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Noise Proofing?

QFX posted on the 13/08/2018 2:41:18 PM

Have lived in my current tenement for 2 years, and each year have had a new batch of students move into the flat above me with the result being noise at all times of the day and night. The flat above has wooden floors / laminate. There is the constant daily noise which i can almost deal with/accept by turning the TV louder, but being woken up at 4 am by people coming home from a night out and then watching TV/playing music in their bedroom is too much. I have spoken in the past to the old tenants about the problems and although they acknowledge the problem, there inst much that can be done, or its quickly forgotten about. With the 3rd batch of students now moved in, who seem to run everywhere rather than walk, my main options now feel as if i should move somewhere else which i dont want to do, or look at soundproofing the ceilings, which seems like it will be very expensive and will lose the original cornicing. Does anyone have any experience of soundproofing a tenement ceiling? Does it work? Costs?

9 Replies :

#1 - Gillian replied on the 13/08/2018 7:56:56 PM

QFX, feeling your pain, so I would be interested to hear about costs and the amount of work involved. I have lived in other tenements and sound proofing has been better.

#2 - fiona replied on the 14/08/2018 9:08:39 AM

I would try talking to these students again - you may feel like you hit a brick wall when speaking to other tenants in the past but it may be a different situation with these ones. A lot of people have genuinely no idea about the noise they are making and changes like putting rugs down or wearing slippers can make a big difference.

If that doesn't get anywhere you can always try approaching the landlord of the property to see if there is any influence they can have. Their details should be on the landlord registration website for Glasgow. It sounds like a few people are living there - do they have an HMO license in place?

Sorry I don't know about any more permanent noise proofing solutions for the ceilings that you can do to your own flat. We had secondary glazing installed behind double glazing which really helped with noise proofing for traffic on Duke st but obviously this won't help your circumstances. (We have resorted to using a broom handle to tap the ceiling above for loud noise in the early hours of the morning and this has usually worked as a one off!)

#3 - QFX replied on the 14/08/2018 12:50:59 PM

HMO - the last set of tenants indeed werent registered as HMO, so once this was discovered and the problems persisted it was reported, actually quite difficult to prove if they arent all on the lease - 'just a mate staying the night' excuse given. Given its rented out, its an issue that will come up every year. I read that HMO properties in Edinburgh must be carpeted in bedrooms and living rooms, which caused a big fuss with landlords complaining about costing thousands of pounds (?!), but that doesnt apply in Glasgow. I will keep researching and will share what i find.

#4 - Onceajollyswagman replied on the 16/08/2018 6:12:26 PM

I am moving, after an "interesting" decade, living below a BTL with stripped floorboards. You have rightly ascertained that HMO properties in Edinburgh (and also Dundee, I think) must be carpeted but Glasgow City Council doesn't give a toss. I would move, and never live below anyone ever.

#5 - Onceajollyswagman replied on the 16/08/2018 6:13:37 PM

And re noise proofing, I was advised that even lowering the ceiling will have negligible effect on impact noise. So I didn't pursue that.

#6 - anon replied on the 18/08/2018 10:30:19 PM

We have an almost identical issue in our flat, with three people crammed into what ought to be a two bed above us. While they are more respectful than your neighbours and don't play music at night, the constant trampling (which leads to our furniture shaking) is enough to drive us nuts. Sometimes we hear them walking around their living room for well over an hour - don't ask me why as it's really not that big.

First of all, we have a couple of rooms with false ceilings. This makes no impact whatsoever, and the noise is just as bad in those rooms, sadly.

Secondly, i would really advise you to speak to their landlord. They are probably fully aware of how badly insulated their property is, the result of not wanting to put in adequade and expensive flooring. I asked the landlord above our flat if they would put in rugs to soften the foot steps, and they actually agreed! We'll have to wait and see if it makes a difference though. We have also asked the tenants not to wear shoes indoors as well, though it's impossible to know of they actually do or not.

Finally, if the tenants are playing music at 4am, you actually have a case. The council has a unit dealing with noise complaints and they were very helpful when i called them about a different neighbour (we have this issue in every direction, not just upstairs).

#7 - Pat replied on the 19/08/2018 3:40:31 PM

I have horror stories about students living both below and above me. The common theme is petulant door slamming, parties that go on to 11am the next day, screaming arguments, shouting in the close at 4am, fag butts in the back court, garden and close and yes, apparent clog dancing/bowling alley action at all hours. They also all have had dogs, which eventually seem to leave when they can't cope with them. These kids were (and are) from affluent backgrounds, they all have cars, are well spoken and eat posh food (They don't know how to use a bin, so the foxes get at the bags and strew the litter all over the back court). As for solutions, Council, landlord, letting agent and Police, in combination seems to work after a few months. Start with nice notes through the door, "I'm not sure you're aware but" etc. Then ramp it up if the problems persist.

#8 - MAR replied on the 30/08/2018 9:10:18 AM

Many years ago I worked for a company that made sound proofing products (amongst other things) for businesses. You will never get rid of the thud of people being heavy footed but I can give you a 100% way of cutting noise but it won't be cheap and would involve possibly ripping down your existing ceiling. You can always replace the central rose if you have one but the cornicing might be tricky. Plasterboard laminated with lead sheeting and 18mm accoustic foam will do the trick. We used this method in an office with very noisy printing machines. Standing right outside the door you could not hear a thing. That was a number of years ago and you would have to check if using the lead is legal. Otherwise I would recommend 25mm accoustic foam. It's drastic and will cost 3 to 4 grand but it will definitely cut out any noise.

#9 - Concerned replied on the 4/09/2018 11:09:42 AM

Council houses get this kind of stuff too. You'll be lucky of getting rid of anybody if you're in that situation with students.

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