Dispute with a neighbour

Jessica and David’s neighbours discover parquet flooring under carpets and cause a racket.

Jessica and David were very happy with the basement flat they bought in Denmark Hill, South London, and initially got on well with all their neighbours. That was until the couple living above them discovered they had beautiful parquet flooring beneath the carpets. Consequently her neighbours ripped up the carpets, and spent every weekend for the next few months sanding the floors – and then walking noisily on them.

The noise was intolerable – Jessica’s bedroom was below her neighbours’ living room, and the two couples kept different hours due to work. Despite the lease agreement stipulating that the carpets must remain, they felt helpless to enforce this as there was no-one to arbitrate the dispute. Moreover, if they made a formal complaint, Jessica would have to disclose the issue to any future buyer of their flat, making it difficult for them to sell. In the end, Jessica and her partner moved out – to quiet Oxfordshire.