How to deal with noise complaint due to flooring- HELP!
I will try to give a not-so-extensive background on my situation, so here it goes.
I just moved into a great apartment. The place is all ceramic tile and beautifully renovated. Walls, ceiling and floors are all cement backed. Very structurally sound.
Everything has been awesome so far, that was until I got a noise complaint 1 week into me being there. I had 4 people over on a Saturday night, all with their shoes off, all being at relatively normal levels and the neighbors below filed a noise complaint.
Being somewhat pissed off that I wasn't even making excessive noise to my account, I went to speak with them, and to my surprise, they are very nice, cool, understanding people. After talking for a while, I find out that this guy has been living there for years and the tile floors have been an issue for him for a long time. He has fought previous owners, the HOA, etc to get the floor carpeted to no success. He has had renters kicked out for the noise and is willing to pay for some (not a lot) of the installation- that's how bad he wants it done.
I had my friends walk around in my place while I was in their apartment and lo and behold, it was extremely loud. No noises, just THUMP THUMP THUMP. Like hammers. I can't blame the guy- it is very very loud.We have concluded that when they installed the floor, they failed to put any cork or soundproofing under the tile because the floor is sitting right on the concrete. He can hear me walk around by myself, and when I have people over it is just magnified by 10x.
I have come to terms that it will probably have to be carpeted in certain areas.
While I was worried I would be giving up the tile, I am more worried about who is going to pay for this. I am wondering why I would be on the hook- I JUST BOUGHT THE PLACE! I didn't install the floors! The flooring issue was never brought to my attention during the sale or else I would have negotiated this in the deal! I feel completely screwed here
.My agent felt that liability for the improperly installed floors could be made with the following arguments to the following parties.
* The seller never disclosed that there is a known issue with the floors in regards to improper installation of the floors without sound proofing (its not the neighbor, its the floor)- it is on the seller.
* The HOA never did the proper assessments to approve the flooring- it is on the HOA.
* A previous seller had the floors improperly installed without approval- it is on the seller or HOA.
* The title insurance should cover defective/improperly installed flooring- it is an "encumbrance" on the property.
However after pushing this further my agent is being lazy, changed her position, and doesn't feel like I have a case here for any of the above. So without liability on the seller or HOA my options are:
* I eat the $3000 charge myself to carpet the place for something I had no control over
* I forgo the carpet, deal with the numerous noise complaints (up to $500 per violation from my building, ?? from whoever else) and face legal action for nuisance (after doing research, this is enforced by the DEH/Denver Police), and deal with a generally pissed off neighbor below.
* I forgo the carpet, never have people over to avoid noise complaints (however this still doesn't solve the problem and puts liability on me when I sell it) and tip-toe around my place.
This whole situation has made my first home buying experience and awful one. I am trying to work through it but any advice would be appreciated.
My current actions:
* Gather documentation of the history of noise complaints from the HOA to show that the seller (s) knew about the floors noise issue yet did not disclose the floor issue to me during the sale.
* Get an acoustical noise test to show that the floors are extremely loud and were improperly installed
* Send a letter to the seller asking him to help me resolve this with compensation
* File a claim with my title insurance
Thanks in advance for any insight you have!