There are many situations where poor sound insulation is a contributing factor towards the cause of noise disturbance between adjoining properties.
The standards for sound insulation have gradually improved since 1976 through the Building Regulations. If you have any queries regarding the standard of sound insulation that is likely to be relevant to your property then please contact the Building Control Section on 01256 844844 or National House Building Council (NHBC) on 0870 2414306. The regulations are not retrospective so there is no obligation on any individual, including the owner, to carry out works to upgrade the sound insulation of a property.
Since the House of Lords decision in London Borough of Southwark v Mills & Others and Baxter v London Borough of Camden, it has not been possible to use the nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to deal with inadequate sound insulation between dwellings.
If you decide to carry out sound insulation works it is important to be aware that if your property is physically attached to another you will always to some extent be able to hear your neighbours and be aware of some of their activities.
The provision of sound insulation may not make high noise levels within your neighbour's property inaudible or even acceptable within your home. At best it will only reduce the noise you are hearing. It is important therefore not to have an unrealistically high expectation of the improvement that will be achieved. However, if you properly install the appropriate amount of insulation you should note an appreciable improvement.