A wealthy businessman who complained of unbearable ‘bubble wrap popping noise’ in his London apartment faces a £1 million in legal fees after suffering ‘resounding defeat’ in a court case against the freeholder of the flat.
Nazirali Tejani moved to the £2.6million apartment near Oxford Street in 2012 but found the flat was “uninhabitable” because of the “intermittent” sound which he said was loud enough to wake him from sleep.
He sued the freeholder Fitzroy Place Residential Ltd for noise nuisance and the developer Mortimer Street GP Ltd for failing to remedy the defects in the façade of the building.
Other residents also said they were haunted by a similar noise which could not be eliminated despite extensive work.
Tejani’s barrister Timothy Dutton KC said the noise which occurred both day and night “cannot be suppressed or masked and can be heard even if a television or radio is playing in the apartment and irrespective of whether internal doors are closed.”
Tejani said the noise “radiates across the whole apartment” and wrote in September 2018 that he “cannot stay in the flat any longer due to it.”
However, Judge Veronique Buehrlen KC dismissed the ‘weak’ case and ordered the tycoon to pay the costs of the case.
“I have … concluded that the noise complained of is not such as to awaken the average person when sleeping in the apartment, let alone frequently,” the judge said in her ruling.
“The acoustic expert evidence demonstrates that most of the sounds emanating from the façade are either inaudible or very quiet,” she said.
“Contrary to Mr Tejani’s case, I accept evidence that the vast majority of the sounds complained of would be suppressed by a television being on or music playing.”
She said Tejani should pay £535,000 up front towards the defendants’ full costs bill which is estimated at more than £900,000.
The amount, together with Tejani’s own lawyers’ bills, means he takes a hit for more than £1 million.