What to do?

My father lives in a flat for the elderly. One of his neighbours (also elderly but not disabled) has complained about the noise. She claims my fathers carers come each day at 6 slaming the doors and that my father coughs and breaths very loudly at night. The landlord has asked if my father will move!
I can’t belive it. I think the neighbour has just got used to having silence whilst my father was in hospital for six months. I know that having carers and nurses coming and going can be noisy but they never come before 7:30am (as per the care plan). The noises are because he can’t breath (heart and kidney failure have resulted in fluid build up). I just don’t know what we can do about that. I would be grateful for any suggestions as to how we can resolve this. My father is terminally ill and would be heart broken to move.

One there should be a proper meeting where everyone can air their views. Your father does not have to attend you can.
Get the land lord with father’s sign permission. To speak in the first instance directly to you not your father.

Two the carers should be signing in/out after visits.

Check and copy (don’t disclose any name etc - just the times) the log to prove the timings. Request carers make as little noise as is necessary and/or add a key safe to the front door.

Check with the O/T or who ever looks after the equipment - noise levels. Is there a problem with equipment. Explain the issues to the company. Get a written statement if this is the only type available etc.

Contact Citizens Advice in your area.

Have you been able to speak to the neighbour. And clarified this information that the land lord is sharing.

If she doesn’t like the noise then the simple solution is for her to sleep with ear plugs. The yellow roll up foam type are under £1 I think. The landlord has, after all, a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. One day this complainer will also be dying!
Just another thought, is the corridor tiled or carpeted?


Just a thought. When I was little we lived in a semi detached house, and the bedrooms were on adjoining walls. Where is the complainer’s bed in relation to dad’s?

My bedroom (garage conversion) has so much insulation in it that I can use a vacuum at 11pm and no one in the main house can hear it! It comes in 8x4 sheets, so it would be better for some of this to be fitted than ask dad to move!

Thank you for your kind responses. I will suggest a meeting and represent my father.

I can prove that the carers don’t arrive until after 7.30 (the careplan- in actual fact they are always late and arrive after :sunglasses:. I will also speak to them and the Care Agency about being considerate neighbours. I think some of it is a cultural issue - most of the carers are naturally quite loud/boisterous which might be intimidating to an older lady on her own.

I do t know what I can do about Dad though. He is dying - he doesn’t have breathing equipment but does cough and breath loudly. I think the neighbours bed is parallel to my fathers (the rooms are so small there is nowhere else for the beds to go). Although the walls are thick (over 400 years old) I might see if they would let us pay for soundproofing /insulation although I have no idea how much it would cost.

Our tenancy just requires one months notice . I stupidly persuaded my father to give up a more secure tenancy as I thought he would be better cared for in a warden controlled flat for the elderly.

I feel so sorry for my father- I’m at the end of my tether: goodness knows how he is feeling.

Faye, It’s under £100 a sheet, 3 sheets would be sufficient for a 12ft wide wall, but it would need to be fitted of course. Doubtless the moaning neighbour would complain about that too! It might work if just stood on end joined with tape, but wouldn’t look very nice - a silver surface saying “Celotex” or similar.
Are the rooms bed sits, or could dad’s bed be moved to the lounge area?

I think you need to tell the lady that he is dying and probably won’t have long.
If that isn’t enough to make her have some compassion then she is heartless enough not to deserve any sympathy or attention.
If the landlord continues to try to evict him you have a good case for disability discrimination

Thank you so much for your helpful and kind responses. I will speak to the carers and care agency about being considerate to the neighbours. Will show the warden the care plan /sign in sheets to prove that they are not arriving before 7:30. I wail also offer to pay for insulation/ soundproofing.

The neighbour does know my father is terminally ill. I actually wonder if that might be why she is complaining as he really doesn’t make a huge amount of noise and the walls are really thick. I think she doesn’t like the coming and going if district nurses/carers etc and just doesn’t like having a sick person around

I think from what I’ve read, Dads landlord could have a serious lawsuit on his hands if he continues on this path, just mention to him that you are getting a solicitor and watch him squirm.

I agree that all Carers are different, Mum has around 12 different carers that rotate.

