How should we approach the problem of leases, keep carpeted clauses - surely these are out-dated with modern wooden flooring?
Keep carpeted clauses are probably now considered a 'primitive way' of deadening noise arising from "impact sound" particularly in older properties where ceiling/floor insulation schemes are not up to modern standards. Many leases include a "keep carpeted" clause. Leaseholders installing a wood floor covering would be a breaking this rule. Also, installing a wooden floor may may require the landlord's consent using a "Licence to Alter". Some leases have a clause which requires the Freeholder or Management Company to enforce covenants against other owners in breach, often the lease will require the complainant to fund such action. . The most sensitive areas for noise are often the hallways, installing a carpet runner on top of a wood floor in a hallway can reduce impact sound. . Directors of a Management/RTM or Freehold Company who don't take action where the lease requires them to do so could be exposing themselves to an action for breach of lease (not upholding the lease covenants). . It's worth seeing whether the lease enables the site to form 'regulations' as these being supplemental to the lease can then also be enforced. . If you are preparing granting a new lease or lease extension a good method of modernising the lease would be to permit wooden floors subject to a suitable sound insulation scheme being approved and licence to alter granted by the Freeholder. And, a clause to state that the complainant must bear the costs associated with determining the validity of the complaint (including, in this instance - sound testing). So the short answer is that you need to find an opportunity to get an effective lease.
Ms Pope, NW8