Silent night

Our lawyer Fiona McNulty looks at the issues involved when overhead noise from neighbouring flats becomes a problem
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Question: I live with my family on the ground floor of a mansion block in south London. I am the leaseholder of my flat. The problem is that we hear every noise from the flat above, continuing late into the night.

The managing agent has told the tenant to put down carpet with no underlay (which is required by the lease). The leaseholder lives in Kenya and is not interested. What can I do?

Answer: The lease of any property is made between the landlord and tenant and will contain obligations and regulations that the tenant must comply with.

The obligations in the lease are owed to the landlord but most leases will allow you to request the landlord - at your cost - to enforce covenants in the leases of other tenants. Most leases in a block are in a similar form. You should therefore check your lease to see what restrictions are set out with regard to floor coverings.

It would appear that you have already raised this with the managing agent and you must request that they inspect the flat above you to confirm that the flooring complies with the lease requirements. If it does not then the managing agent must request that the flooring is reinstated to comply.

You also state that the leaseholder is abroad and has little interest. However, if there are breaches of the lease, then the landlord or managing agent can take action which could ultimately lead to the lease being forfeited by court order.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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