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A high-flying couple has won a court battle against their millionaire neighbours after a judge dubbed the noise of their young family on the wooden floor upstairs “unbearable”.

‌Businessman Sergey Grazhdankin and his wife, Maria, claimed their lives in a gated art deco development in West Kensington, London, became “torture” after neighbours moved into the £1.1m apartment above them and ripped up the carpets. The couple said they were subjected to a constant assault of noise through the new wooden floors upstairs – including kids playing and crying, creaking joists, footsteps and noisy conversations.




‌They had previously enjoyed peace and quiet in their three-bed apartment, but the installation of the wooden floors had shattered that and left them feeling as though they were in a flatshare, they said. Mr Grazhdankin, 42, who runs an insurance services company, sued his neighbours, City banker Medhi Guissi and his wife Meriem El Harouchi, over the “nuisance” caused by noise from the wooden floors.

Yesterday, Judge Tracey Bloom handed victory to Mr Grazhdankin, finding that the noise they suffered after their neighbours tore up the old carpets was “unbearable” and kept them awake at night. The Grazhdankins had been “clearly distressed” by the noise, which was the result of sound restricting flooring being incorrectly installed, meaning it was as much use as a “piece of plywood” laid across the floorboards, the judge said.

Medhi Guissi on his way to court(Champion News)

‌The decision leaves upstairs neighbours Mr Guissi and Mrs El Harouchi having to fork out £16,087 in compensation, as well as paying a substantial portion of the £250,000 lawyers’ bills for the case. ‌Central London County Court heard Mr Grazhdankin and marketing manager Mrs Grazhdankin moved into their fourth floor flat in North End House, Fitzjames Lane, in 2011, before their neighbours bought the apartment upstairs for £1.1m in 2018.

‌Previously, the Grazhdankins had an elderly lady living above them and told the court that they very rarely heard noise from upstairs, other than the occasional banging of a door.‌ But after Mr Guissi and his wife bought the property, they began a major refurbishment of the flat, tearing out walls, changing the layout of the rooms and replacing the floor. ‌In place of the carpeted floor which the former owner had, they installed a wooden floor, with a floating acoustic barrier in an attempt to alleviate any noise.

‌However, the Grazhdankins complained that the acoustic floor was fitted incorrectly, with screws being driven through it and into the joists, against the specific instructions of the manufacturers. The “incorrect” installation of the floor resulted in creaking and the constant passage of impact and airborne sound from above, they said. ‌In a statement written at the time and put before the court, Mr Grazhdankin said that, after a year living in Germany, he and his family had moved back into the flat in August 2020.

‌Once back in the apartment, he and his wife had found the noise “unbearable,” he said, with the change of layout above so that living areas are above bedrooms making things worse.‌ “During the week, we are woken up daily between 5.30am and 7.30am by the noise from above and we can hear floor making creaking sounds, walking sounds and the sound of moving furniture right above our main bedroom,” he said.

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