a few months ago we purchased a groundfloor flat built around 3 years ago, and to our shock and horror we have discovered that the quality of the soundproofing in the ceilings is really really poor. initially, we have tried to get used to the noise, but we are now finding it intolerable.
i am looking for answers to the following questions:
1. can anyone tell us whether building regulations stipulate a minimum level of soundproofing?
2. as the flat is still under NHBC warranty, can i claim inspection and repairs if it transpires that the workmanship is not up to the required standards?
3. do i have rights of redress against the local authority that signed the apartment off?
4. are the people living in the apartment above us under any obligations with regards to installing soundproofing material?
1. The building regualtions stipulate minimum standards with guidance within Approved document E. New properties and conversions have required sound testing since June (ish) 2003. Depending on how many flats are in the block yours sould have probably been tested. The standard is still quite low though and any shrinkage or gaps may cause a problem. Also in a large development the plans may have been approved before this date and the new standard would not have applied!
2. The NHBC warranty covers building defects but in truth would probably not cover this. Generally it covers major structural defects. However you should check who carried out the building control function it may have been the NHBC or another approved inspector rather than the local authority?
3. Reffering only to the local authority the answer is no as the LA is not liable, but you may want to investigate approaching the LA ombudsman for maladministration. You must remember that the inspector is not on site all the time and only gets a snapshot of the works. They would reply on the sound test cert. They will assess items they can see and the sound proofing is not a stautory inspection request but most LA's would try an inspect the ceiling in a flat.
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