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5 Mar 2018

Woman wins N50M payout over noise from flat above

A wealthy financier who complained “intolerable” noise from her upstairs neighbours was ruining the tranquillity of her £2.6 million apartment has won more than £100,000 in damages.

Sarvenaz Fouladi, 38, said the constant bombardment of sounds from the family of five above her Kensington home was keeping her up at night and had affected her ability to work.

She said Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami held late-night parties, including singing and drumming, while their children treated the flat like a playground.

Ms Fouladi, who lives with her mother in St Mary Abbots Court, sued over “noise nuisance” and Judge Nicholas Parfitt, at Central London county court, ruled the El Kerramis and the company which owns their flat should have put down carpets on the wooden floors in living areas.

Judge Parfitt said: “Those noises include, on occasion, late night parties, but ... such parties — even if they do include singing and drumming — are not frequent. Noises include those of children playing and running around, including late at night. The impact is sufficiently loud to be invasive and disturbing to an objective standard.”

Miss Fouladi told an earlier hearing she had lived happily in the Twenties block, which has 24-hour porters, for years but this changed when major alterations to the flat above — including changing the wooden floor — were made before the El Kerramis arrived in 2010.

She could now hear the boiler, fridge, taps and fireplace, she said, disturbing her sleep and relaxation.

She and her mother Fereshant Salamat kept a diary of noise, which included complaints about “angry breathing” and dishes being washed.

“They used it like a playground, kids running and dropping things for seven hours non-stop”, she said. “Before the flat was renovated ... there was no noise.” She denied being “hypersensitive”, adding: “I just want to live my life in peace.

"The noises that come down are intolerable.” She argued the alterations amounted to a breach of the lease on the El Kerramis’ flat.

Judge Parfitt rejected claims the El Kerramis had been deliberately noisy to annoy Ms Fouladi and said her diary was “exaggerated” in places. But after a visit, Kensington and Chelsea council officers had reported a “disturbing level” of noise.

At Friday’s hearing, the judge ordered the flat owners to do work on floors to reduce noise.

He awarded Ms Fouladi compensation of £107,397.37, rising £40 a day until the work is done. He rejected claims of nuisance and breach of contract against the freeholder, St Mary Abbots Court Limited.

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