Successful appeal to the Central Criminal Court sitting at the Old Bailey against the decision of magistrates to dismiss an appeal against an abatement notice alleging a noise nuisance from creaking heard in a lower flat.
The defendant was the tenant of an upper floor flat. The Corporation of London served an abatement notice alleging that he was causing a noise nuisance, namely creaking noises heard in the flat below. The flats were in a converted Victorian hotel and the structure was inadequate to prevent the transmission of noise between floors. The defendant had refurbished his flat: his works included replacing the floor laid on top of the landlord’s joists. It was accepted that the new floor had better noise attenuation properties than the old one.
The tenant of the lower flat said that, before the new floor was laid, she heard footfall, that the creaking only started when the new floor was laid and that the creaking was worse. But the EHO who authorised the abatement notice had not heard the footfall and so was in no position to tell whether this was correct. The creaking noises were generated when the defendant walked in his flat and the abatement notice appeared to require the defendant to stop doing this.
The defendant appealed against the abatement notice and appeared unsuccessfully in person before the City of London Magistrates. At the hearing of his appeal to the Crown Court the Corporation agreed to withdraw the abatement notice and to pay the defendant’s costs of the appeal.
Richard Langham appeared for the defendant on the appeal.