Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Steamed Up over Shower; Homes & Property Lawyer Henry Stuart Answers Londoners' Queries

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Steamed Up over Shower; Homes & Property Lawyer Henry Stuart Answers Londoners' Queries

Article excerpt

Byline: HENRY STUART

My neighbour in the flat adjacent to my building recently installed a shower pump in his bathroom due to low water pressure. Noise from the pump penetrates loudly into my flat with vibrations in both wall and floor. When he carried out the work, I met his plumber, who assured me my flat would not be affected so I did nothing further. I have spoken to my neighbour and he says it is too late to do anything about it and he is not prepared to take down the tiling around the shower. What rights do I have against him?

Your neighbour may be in breach of his lease since many residential leases contain an obligation on a tenant not to create noise, nuisance or disturbance to adjoining owners or occupiers.

However, if he is in breach, his landlord probably has a duty only to enforce that obligation against him on behalf of other tenants in his building.

Speak to tenants in that building to see if they are affected and could take action on your behalf.

If the shower is used between 11pm and 7am, action may be available under the Noise Act 1996.

The council must investigate the noise levels and, if sufficiently high, must serve a warning notice with the sanction of fines for a breach.

If all else fails, consider an action in private nuisance, although this can be time consuming and expensive. Claims against neighbours are often fraught and will have to be revealed to any prospective buyer of your flat. You may be better advised to find out if a quiet pump can be installed and offering to help with the cost.

I am buying the freehold of my building with my two co-leaseholders. I own the top flat and would like to convert the loft to create another bedroom.

How should I best tackle this with my co-freeholders? Should I pay for a larger proportion of the freehold and subsequent maintenance costs, or offer money to the two individual tenants to include the loft in my lease? …

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