Condo owners sue upstairs neighbours for playing loud music at night

Late night party during a pandemic is not on the agenda for one condo owner in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Condo owners Yang Chu and Felix Tan attempted to connect with the the property manager to complain about loud music from their upstairs neighbours during 19 late nights during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A small-claims court decision by the civil resolution tribunal revealed the loud conversation and music “over several hours” made the duo lack sleep and increased stress.

According to the document, the noise “occurred after 10 p.m. and before 7 a.m., often over several hours, when I find it reasonable to expect that residents of a multi-unit building conduct themselves quietly so that others can sleep. I find the evidence establishes that the respondents caused noise-related nuisance to the applicants,” said tribunal member Julie K. Gibson.

Chu and Tan submitted recordings outside their neighbours’ closed door of “loud conversation and repetitive music with a significant bass component.” Apparently they have recorded levels of over 50 dBAs.

Gibson noted that an earlier B.C. Supreme Court ruling had referred to WHO guidelines that 30 dBAs would cause “disturbance in a bedroom” and 50 to 55 dBAs would cause an “annoyance in outdoor living area.” In Burnaby, a city bylaw limits noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 45 dBAs.

The upstairs neighbours are Seyed Mohsen Hashemi Sefat and Hirad Abbaspour and state that the “accusations are not a fair representation of what took place.”

Chu and Tam sought $200 for each of the 16 incidents, or $3,200.

According to the Vancouver Sun, Gibson awarded damages of $2,500, around $156 per incident, for “droning and living noise… long duration of each noisy event and the late hours.”

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