The Italian Supreme Court has ruled that neighbours who were disturbed by a noisy toilet for years must now be compensated by the lavatory’s owner.
The row over the noisy WC took place in La Spezia, which is a city located in the Liguria region of north-western Italy.
The toilet had reportedly been disturbing the neighbours since 2003, and the Italian Supreme Court has now ruled that its owner must pay the plaintiffs EUR 500 (GBP 417) for each year that the toilet has disturbed them.
The unnamed neighbours, reportedly a husband and wife, had seen their first complaint rejected by the initial court that heard the case. They subsequently appealed, and the appeals court agreed with the couple. This caused the owner of the toilet to appeal, leading to the Supreme Court having to look into the case.
The owner of the toilet was ordered by the appeals court in Genoa to pay the plaintiffs EUR 500 for every year that the toilet had disturbed them. The owner then appealed to the Supreme Court, which has now confirmed the ruling.
The Genoa court had reasoned that the noise of the toilet had “compromised the neighbours’ quality of life” because the head of their bed was close to the wall, and it was not possible to move the furniture around, due to the apartment’s size.
The Supreme Court, agreeing with the Genoa court, said that the toilet “significantly exceeded 3 dB with respect to the standards set by the specific legislation”.
Referring to the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular to aspects regarding respect for private and family life, the Supreme Court said that the “Strasbourg Court has applied this principle several times”, confirming the sentence from the appeals court and recognising that there had been a “prejudice to the right to rest”.
The ruling is final and cannot be appealed.