents get a big fine then they might not be able to pay his rent.

      we do shift work and not being able to sleep is truly maddening.

      I hope you get some joy with what ever you choice to do,

      there is always support here when you need it!!


      • #4
        Thank you Misty and Badger for taking the time to respond.

        We have phoned the Landlord of above flat this afternoon to obtain their address to post the letter of complaint, and yep, they already knew about the problem from upstairs NFH after last night's complaint about US.

        Landlord also said what can they do if it's children making the noise? and have WE thought about soundproofing????? (on our ceiling?). LL also said they don't think the council will do anything as the property is privately owned (by them, who, we think from a conversation with previous owners, work for the local council!!).

        We replied, after going over a couple of the points, please read the letter and we await your reply before discussing this further.

        I am not expecting much of a response, LL doesn't want to know, as long as they are being paid rent etc. Perhaps if we ring the LL everytime we are disturbed by above they might decide to take some action? (we will probably then get accused of Harassment by LL).

        I wouldn't dream of making comments to someone as to how they bring up their children, they can do what they like as long as they don't affect my life and my health (and the child is not harmed of course!), and I am not talking to NFH anymore! They couldn't care less. We are unsure how much noise is just from the children, the banging sounds like all 4 of them get on the sofa then leap off together, it is that loud. The noise of course went quiet last night since upstairs know that we are taking further action. So, they can be considerate if they try. We know from previous experience it will not last.

        We await LL reply, then I guess we have one further option, taking it up with the Leaseholder of both our flats before deciding whether to contact Environ. It doesn't sound a great option to take from some of the people's experiences on the forum? As you said, it is not easy to measure this type of noise and I agree once NFH know, of course they will be quiet. It's like mental torture, constant banging over our heads all evening until we give in and go to bed (with ear plugs in - Glamorous! ), waiting until we are woken up again when THEY go to bed.

        I am dreading going home this evening but fighting it as I am letting them ruin my life and they are not worth it. We are planning to get married at the end of the year, if we are moving that will be out of the question. I hate to think short term tenants have changed our life plans and forced us out of our home and there is nothing we can do about it!!! Tho' as many people have said on here, your health must come first.

        Why are people like this?

        I will let you know if there are any future developments.

        Thank you lots, we appreciate it! This is the first smile I have managed today, you have helped me feel better.



        • #5
          Landlord also said what can they do if it's children making the noise? and have WE thought about soundproofing????? (on our ceiling?).[/b]

          The obvious reply to this is 'has he considered soundproofing the floor?'. Sheesh! He probably just wants to be left alone, collect the rent and forget everything else. Well, unfortunately for him he has responsibilities to his tenants neighbours.

          Good luck, hope he comes to his senses and does something to make your lives easier

          "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


          • #6
            Hi Scotty

            Sorry to hear that your life is being blighted by noise nuisance, it is an awful thing to suffer (especially when you have spoken to the perpetrators and yet they continue).

            I agree with what everyone else has said in terms of your next steps. Mediation may be a good way forward for you, popping a letter to your nfh to gauge their reaction to it may be something you want to consider.

            Your landlord is just taking an easy way out. His tenants are causing a nuisance. If the tenants have only recently moved in, it is likely that they have an Assured Shorthold tenancy (minimum length of stay is six months) - the landlord could serve two months notice (a section 21 notice) to evict the tenants (the notice couldn't end before the fixed term had ended). If the landlord wanted possession on the nuisance grounds, then possession could be speeded up.

            Your landlord may be considering serving a s.21 notice - in which case, the nfh problem wouldn't be lasting for long. Your problem at the moment though is that you are in the dark as to what the landlord's view is.

            I would definitely keep the landlord regularly updated about the behaviour of his tenants.

            Really consider involving the Environmental health dept. - if they come out and issue a warning, you can pass a copy of this to your landlord. If he wasn't planning on serving notice on his tenants, that may just persuade him to do so.

            If the tenants moved out and the new tenants were fine, then I don't think you'll have a problem with disclosure. Isn't the question about disputes with your neighbour? You may have had a dispute with the ex-neighbour, but if they've left, so has the problem.

