Domestic Nuisance – sound insulation
Urban living, especially in residential premises containing party wall and floors, can give rise to noise nuisance complaints. The Building Regulations in relation to Sound Insulation (Approved Document E) concerns the reasonable resistance to the passage of sound in spaces used for “normal domestic purposes”. However not “normal” behaviour can often illicit complaints by neighbours and local authorities have a statutory duty to investigate nuisance complaints.
Finch Consulting were requested to visit two properties in central London in order to investigate a potential nuisance claim before it was escalated to the local authority since the freeholder was keen to implement mitigation measures if possible.
Finch visited the premises and interviewed the tenants complaining about the nuisance and the tenant whose house parties create the nuisance. Finch also staged mock ups of the likely environment during a house party with music playback and undertook noise readings in various locations.
Following a thorough investigation, Finch consulting prepared a document outlining the relevant legislation and the role of Local Authorities, analysed the criteria for statutory nuisance and provided a list of measures that could be implemented in order for the nuisance to reduce. The proposed mitigation measures involved engineering solutions (i.e. enhancements on party walls, doors, sound masking, psychoacoustic modelling of low frequencies), lay out (i.e. type and placement of loudspeakers, suggestions about party room layout), and administrative (i.e. coordination and communication with neighbours).
Finch can provide its unique expertise into what we like to call hindsight consultancy in order to assist in the minimization of legal action against your clients.