Failure to Enforce Condo Rules – Noise

July 2017

Love them or not, condo rules are necessary.

Many people share ownership of a condo building. Condo rules exist because not everyone conducts themselves in a manner that gives proper consideration to their neighbours.

Lack of rules and weak enforcement results in more problems than rules some may oppose.

Noise is likely the most frequent problem in a high-rise condo building.

You now live in your dream condo home which cost tens of thousands of dollars to update. It has quality appliances, hardwood floors, luxury bathroom, large television and quality speakers. The neighbour above you has a similar setup.

If your condo building was not built with quality sound control materials, or if they were not included when your suite was renovated, your ideal home could be a nightmare for your neighbours. Your neighbour with a similar setup could become your nightmare.

Most people can put up with a little noise. Condo rules are intended to ensure that whatever noise emanates from condo suites is kept to a minimum.

Residing above you is a family. You hear high heels when someone walks across their floor. Chairs can be heard when moved. Their washer and dryer may rattle. You can hear music and television throughout the night through your ceiling. You know they awaken at 5 am when their alarm rings. Some nights it is difficult to fall asleep when their television is on all night. When their in-laws visit you can hear his mother’s walker as she moves throughout the condo.

You have put up with these noises for months. Letters to the management office offer soothing words and little else. At times you resort to banging on the ceiling with a broom and the noise quiets down for a period of time. You have been forced to call the police when the noises continue throughout the night.   There have been awkward moments in the hallway.

Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to stress, illness and poor behaviour. Legal action is a likely outcome of excessive noise after all other avenues have been exhausted.

Situations such as this are the result of condo corporations that fail to implement and enforce rules for controlling condo noise. Rules may include enforcement of renovation standards such as the use of sound control materials approved by the condo corporation. Security may be required to deal with loud noise levels emanating from specific condo suites. When all else fails, the condo corporation may be required to take legal action against residents as a means of rules enforcement.

All residents are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their home. Condo rules and their enforcement are intended to protect this right.

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