Living in flats

Content owner : Last updated : 20/07/12

Noise nuisance

Nuisance caused by noise is the main area of conflict between neighbours living in flats. Playing music, listening to the radio and watching television are obvious sources of noise. Other sources can include:

  • revving cars
  • slamming doors
  • shouting in the hallways and stairs, particularly at night
  • talking, hanging around or playing in communal areas

A certain amount of noise is to be expected, however neighbours should not have to suffer serious noise nuisance. In flats and maisonettes you may have neighbours above and below you as well as either side it is important to show consideration for all your neighbours.

Having a party is a fun thing to do. We do not want to discourage people living in flats and maisonettes from having fun; however please think about your neighbours. They may be trying to sleep while you are having a party. Please be considerate and let your neighbours know when you are having a party.

If you are having a problem with noise from your neighbours, please talk to them.


Please make sure that any pets you may have do not cause problems for your neighbours. Tenants living in flats must have written permission to keep animals in their homes unless there is a separate entrance to the property.

Communal areas

Everyone living in your block is responsible for keeping the communal areas neat, clean and tidy. This includes the stairs, landing and hallways.

You must not leave rubbish on the stairs or in the hallways, as this is a safety hazard. Apart from specific execptions, you must not place any items of furniture in the hallways or on landings - this could be a fire hazard or cause obstruction if people needed to leave the block quickly in an emergency.

For more about exceptions, please see information about fire safety in communal areas.

In some blocks of flats, we employ cleaners to clean the communal areas every week or two weeks. This does not mean that you are not responsible for keeping the communal areas clean and tidy.

Please contact your local housing office if you would like to know more. They can then arrange to contact the rest of the tenants in your block and, if most of them agree, we can arrange a cleaning service. There will be a small additional charge on your rent to cover the cost.


We provide door entry systems on blocks of flats and maisonettes so that only genuine tenants and their visitors can get in. Please help to keep the flats safe and do not :

  • let someone you do not know into the building
  • let visitors in the building for your neighbour
  • ask your neighbours to let visitors in for you
  • wedge the door open and leave it open for any reason

If you let strangers into the building you will reduce the security for yourself and everyone else living in the block.