            On a lighter note, I think I look really glamorous in my earplugs (flourescent yellow), they match my winceyette nightie and curlers.

            Let us know how you get on!


            • #7
              Hi Scotty,

              Wont go over the same ground as everyone else , theyve given you some fantastic advice.

              Perhaps my usual tack is to give you the 'push' to get something done NOW. TODAY. not tommorrow.

              It is your home. Stop putting up with this c**p!!!!

              Get youself a solicitor and get a letter fired off to that 'landlord' now. The tenants are his responsibility.

              Secondly , if you dont intend moving in the immediate future then it is an appointment with the EHO for you lassie!!

              Dont hang about any more!.

              The problem wont go away if you dont do anything about it.

              We will give you all the help and support you need every step of the way!!

              When you come back you can tell us how you have got on..................or its big trouble fae up North!!

              The Horsefans

              "Take off and nuke the site from orbit- it's the only way to be sure!"

              apologies if you are an "Aliens" fan

              Posh Noodle - NOT for the likes of YOU!!


              • #8
                Bit of an update, some help and guidance would be appreciated......

                We wrote to their Landlord - who we believe has since been round to the property and laid something under the carpet in the lounge, and says he has spoken with his tenants (who complained to him they didn't like us shouting at them when they drove us up the wall from constant noise). This has not actually helped, as now upstairs thinks all problems are solved and they have actually got worse, (after 3 days of bliss, after LL visit I guess).

                We have received a letter from the LL saying:

                - The noise is everyday domestic noise, it cannot be eliminated altogther

                - We have lifestyle differences as my partner works shifts

                - Previous owners of the flat (who we could not hear) worked during the day, didn't have children so the noise would have been less.

                - Suggest we go for mediation through the local council, as his tenants are keen to solve the problems - sorry but we have spoken with them directly 5 times and they couldn't give a monkey's. we got told, it's the children, what can I do? and they refused to quiet down until we wrote to their LL, and that lasted all of 3 days.

                - Suggested we contact the local council environmental team - WHO THE LL HAS ALREADY SPOKEN WITH AND ARE UNABLE TO SEE FROM OUR LETTER AND DIARY, ANYTHING OTHER THAN DOMESTIC NOISE AND DIFFERENT LIFESTYLES AND WORK. The important bit here is that we know THE LL WORKS FOR THE LOCAL COUNCIL and has obviously had a chat with his "colleagues" before sending us the letter in reply. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!

                We have decided not to go to environ. office for 2 reasons a) we will have to declare when selling the property and importantly, cos the LL works for the bloomin' council! . Sounds like it will be all colleagues getting together. Infact, it does already!

                We are not going to mediation as I cannot bear to listen to upstairs say it is her poor children ANYMORE (and, when the LL will have already spoken with his local council mediation colleagues and primed them).

                We have decided to move - when we can afford it and are very, very upset we have been driven out because of tenants.

                I do however, want to reply to the LL's letter with an up to date diary of the continuing noise and respond to points above, but am not sure what to write in these circumstances?

                We feel like we are two lemons sitting here taking all this cr*p while the tenants have everyone on their side. As a last resort we are also getting advice on our convenents in our lease, after that, there is nothing left.

                I would be grateful if you would advise if continuing contacting the LL in writing is worth it? My partner then wants to phone up the LL everytime we get the banging, screaming etc and invite him to come and hear it for themselves?

                (How environmental team and LL can say it's normal domestic noise when no one has yet been in our flat to hear it amazes me).

                Partner is also losing sleep and then temper and wants to retaliate with our own noise, disturbing them when they all go back to bed for their afternoon kip. As we are not going to environ health, should we or shouldn't we?

                Thanks for any help. We feel downtrodden and depressed again. We have nowhere to go with this one other than move which is going to take at least 6 months before we can try to sell, (if we can sell it after having viewings and hearing the racket from upstairs).

                How do we live with the noise in the meantime? It's not going away.

                Thanks, and sorry if I sound unhappy, I am!



                • #9

                  I cannot give you any real advice on the noise issue as mine problem is not one of being so much noise based but harassment issues.

