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Old Oct 24th 2017, 10:58 pm   #1
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Default Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

We’re about to move out of the little flat we own in Madrid and rent it out. It seemed like the perfect little pad for a couple. But a few weeks after we got the mortgage, new neighbours moved in upstairs…

We hear every step they take, both the impact and the fact that every floorboard squeaks very loudly. It’s often louder than the music and television in our flat (over 50db during the night, way more than what is allowed by Spanish law) and wakes me up even with earplugs designed for road workers. They slam the door and get up multiple times in the night to go to the toilet (which we also hear). We installed a layer of soundproof plasterboard on the ceiling, which did a little bit to reduce the woman’s footfalls, but not the man’s due to the way he walks.

We appreciate you can’t change how people move around, the only real solution is to get the floor refurbished (pretty sure a few screws and some lubricant would at least sort the squeaking) but they don’t want to. We spoke to the comunidad and building administrator, but nothing came of it. We also asked them to oil their clothes line because it has rusted to the point that it sounds like a medieval drawbridge opening - nope.

Is this just normal in the city? Should we be nervous that tenants will get fed up and leave us with an empty property? Is there any legal action we can take? Should we offer to pay to have it reconditioned? Or should we just try to sell?

Any advice?
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Old Oct 24th 2017, 11:05 pm   #2
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

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Old Oct 25th 2017, 2:18 pm   #3
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshSaxon View Post
We’re about to move out of the little flat we own in Madrid and rent it out. It seemed like the perfect little pad for a couple. But a few weeks after we got the mortgage, new neighbours moved in upstairs…

We hear every step they take, both the impact and the fact that every floorboard squeaks very loudly. It’s often louder than the music and television in our flat (over 50db during the night, way more than what is allowed by Spanish law) and wakes me up even with earplugs designed for road workers. They slam the door and get up multiple times in the night to go to the toilet (which we also hear). We installed a layer of soundproof plasterboard on the ceiling, which did a little bit to reduce the woman’s footfalls, but not the man’s due to the way he walks.

We appreciate you can’t change how people move around, the only real solution is to get the floor refurbished (pretty sure a few screws and some lubricant would at least sort the squeaking) but they don’t want to. We spoke to the comunidad and building administrator, but nothing came of it. We also asked them to oil their clothes line because it has rusted to the point that it sounds like a medieval drawbridge opening - nope.

Is this just normal in the city? Should we be nervous that tenants will get fed up and leave us with an empty property? Is there any legal action we can take? Should we offer to pay to have it reconditioned? Or should we just try to sell?

Any advice?
This is the exact and only reason that we will never buy an apartment in Spain! It's unlikely to get any better. I would sell
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 8:34 pm   #4
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

When I read the lead-in post here my mind wondered and wondered. No offence, but the following are my thoughts:-
1. Running to the toilet during the night. Apparent prostate problem. You know, the one most men refuse to talk about.
2. Sorry for stating the obvious, the building is old as the dividing floor is of timber. I would be more afraid of the fire threat. Loose floorboards can be fixed.
3. It appears the OP plays loud music and has television sound turned up. (Just my interpretation and am open to correction).
4. My policy is live and let live. Again, I'm just going in the evidence posted.
5. Are your neighbours getting on your nerves or is it the other way round? (Just asking).
6. You mention the way your neighbour walks. Has he got a physical disability?
7. I know you just asked for advice. Please don't jump to conclusions that I'm on your case . . . . because I'm not.
8. With what did you record the sound of floorboards squeaking to achieve the decibel reading? Where did you get it?

Last edited by Leper; Oct 25th 2017 at 8:36 pm.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 8:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

I had a similar problem... did the soundproofing and that didn't work. Finally I resorted to banging on the ceiling in response to every excessive noise from above ( doors slammed, high heels on floorboards... all this after 11pm ). That seemed to focus their attention and reduced the problem.

If your tenants are from Madrid it's very possible that they will consider it quite normal to experience noise so accept it.

Last edited by Mustard; Oct 25th 2017 at 8:44 pm.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 10:09 pm   #6
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

My solution to avoiding noise problems from neighbors above: Buy an apartment on the top floor!

Not helpful in this case, I know.

- Eric S.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 10:11 pm   #7
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

You have my sympathy JoshSaxon.
We lived with incredibly noisy , inconsiderate and abusive neighbours for years.

I take it you have tried talking with them about the issue & got nowhere fast.
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Old Oct 25th 2017, 11:45 pm   #8
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Unfortunately there's not a lot you can do it's part and parcel of living in an apartment block in Spain. There will always be noise, the Spanish are a noisy race in general that seem to have a special gene that enables them to block out any background noise.

We have suffered similar problems from noisy neighbours above us when renting holiday apartments, you have my sympathy.
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Old Oct 26th 2017, 6:34 pm   #9
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Noisy neighbours can be anywhere. I live in a ground floor flat in Scotland. My upstairs neighbour thinks nothing of putting the washing machine or the tumble dryer on at 1am, 2am or any of the wee small hours. Very annoying I can tell you.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 6:52 pm   #10
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

This will always be the case. We had hard core snorers either side of our bedroom, late night piss*rs down below and the pent house terrace on top liked to scrape their furniture into position for the next day at 1 or 2 in the morning. Oh, and I havent mentioned the dogs from adjoining blocks (luckily banned in ours so we had them "re-housed".)

