Hard Flooring Policy

Approved by the Exec Team: June 2021
Implemented on: June 2021
Review Date: June 2024
Service Area: Housing Services

1. Background

1.1 Hard flooring surfaces such as timber, laminates, sanded floorboards and ceramic tiles have become increasingly popular in recent years. This trend has, however, led to an increasing number of concerns and complaints with regard to noise disturbance, particularly in flats, where noise transference can be a real problem.

1.2 Research has shown that when a carpet is removed and replaced with wood or laminate flooring, the noise experienced by any neighbours below will increase significantly; in fact this may make the noise level for neighbours unbearable. Even everyday noises such as children running or playing, furniture being dragged, lifted or moved and pets running or playing can be amplified to an unacceptable level. This can lead to significant distress for residents and cause unnecessary tension and disputes between neighbours.

1.3 The risk of noise nuisance to neighbours can be minimised though if a flooring system has been laid that includes an effective sound insulating layer and if the tenant is mindful of the impact their lifestyle can have on neighbours.

1.4 This policy should be read in conjunction with your tenancy agreement as well as the following Mount Green policies:

  • Antisocial Behaviour Policy
  • Recharge Policy

2. Policy Objectives

2.1 All residents are responsible for putting down a suitable floor covering, with adequate underlay or insulation underneath it, to minimise noise nuisance. More importantly all residents have a responsibility to be aware of the potential impact of their lifestyle choices on others and show consideration for their neighbours. The objectives of this policy are to:

  • Encourage residents to be considerate neighbours
  • Ensure all residents are aware of their responsibilities regarding noise nuisance and the requirement to put down suitable flooring with sound insulation
  • Tackle noise nuisance effectively

3. Policy

3.1 Mount Green wishes to encourage residents to be considerate neighbours and not cause a noise nuisance. Mount Green expects all residents to put down suitable floor coverings, with adequate underlay or insulation in order to minimise noise nuisance to neighbours. Mount Green places the onus of responsibility on residents and will only take action where complaints have been received.

3.2 Resident Responsibilities
During the sign up process Mount Green will explain that residents are responsible for:

  • Ensuring there is adequate floor covering laid in a professional manner with sufficient underlay or sound insulation
  • Any maintenance to the flooring or floor coverings
  • Purchasing adequate household insurance to cover damage to floor coverings

3.3 Residents must apply in writing before fitting laminate or other hard flooring. Supporting documentation must be provided and this must include the specification of the material and insulation to be used by a reputable specialist flooring company. We will consider the type and layout of the building the resident lives in before making our decision; we will generally grant permission in houses or ground floor flats. Permission will not normally be granted to fit laminate flooring in flats above ground floor level.

3.4 If permission is granted, adequate underlay and insulation must be professionally installed at the resident’s expense and evidence of the type of installation and underlay installed must be provided to Mount Green.

Additionally it is the tenants responsibility to:

  • Leave existing skirting boards in place
  • To pay for any maintenance to the flooring or floor coverings
  • To be responsible for the removal and reinstatement of all, or part of any
    floor, if there is a need for us to undertake maintenance work under the
    floor
  • At the end of the tenancy, to arrange for the removal of the flooring and
    the making good of the existing flooring
  • To repair any damage to the flooring caused by water leaks or other
    maintenance work – this will not be the responsibility of Mount Green or
    its contractors.

3.5 Those with Starter or other Fixed Term tenancies cannot fit laminate or wood flooring and Leaseholders should refer to their lease.

3.6 If residents install laminate or other hard flooring without permission and there are any complaints of noise nuisance as a result, residents will be required to remove this flooring and replace it with a suitable floor covering at their own expense. Mount Green will not require flooring to be removed unless complaints have been received.

3.7 Ongoing complaints about noise nuisance due to laminate or hard flooring may result in legal action being taken against the resident in accordance with our Anti-Social Behaviour Policy. However it should be noted that legal action will normally only be taken with the support of the local Environmental Health team.

4. Service Standards

4.1 We will make a decision in response to any request within 10 working days.

5. Consultation and Monitoring

5.1 This policy will be published on our website and information about hard flooring will be provided at the start of a tenancy.

5.2 The Housing Services Manager will monitor reports of ASB relating to this policy to review the correct application and effectiveness of this policy.

6. Equality and Diversity

6.1 We will ensure that through both or Equality Diversity Policy and Strategy, we meet our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and any other legal and regulatory requirements.

6.2 Mount Green are committed to playing an active role in promoting equality, valuing diversity and challenging discrimination. As a provider of homes and housing services, we aim to ensure all our residents are dealt with fairly and to promote a culture of tolerance and respect in our workplaces and communities.