Suffering noise nuisance?
Posted: 7th March 2018
If you live in a block of flats, the law is there to protect you against noise or other nuisance caused by fellow residents.
In a recent case, a woman who sued her upstairs neighbours over what she described as intolerable noise levels.
The woman, Sarvenaz Fouladi, claimed that she had been subjected to a constant bombardment of noise emanating from the flat above her own £2.6 million apartment.
Her complaints focused on modifications particularly the installation of new wooden flooring in the upstairs flat by her neighbours.
The judge found that much of the noise – caused by, amongst other things, children playing and dishes being washed late at night – was associated with day-to-day living. Mr and Mrs El Kerrami held occasional late-night parties, sounds from their boiler, fridge, taps and fireplace were also audible in the flat below.
The 38 year old woman’s description of the noise that she endured was exaggerated to some extent. However, when the floor in the upstairs flat was replaced, nothing had been done to limit noise transmission into the apartment below. The new floor had been installed without the authority of the block’s freeholder and removal of carpets from some living areas also amounted to a breach of Mr and Mrs El Kerrami’s lease.
The judge rejected claims that the couple had deliberately caused a noise nuisance. However, in awarding Miss Fouladi £107,397 in damages, he found that the overall noise levels were sufficiently loud to be invasive and disturbing to an objective standard.
The judge also issued an injunction against the couple and their company, requiring them to carry out work on the floors and implement an extensive acoustic strategy in order to reduce noise levels in the flat below. The amount of damages payable will be increased at a daily rate of £40.18 until those works are completed.