Resolving complaints about a disruptive owner who continually contravenes the bylaws and interferes with others’ use and enjoyment of their strata lot and common property is difficult for every strata council. Often strata councils feel that they are powerless to enforce bylaws particularly if the owner ignores the fines that have been levied.
There are a number of things that a strata council can do when faced with noisy neighbors and noise complaints. The first step is to remind the owner of their obligations under the bylaws and the Strata Property Act. This can be done in writing or in person. If the issue persists, the strata council can consider levying fines. Fines must be reasonable and must be authorized by the bylaws.
If a board receives noise complaints from neighboring homeowners, they may want to consider talking with each neighbor and encouraging them find an amicable solution that works for both parties. If informal mediation fails in resolving the issue between two neighbors and if the issue still persists, the strata council can hire a mediator to help resolve the issue. The mediator will meet with both parties and help them come to an agreement. If mediation is not successful, the next step is to take the matter to arbitration. This is a last resort option as it can be costly and time-consuming.
Noise issues tend to be more technical than other types of nuisances, which is why they may require a more tactful approach. It’s easy to tell a member to have an honest talk about excessive noise with their neighbour, but they may not be comfortable having that talk. Confrontation is uncomfortable. Moreover, neighbours may not be able to solve the problem on their own. If you need to address a noise complaint, do your best to work with your community members and encourage an amicable resolution.
Noisy neighbors can be a real problem for strata councils. However, there are a number of things that strata councils can do to resolve noise complaints including reminding owners of their obligations, levying fines, hiring a mediator, or taking the matter to arbitration. By taking action, strata councils can help ensure that all owners are able to enjoy their homes in peace.
Not Legal Advice - The material provided on the StrataPress website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and may not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided on this website, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice. These materials may have no evidentiary value and should be checked against official sources before they are used for professional or commercial purposes. Your use of these materials is at your own risk.