Live in a penthouse, trust pot luck or buy a villa. The alternative is to buy in a tourist area where you will only have the problems when the places are rented out.

As for Madrid - they don't consider noise a problem!

Sell.
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Old Oct 30th 2017, 8:09 pm   #11
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Sell it it's not worth the agro.
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 2:31 pm   #12
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshSaxon View Post
We’re about to move out of the little flat we own in Madrid and rent it out. It seemed like the perfect little pad for a couple. But a few weeks after we got the mortgage, new neighbours moved in upstairs…

We hear every step they take, both the impact and the fact that every floorboard squeaks very loudly. It’s often louder than the music and television in our flat (over 50db during the night, way more than what is allowed by Spanish law) and wakes me up even with earplugs designed for road workers. They slam the door and get up multiple times in the night to go to the toilet (which we also hear). We installed a layer of soundproof plasterboard on the ceiling, which did a little bit to reduce the woman’s footfalls, but not the man’s due to the way he walks.

We appreciate you can’t change how people move around, the only real solution is to get the floor refurbished (pretty sure a few screws and some lubricant would at least sort the squeaking) but they don’t want to. We spoke to the comunidad and building administrator, but nothing came of it. We also asked them to oil their clothes line because it has rusted to the point that it sounds like a medieval drawbridge opening - nope.

Is this just normal in the city? Should we be nervous that tenants will get fed up and leave us with an empty property? Is there any legal action we can take? Should we offer to pay to have it reconditioned? Or should we just try to sell?

Any advice?
Spanish love noise , sell and buy a cortijo,hopefully the campo neighbours won't have barking dogs 😏
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Old Nov 2nd 2017, 2:58 pm   #13
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshSaxon View Post
We’re about to move out of the little flat we own in Madrid and rent it out. It seemed like the perfect little pad for a couple. But a few weeks after we got the mortgage, new neighbours moved in upstairs…

We hear every step they take, both the impact and the fact that every floorboard squeaks very loudly. It’s often louder than the music and television in our flat (over 50db during the night, way more than what is allowed by Spanish law) and wakes me up even with earplugs designed for road workers. They slam the door and get up multiple times in the night to go to the toilet (which we also hear). We installed a layer of soundproof plasterboard on the ceiling, which did a little bit to reduce the woman’s footfalls, but not the man’s due to the way he walks.

We appreciate you can’t change how people move around, the only real solution is to get the floor refurbished (pretty sure a few screws and some lubricant would at least sort the squeaking) but they don’t want to. We spoke to the comunidad and building administrator, but nothing came of it. We also asked them to oil their clothes line because it has rusted to the point that it sounds like a medieval drawbridge opening - nope.

Is this just normal in the city? Should we be nervous that tenants will get fed up and leave us with an empty property? Is there any legal action we can take? Should we offer to pay to have it reconditioned? Or should we just try to sell?

Any advice?
Don't know if it's still relevant but I would ask myself why you want the flat (investment, personal living later on again)? I think most people who have lived in apartments (especially Spain) are used to the noise so won't be bothered as long as the rental price is OK. If it's for personal use at some stage later on, I would just sell. Of course if you are focused on Madrid there won't be many cheap options available when it comes to detached houses but the way it sounds you will never be happy in a flat. It's the exact reason why we would never buy a flat in our area and are better off a bit further away from the beaches. Wouldn't want to miss the beaches though but when the crowds come you at least have your garden and are still only 10 min away + the dogs are better than humans flushing toilets (as long as they don't poop in your garden).

Last edited by Moses2013; Nov 2nd 2017 at 3:02 pm.
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Old Nov 4th 2017, 2:08 pm   #14
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotor View Post
Spanish love noise , sell and buy a cortijo,hopefully the campo neighbours won't have barking dogs 😏
Campo neighbours have ONLY barking dogs! Our neighbour comes on a sunday, bungs the dog a weeks worth of food and then drives off until the next sunday. Between those days it barks for 20 hours a day
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Old Nov 8th 2017, 9:07 am   #15
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Default Re: Take action against noisy neighbours before we rent flat out?

In my living/house hunting experience in Spain, insulated apartments are almost non existent and acceptance of regular 'living' noise is common. There seems to be a facility to complain about noise pollution specifically in some Police depts but I would wager they only care about parties etc.

If you talk to neighbours (again just in my exp), they give it about 2 weeks of effort. Then a match comes on or a regular fiesta and back to 0.

I've had noisey neighbours in other countries too but it's just more accepted in ES in my experience, so Spaniards seem to make less effort.

Bonus of insulation is that you save on air con bill, heating and cooling so I'd personally try it if you can afford the *good* kind that will actually work noise wise.

Either that or get in the groove
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