When one of Mums carers is on Morning duty, we’ve nicknamed her “gobby”, I don’t set my alarm and warn poor Mum what to expect. Next thing its “GOOD MORNING LOVE, HAVE YOU HAD A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP, IS IT OK IF I TURN THE LIGHT ON” at which point I cringe, curl up in bed and cover my ears.

She then insists on screaming at the top of her voice throughout the visit, one time Mum was in the living room and gobby was in Mums bedroom shouting at the top of her voice, giving a running commentary on changing Mums bed…


With regard to slamming the doors, IF this is true, is to fit door closers so it is impossible to slam the door. The more we discuss this the more I feel the neighbour needs counselling! Or is totally self focussed.

The neighbour could also be offered a home move.

If you have positive proof that the carers don’t arrive until much later than 6:00 am, then the rest of the neighbours complaint just falls apart due to lying/inaccuracy/exaggeration or whatever you want to call it.

Thank you all for your helpful responses. Unfortunately things have got a lot worse today.

As I arrived at my fathers flat I could hear the neighbour complaining about my father to a mutual friend in the communal area. I suggested that we meet together to discuss the issues. She said she’d prefer to speak there and then. She said my father had too many visitors, the carers and district nurses were coming at 6am and banging the communal front door. I said according to our sign in sheets no one had arrived before 7 but I had asked them to try and be quieter and consider our neighbours.

She also said my father was keeping her awake at night /the early hours with the TV . I said he went to bed every night at 6/7pm (the carers help him and then go) and had headphones that were plugged into the Tv so there can’t be any noise from the TV. She then said his coughing and breathing were too loud and keeping her awake and ‘must be dealt with’. I’m afraid I started crying at this point and said we’d love them to be dealt with but they can’t be. She said they have to be or he must leave. At this point I said we should end the conversation and let the warden deal with the issues.

I then called the warden. She said she was sympathetic to us but had to investigate the noise complaint. I said about the sound proofing but she said as it’s a listed building she didn’t think it would be possible. She suggested we move out or that we could move the living room and bedroom around but this will mean my father has much further to walk to go to the toilet and shower and increase the likelihood of falls/ he’s already exhausted with the heart and kidney failure. She suggested we get a commode which I can do. However no matter what we do I don’t think that neighbour will be happy until we have gone. We can’t help the number of carers and health workers he has - he is disabled and dying.

Skip the warden.
Speak with the housing officer and/or both area manager.
Get them to visitor the neighbour and listen to the so called noises.
Obviously, they can’t be there early mornings. You have evidence for that part anyway. They can however listen to the TV volume and equipment noise from the neighbours side. Through the party wall etc.
You must NOW A.S.A.P contact the CAB.
Be clear with the land lord/warden that your family will not tolerate further harassment.
You are seeking legal advice.
The housing Association can offer the neighbour alternative accommodation. I take it there is a guest room on scheme.
Look at your father tenancy agreement …
it will state unsocial behaviour some where this works both ways. Turn that clause around to them.
Make contact NOW with you local MP. You would be surprise how people back away.

(((HUGS))) first of all.

I would suggest that you get a “spy camera” and put it in the flat so you can record everything, and have irrefutable evidence about arrivals, departures and noise levels.

Oh Faye, you certainly don’t need this harassment! I’d rather like to suggest they put the soundproofing in the woman’s room and at her expense. She’s the one with the alleged problem. You’ve got proof she’s wrong about the times of the visits, told her your dad doesn’t have the tv on loud so then she switches her argument to breathing. Next it’ll be noisy bed linen.

I wouldn’t be in a big hurry to pay for soundproofing, it could be interpreted as admitting to a problem that hasn’t yet been verified.

As Sunnydisposition and others have said, your father has legal rights that need be respected. The warden is looking for an easy way out. She’s out of line to suggest he moves. She hasn’t even investigated yet! No clue on tenancy law either.

By the way, does your father pay his own rent, or is he on the local authority rate?

Thank you so much for all your advice and support. The warden has texted me today to say she can’t deal with the complaint and would like us both to write tibthe Trustees to put our views forward. I’m really anxious and not sure how best to approach it/ what to say- the consequences of getting it wrong seem so enormous. Please keep your fingers crossed that it lands the right way.