Q&A - Noise Nuisance


I am a leaseholder flat owner experiencing ongoing and severe noise nuisance and antisocial behaviour in the form of loud banging and slamming of doors and objects against the floor of an upstairs flat in my block. This impacts above my ceiling where I sleep in my bedroom.  I have now not slept properly for two nights. This noise nuisance also goes on all day as well. Apparently the owners of the flat above me are away and the flat is apparently officially empty, although I have heard people moving around in there.

This evening, while running a fever and trying to sleep off a food poisoning bug, I was woken by four really loud bangs above my head. They were so loud I was really concerned how I was going to sleep and recover my health, and also for my own safety, and I called the police, who came and knocked at the door of the flat above, but got no answer.


Would it be possible to insist that my freeholder resident neighbours do something to stop the loud bangs and chronic noise nuisance from the flat above, and let peace and quiet (and my sleep) resume?


You are entitled to ‘quiet enjoyment’ of your flat, whether this is expressly set out in your lease or not. In essence this means that your landlord should allow you to possess your flat without any interference or interruption. If your landlord fails to take steps to reduce the noise from the flat above you, it could find itself in breach of this obligation to allow you quiet enjoyment of your flat and the remedy for this is damages.

In addition, I would expect your lease may contain an obligation not to cause a nuisance or annoyance to other residents/tenants and I would expect the same obligation to be included in the lease of the flat above you.

Therefore, it is possible to insist that your landlord takes steps to ensure that the owner of the flat above you complies with the terms of its lease and stops causing a potential nuisance to you and other residents of the building. Your landlord has an obligation to ensure your quiet enjoyment of the flat and therefore if it does not take any steps to resolve this issue it will likely be in breach of its obligations under their lease with you. This is also the case if the individual making the noise is someone other than the tenant.

You should check the terms of your own lease to find the precise detail of any contractual obligations owed to you by your landlord in relation to allowing you quiet enjoyment of your flat and any obligations in relation to nuisance. I advise that you then contact your landlord (who I understand is also a resident of the building and a neighbour) and explain the issue with the flat above yours. As the landlord, it has an obligation to ensure that its tenants can occupy their flats without any interruption or interference and you should insist that it does so to avoid any further action potentially being taken.

Sarah Pope, Senior Associate at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP


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