Archie's Story

May 26, 2022
Images used are for illustrative purposes only and names of subjects have been changed

Archie is the landlord of a privately rented tenement flat. He now lives and works in London and rents out his flat to a young professional couple – Jane and Michael.

James owns the flat below and is being “driven mad” by the noise of Jane and Michael “stomping” about their home, furniture being moved and strange noises that James is convinced are Jane and Michael rolling a ball about their living room. He feels they are retaliating to his complaints about the noise.

Jane and Michael claim they are living normal lives in their home. They do not have wild parties or play loud music. They are fed up with constantly being contacted by their landlord to “tone down the noise” and the “dirty looks” James gives them in the landing. They are considering moving out of the property.

Before Archie moved to London, he renovated his flat to make it more attractive to tenants. As part of this renovation, he put down laminate flooring throughout and ceramic tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.

A mediation meeting was arranged between James, Jane and Michael who were all keen to get together and talk about the situation.

The meeting focussed on noise and James’s feeling that this was deliberate. During the meeting, James discovered that the floor coverings had been changed shortly before Jane and Michael had moved in. James had not realised this as he had been on holiday when the work had been carried out.

A full and frank discussion was had. James explained the level of disturbance he was experiencing. Jane and Michael were horrified to learn that James could hear so much. Taking time to describe situations in full detail helped the parts to work out together than the “rolling ball” Michael was hearing was actually a computer chair on wheels being pushed back. Both parties were able to appreciate together than the biggest source of the noise was the flooring in the property. By this time, James, Jane and Michael had broken down barriers and were able to work together to decide how this may be tackled. Jane and Michael did not have authority to change floor coverings so it was decided that a further meeting would be held between James and Archie to take this further with the backing of Jane and Michael.

James and Archie met and discussed what had happened during the meeting with Jane and Michael. Although Archie was concerned to hear that the change in floor coverings seemed to be the main source of the noise, he was unable to commit financially to further refurbishment but equally, could not afford to lose his good tenants as the rent barely covers his mortgage payments.

James suggested that Archie might consider buying rugs for the laminated areas of flooring and change the ceramic tiles to lino in the kitchen and bathroom. This suggestion was accepted by Archie.

A written agreement was made between James and Archie about replacing the floor coverings and how this would be paid for. Floor coverings were replaced as agreed and following a review of the situation three months later, things have vastly improved and everyone reports being happier about the situation.

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