“Noise-related disputes are just exploding”

According to an article in the Financial Post, condo owners are fed up with noise in the City of Toronto. 

Natalia Polis of Lash Condo Law says, “Noise-related disputes are just exploding.” Many of the complaints are about buildings’ mechanical sounds, elevator shafts, garbage chutes, boiler rooms, parkades, rooftop mechanics and construction projects. 

The complaints started to happen in conjunction with the COVD pandemic with people working from home.

“Noise is subjective,” says lawyer and former Canadian Condominium Institute president Jamie Herle. “If the rules say you can’t smoke in the unit or have a pet, that’s easy. Sound is more difficult. Most people don’t want to be problematic neighbours. Often a respectful conversation can solve the problem, more than a scolding letter from the board.”

If the problem isn’t a neighbour but a mechanical noise,  it’s best to take the complaint to the board for resolution.

Polis states, “If they’re not willing to negotiate or make concessions, you can skip mediation and arbitration. With noise disputes, more often than not they go right to the final stage.”

“Look at the issue with compassion instead of annoyance,” Herle says, particularly when the noise is being generated by neighbours. “Sometimes we don’t realize the effect we are having on others.”

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