                  I cannot tell you how sorry I am to read that you have decided to sell up - but maybe that would be the best thing for you as I don't think this is going to get any better. You are right when you say about your LL priming his mates down at the council have you heard the saying about tiddling in the same pot - well they do. If you want to sell then DON'T bring in the EHO as you will have to decalre this.

                  Badger, Holly and Misty are the mainstays for this type of information that you need. They are always around including the evenings so, do give them a chance and they will post a reply.

                  I am just wishing you all the best and a brighter, better start when you move.


                  • #10
                    Hi Scotty,

                    It seems that you are virutally left with no other option than to move, if you want a peaceful life.

                    As you say, how can the EHO claim it normal domestic noise if they haven't actually heard it? Sounds to me like they are just fobbing you off. It's understandable that you believe the LL has contacts in the EHO because he works for the council, but do you have any real proof of that?

                    I agree with Sue, it will do you no good and may even lessen your chances of selling if you retaliate in kind with the NFH. The thing is the NFH have sensitised you to noise and now you are probably jumping at the slightest bump. Believe me, I've only gone through it for a month and I'm already jumping You could call the LL and report each incident, I'm sure he'll be really annoyed and it might give you a little satisfaction knowing he's getting a tiny fraction of what you're going through. The letter they've sent you seems to be a little arrogant and dismissive, to say the least!

                    I wish I could tell you how to live with the noise until you sell up, but I don't have a clue I'm inclined to agree again with Sue about not going to the EHO if you have decided definitely to move.

                    Sorry I can't be more helpful

                    "Almost anything you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it. You must be the change that you wish to see in the world." Gandhi


                    • #11
                      Hi Scotty and thanks for your update on the current situation.

                      Sorry that things seem to have come to a head for you though.

                      From what I can see, you have three choices:

                      - Stay, contact EH again and pursue the noise complaints down the proper legal avenues - they can't make assumptions without following up your complaints. If that is what they are doing, then you need to be submitting a formal complaint to your local authority (LA).

                      - Stay and do nothing about the noise form the nfh upstairs.

                      - Move and make no official complaints (this would mean you would have to disclose at the conveyancing stage and would leave you open to the potential buyers trying to bargain the price down, backing out or something else).

                      I don't think it will help you retaliating in any way, shape or form. That will mean you are stooping to their level. You may get some very short lived feeling of euphoria for banging on the ceiling, but it won't last long and will probably mean that the nfh become noisier than ever. They will feed of your anger and events will spiral out of control (on both parts probably).

                      Contacting the nfh landlord is not likely to achieve anything in the long run, in my opinion.

                      If you feel that moving is the best way forward for you, then do it. The sooner the better.

                      Get out and move on. Learn from where you have lived so that you can find something better the next time.

                      Good luck.


                      • #12
                        Hi Scotty

                        Been there, seen it, read the book! Your accounts bring back chilling memories from when I lived in a flat. Ironically after I eventually got things sorted I moved to a house, the problems I now have go well beyond just noise.

                        Going back to my previous residence….. The owner of the leasehold below me was fine, but she sub-let a room to a friend who was an absolute nightmare. I threatened calling the council, police etc. with no effect. I did however contact the lease holder of the flats by sending a letter asking advice along with my cheque for ground rent and maintenance. He pointed out to me that the lease I and my neighbour had signed when we bought the lease had two very relevent clauses amongst many. One related specifically to noise (it was written when the flat was built so went more along the lines of the “playing of musical instruments etc” and the other related to the limitations of the properties use which put into some doubt whether she could sub-let. He contacted my neighbour directly by letter. Maybe coincidence, but three weeks later her “flat mate” was gone and wasn’t replaced.

                        It’s a long shot but do check your lease, the solicitor you used when purchasing it will have a copy. There may well be a limit on people living there, noise etc. Also, don’t be afraid to contact everyone. Phoning up and asking advice does not constitute a formal complaint. Get on to your local councilor, the leaseholder and the environmental health department. Where I live in Hillingdon, there is a council number for noise nuisance and the department go round themselves to witness reported cases. It requires no formal logging or complaint procedures.

                        Good luck