Flat-owners should be very wary of dispensing with their carpets as a recent case decided in the Central London County Court illustrates. Mrs Fouladi sued her upstairs neighbours for noise nuisance following removal of their carpets from wooden floors in 2010.
The judge agreed that the noise was simply the sound of day-to-day living but the impact of the noise was sufficiently loud to be invasive and disturbing to an objective standard. Accordingly, he awarded the claimant damages of £107,387 in addition to an injunction ordering the defendants to carry out works to the floors.
While the full report is not yet available, the high level of damages is no doubt related to the value of the claimant’s property which is said to be worth £2.6m, and also to the length of the period during which the nuisance continued.
Most leases in blocks of flats will contain clauses to the effect that either carpeting or some other form of sound-proofing be installed to limit the effects of noise nuisance. Flat-owners should ensure that if either is removed, then it is replaced with an adequate alternative.
Those suffering from noise nuisance caused by the trend for wooden floors can take heart from the judgement.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.