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Gan v. Yeomans - 2023 ONCAT 142 - 2023-10-04

Corporation:

GY

Date:

Wed Oct 04 2023 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Noise

Summary:

In the case of Gan v. Yeomans, a condominium dispute was addressed by the Condominium Authority Tribunal. The dispute involved noise complaints in a small condominium community, with the applicant and as the respondent. The background revealed building deficiencies identified in a Tarion Warranty Corporation audit, and the respondent's physical challenges due to injuries.

The issues revolved around whether the noise from the respondent's' unit constituted a nuisance or annoyance, violating the Condominium Act and the condominium's governing documents. Evidence included noise logs and correspondence from the condominium board addressing the noise complaints.

The tribunal recognized that while some noise is expected in a communal living environment, nighttime disturbances were unreasonable. Remedies included ordering to install carpets or rugs in bedrooms, wear soft-soled shoes during quiet hours, and reimburse Ms. Gan $200 for filing fees.

Verdict:

In the case of Gan v. Yeomans, the tribunal found that the noise complaints made by the applicant, regarding the respondent, Lis, were valid during nighttime hours. The tribunal ordered the respondent to install carpets or rugs in her unit's bedrooms and wear soft-soled shoes during quiet hours between 11 pm and 7 am. Additionally, the respondent was directed to reimburse the applicant $200 for filing fees. This decision aimed to balance the rights and circumstances of both parties while addressing the noise issues in the condominium community.

Takeaways:

Background Information: The case of Gan v. Yeomans involved a dispute in a small condominium community, with the applicant and the respondent. Applicant alleged that noise from the respondent unit was interfering with her quiet enjoyment of her home.

Condominium Registration: The condominium in question, Kenora Standard Condominium Corporation No. 17 (KSCC 17), was registered in March 2021. This registration is significant because it led to a Tarion Warranty Corporation performance audit in March 2022, which identified various building deficiencies.

Noise Complaints: The main issue in the case revolved around whether the respondent's activities in her unit were causing unreasonable noise, violating both the Condominium Act and KSCC 17's governing documents. Noise complaints included sounds of banging, crashing, drilling, dropping of items, stomping, and thumping, which were noted in a log kept by the applicant.

Board Involvement: KSCC 17's board sent several letters to the repondent regarding the noise complaints and suggested measures to address the issue, such as wearing soft-soled shoes and using area rugs to dampen sound.

Tribunal Decision: The tribunal found that while some daytime noises may not have been unreasonable, the nighttime disturbances were substantial and constituted a nuisance, violating Rule C.1 of the condominium's governing documents. As a remedy, the respondent was ordered to install appropriately sized carpets or rugs in her unit's bedrooms and to wear soft-soled shoes in her unit between 11 pm and 7 am. Additionally, the applicant was directed to reimburse $200 for her filing fees with the tribunal.

This case demonstrates the importance of balancing the rights and circumstances of both parties while addressing noise issues in a condominium community and the significance of compliance with governing documents and regulations.

Recommendations: 

Open and Constructive Communication: Encourage open and constructive communication between neighbors in a condominium community. Clear and respectful dialogue can often help resolve noise and other issues before they escalate into formal disputes. Neighbors should be encouraged to discuss their concerns and reach compromises when possible.

Consideration for Neighbors: Encourage condominium residents to be considerate of their neighbors, especially during quiet hours as defined in the condominium's rules and regulations. This may involve being mindful of noise levels, wearing appropriate footwear during quiet hours, and making efforts to reduce any noise that may affect other residents.

Regulatory Compliance and Remedies: Ensure that condominium corporations, boards, and management companies are diligent in addressing noise-related concerns in accordance with the condominium's governing documents and applicable laws. When building deficiencies are identified as contributing to the issue, expedite the resolution process, and encourage cooperation between the parties involved.

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