Liability for noise nuisance

A London magistrates court recently imposed liability for a noise nuisance not on the person making the noise but on the landlords of the affected property because of its poor sound insulation. The decision appears to be the first of its kind, and could set a trend for extending the scope of liability for noise pollution.

Silvia Rossell, a tenant of a basement flat of council property, was disturbed by the intrusive sounds from the upstairs flat, covering anything from television to her neighbours' love-making.

The block of flats was built between the Wars and has since been refurbished, but without any inter-floor sound insulation. Instead of taking action against her neighbours, she therefore laid a complain under s 59 of the Control of Pollution Act 197

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