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Matic v. Miller - 2023 ONCAT 32 - 2023-03-01

Corporation:

MM 32

Date:

2023-03-01

Under:

CAT Decisions - Decision
Noise
Vibration

Summary:

In the case of Matic v. Miller, the owner of a unit in Peel Condominium Corporation No. 351 complained of unreasonable noise coming from the neighboring unit and sought action from the condominium corporation. The applicant alleged that the noise disrupted her and her mother's sleep and requested the respondent to comply with the Condominium Act and the condominium's rules. The applicant also asked for improvements to the security reporting system and remedial soundproofing in her unit. However, the evidence presented did not establish that the noises were caused by the respondent or constitute a nuisance. The Condominium Authority Tribunal determined that the condominium corporation had taken reasonable steps to address the noise complaints and dismissed the application.

Verdict:

This case highlights the need for a strong evidential basis when pursuing claims of unreasonable noise within a condominium. Unit owners must provide clear and compelling evidence, and condominium corporations are expected to reasonably investigate complaints. The decision also emphasizes that balanced, fair decisions are made based on the evidence presented.

Takeaways:

Complaints about Unreasonable Noise: This case revolves around an owner's complaint about unreasonable noise originating from an adjoining unit within a condominium. The applicant alleged that these noises disrupted her sleep significantly.

Responsibility of Unit Owners: Under Section 117(2) of the Condominium Act, 1998, unit owners are prohibited from carrying on activities that create unreasonable noise, causing a nuisance or disruption to fellow residents within the condominium. The condominium's governing documents, such as its rules, may also include provisions related to noise.

Importance of Evidence: The Tribunal assessed the evidence presented by the applicant, including audio recordings, witness statements, and complaints. The decision emphasized that evidence and the balance of probabilities are crucial in determining whether unreasonable noise exists.

Limited Investigation: The condominium corporation was found to have conducted some investigations into the noise complaints, but the investigations were limited in scope. The applicant's refusal to provide access to her unit for a more thorough investigation also played a role in the decision.

No Orders Issued: Ultimately, the Tribunal concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the applicant's claim of unreasonable noise and that the source of the noise wasn't definitively identified. As a result, the application was dismissed, and no orders were issued.

Recommendations: 

Recommendations:

Gather Strong Evidence: When dealing with noise complaints or disputes, it is essential to gather robust and objective evidence to support the claim. This may include recordings, witness statements, and incident reports.

Cooperate with Investigations: Both unit owners and condominium corporations should cooperate to facilitate thorough investigations into noise complaints. Refusing access or cooperation may limit the effectiveness of the investigation.

Seek Legal Advice: If faced with complex condominium disputes, it may be beneficial for all parties involved to seek legal advice to ensure their rights are protected and they understand their responsibilities under the Condominium Act and governing documents.

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