A tycoon who complained that life in his luxury Fitzrovia apartment was made “unbearable” by a mystery noise like “bubble wrap popping” is facing a £1 million legal bill after his case was thrown out by a judge.
Nazirali Tejani, 70, bought the flat in Fitzroy Place off-plan in 2012 for £2.595 million. But soon after moving in he complained his peace was being shattered by a loud clicking or popping noise, described as being “akin to popping bubble wrap”, which he said ran through the entire flat and disturbed his sleep. Other residents described a similar noise, but despite extensive work the sound was not eliminated and Mr Tejani sued the freeholder and developer for around £1 million in damages.
Following a High Court trial, Judge Veronique Buehrlen KC dismissed his case as “weak” and has now ordered him to pay defence costs as well as his own legal bill, estimated at more than £1 million. The judge said Mr Tejani should have settled the case instead of going to trial, where he suffered a “resounding defeat” after she found the noise was not bad enough to keep a person awake.
Mr Tejani first complained about the noise in 2016, soon after completion of Fitzroy Place, with 289 apartments .“The noise occurs both day and night. It is loud enough to wake the claimant and his wife when sleeping”, said his barrister, Timothy Dutton KC.
“The noise cannot be suppressed or masked and can be heard even if a television or radio is playing.”
Mr Tejani called the noise “unbearable” and launched legal action against freeholder Fitzroy Place Residential Ltd for noise nuisance and developer 2-10 Mortimer Street GP Ltd. But they argued the noise was “infrequent” and should not wake up any occupant. Judge Buehrlen said that the sound could be masked by a TV or music playing.