Condo Living Post-Covid – Noise and Odour

June 2020

In the post-covid world communities can anticipate residents being in their home more then previously.

Condo management can anticipate an increase in noise and odour complaints.  Common areas are likely to be more heavily utilized.  More trash may be generated.

Complaints will come from activities others consider acceptable.

An owner complains of noise from balconies after 11 pm.  Another complains about early morning balcony noise.  More suites may have loud music or television.  Some may undertake minor renovation projects.  There may be late night parties or overly loud conversations to contend with.  Someone exercising in their suite may disturb neighbours below.

Hard-soled shoes, chairs and furniture on floors will be a bigger problem for communities where suite owners have flooring lacking adequate sound control padding.  It is impractical, perhaps impossible, for residents to adjust daily activities to avoid such noise.  A community’s inability or unwillingness to enforce flooring standards will become a greater source of concern.

More time at home generates more odours.  Some may smoke or partake of cannabis.  Another lights incense candles.  More cooking means more in-suite odours that may escape to hallways, common areas or other suites if HVAC systems are inadequate or improperly utilized.

Inconsiderate and overly sensitive neighbours may become a greater concern for communities failing to establish and enforce reasonable rules, or with improperly functioning systems.  Legally, there may be more lawsuits where one owner claims the corporation acted “oppressively” by unfairly disregarding interests of one resident over another.

Cleaning procedures may have to be revised and trash dumpsters emptied more frequently.  Budgets may need to be adjusted to reflect these expenditures.  This is the post-covid reality.

Community rules and policies will receive greater scrutiny.  Those lacking in sound, reasonable and fair practices will likely have more problems and enforcement challenges.

Communities can take steps now to ensure enforcement of condo rules dealing with noise and odour emanating from suites.