By Jamie Bullen, 6 March 2018
Sarvenaz Fouladi, 38, claimed youngsters running around, playing and dropping toys - as well as the sound of the boiler, fridge, taps and the fireplace - ruined her peace.
A wealthy banker who sued her upstairs neighbours over the "intolerable" noise from a young family has won a payout of more than £100,000.
Sarvenaz Fouladi, 38, complained she had been subjected to severe disruption as children above her £2.6m Kensington apartment treated their home like a "playground".
Miss Fouladi, who lives with her mum, said youngsters running around and playing as well as the sound of everyday activity such as dishes being washed ruined her peace in the day and kept her up at night.
She sued the couple above - Sarah and Ahmed El Kerrami - for "noise nuisance" and has now won six-figure compensation.
Judge Nicholas Parfitt said it was the noise of simple "day-to-day living" which had caused the problems in the mansion block, off High Street Kensington.
But the El Kerramis and the family company which owns their flat should have had carpets on the wooden floors in living areas, he said.
And, when the floor was replaced before they moved in, nothing had been done to limit noise transmission between the flats.
"I find that the noises are the noises associated with everyday living," he told Central London County Court.
"I find also that those noises include, on occasion, late night parties, but that such parties - even if they do include singing and drumming - are not frequent.
"I find that the noises include those of children playing and running around, including late at night.
"The impact of the noise is sufficiently loud to be invasive and disturbing to an objective standard."
He added: "I am satisfied that, but for the new floor being as it is, the noise disturbance that I have referred to as present would not have been so."
During the case, the banker told the court she had lived happily in St Mary Abbots Court - a 1920s block with 24-hour porters - for years without noise from above.
It was only when work was done prior to the El Kerramis' arrival in 2010 that her life and that of her mum, Fereshant Salamat, began to be blighted.
Sounds from the boiler, a fridge, taps and the fireplace above began to disturb her sleep at night and relaxation during the day.
The mother and daughter kept a diary, noting down noises they objected to, including the sounds of dishes being washed, kids' voices and "angry breathing".
The children ran around for hours on end, dropping toys and making a racket, she said in her evidence.
"They used it like a playground, kids running and dropping things for seven hours non-stop," she told the judge.
"Before the flat was renovated and all the walls were demolished and the floors were taken out, there was no noise heard from the flat above ours."
Miss Fouladi, who is single, was accused by her neighbours' barrister, Gordon Wignall, of being "hypersensitive" to the activity of a normal family.
The sounds of the kids playing upstairs were simply "ordinary domestic child noises from time to time", he told the court.
The El Kerramis "have only ever lived a sober and normal lifestyle", he said.
Denying she is obsessed, Miss Fouladi told the judge: "I just want to live my life in peace. It's my home. It's where people go for peace and quiet.
"How am I supposed to unwind in my home when I am not able to do so? The noises that come down are intolerable."
Miss Fouladi claimed against the couple and an offshore company, which was described by Mr El Kerrami as a "family asset holding vehicle", which owns the flat.
She claimed the lease on their flat was breached in that changes to the flooring had not been authorised and much of it was not carpeted.
And she said the company and the El Kerramis had caused her "nuisance" by allowing their day-to-day noise to affect her property.
Giving judgment, Judge Parfitt rejected any suggestion that the El Kerramis had created noise deliberately to annoy Miss Fouladi.
And he said the noise diary kept by Miss Fouladi and her mum was "exaggerated" in places.
However, Kensington and Chelsea Council officers had visited and heard excessive and disturbing noise at times, he said.
"I conclude that everyday noises of the type described by the officers could be heard to a disturbing level...and such noises, even at midnight for example, could include children playing," he continued.
He added: "I find that no steps were taken to either design or implement a flooring solution which would mitigate noise transfer."
The noise had been a "real interference" with Miss Faloudi's life at home, he said, adding: "This has been a real and constant presence for her and her mother."
The judge said the lease was breached by the installation of new floors in the El Kerramis' flat without authorisation and by the failure to use carpets in living areas.
And he accepted Miss Fouladi's claim that the El Kerramis and the company had caused her noise "nuisance".
He issued an injunction, ordering the company to do work on the floors in the flat to significantly reduce noise levels.
And he ordered that Miss Fouladi be paid compensation of £107,397.37, rising by £40-a-day until the work is done.
Claims of nuisance and breach of contract made against the freeholder of the block, St Mary Abbots Court Limited, were rejected by the judge,