Noise Complaints Against Owner – Letter to the Editor

September 2023

I have been threatened by lawyers that they will file against me at my cost of $5000-$30,000 and up.  Many times I asked what is considered acceptable noise and I received no response.  I am now so afraid to even put my TV or radio on in case I get a complaint.  I can’t play my guitar or piano for fear of repercussions while I can hear others playing music and listening to TV or radio but only I am getting in trouble.

Do I have any rights at all here?   Other than this problem I am happy here.

C. T.

(Letter has been shortened to fit available space.)

Response from Toronto Condo News

It appears that you have been the source of noise complaints in the past, and are now being blamed for noise complaints that are not being caused by you.  Presumably, the corporation maintains a history of noise complaints which they follow up on and maintain records.

In answer to your questions, you have rights and cannot be forced to move based on what you describe as unidentified accusations lacking proof.  You are required to comply with your corporation’s governing documents which were provided when you purchased the unit.  With regard to what is “acceptable noise”, there appears to be no clear definition.  This depends on specific circumstances.  A condominium corporation is expected to establish rules that are equally enforced among all owners.  Review your declaration and condo rules for clarification on requirements or expectations in your community.

Unstated in your letter is if you have responded to the corporation’s accusations in writing.  If not, this should be considered.  Typically, the condominium manager should have spoken with you about any complaints they have received regarding your unit.  A legal letter is often a last resort when other efforts have failed.  Presumably, the corporation would have some documented proof or records prior to sending out a legal letter.

Toronto Condo News does not provide legal advice.  We do encourage you to respond in writing denying you are the source of noise if that is the truth.  You could inquire what documentation they have attributing the noise to your unit.  Include relevant details you feel are appropriate.

If you feel your condominium corporation is not acting in accordance with its governing documents, or treating you differently than other residents, you can consider going to the Condominium Authority Tribunal.


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