A recent decision made by Judge Nicholas Parfitt at the Central London County Court should serve as a wake up call to flat owners and landlords on the importance of considering how alterations to a flat could impact on noise nuisance claims.
In 2010, a flat situated in Kensington underwent major alterations which included replacing all carpets with wooden floors. The change in the flooring led to a serious noise nuisance for the claimant Ms Sarvenaz Fouladi who lived below, who claimed she could hear everything from the flat above her including the boiler, dishes being washed and so on. Ms Fouladi made various complaints that the owners of the property above hers - Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami were ruining her enjoyment of the property. She alleged the defendants were affecting her ability to sleep and work due to the level of noise they were making.
Ms Fouladi sued the defendants for noise nuisance and the decision was handed down last week.
Judge Parfitt ordered that significant work would need to be done to the floors in the flat to reduce the levels of noise. He also ordered a compensation payment of £107,397.37 to be paid to the claimant and ordered this would rise by £40 per day until the work has been done.
Your lease contains certain regulations which govern the day to day living at the property. In particular, it is extremely common that leases will contain a prohibition on installing wooden flooring in a flat, and if it is permitted, it is usually on the condition that good quality underlay is put down first. Taking heed of particulars set out in your lease will help to avoid not just disputes but also significant costs.
The case is also particularly relevant for landlord who might “overlook” leaseholders taking up carpets and underlay with obtaining the necessary consents required under the lease.
Lease is King! If you are a leaseholder or landlord and would like assistance is reviewing the terms of the lease(s) in your block, we would be happy to help. To discuss your particular situation, please click here.
Danielle Cohen is a Solicitor at JPC Law
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