Question: I have a problem with the neighbours upstairs. I hear every footstep as their dining room is directly above me.
They have parquetry flooring and no rugs or other floor coverings in their living areas.
Visitors to my apartment agree the noise is unbearable.
I do not have a good relationship with these neighbours. I have broached this subject with them and they just state that no-one else can hear it and refuse to make any changes. Our owners corporation have not been helpful either.
I am not trying to create angst but I do feel my ‘reasonable peace, comfort or privacy’ is compromised. What can I do?
Answer: Even in the absence of an applicable bylaw, there is a general duty not to cause nuisance under the strata legislation.
The absence of floor coverings is likely a breach of the by-laws applicable to the scheme.
Even in the absence of that by-law, there is a general duty not to cause nuisance under the strata legislation. Section 153:
153 Owners, occupiers and other persons not to create nuisance
1 You must not make noise at any time within your lot or on common property that is likely to disturb peaceful enjoyment of another resident or anyone using common property.
- An owner, mortgagee or covenant chargee in possession, tenant or occupier of a lot in a strata scheme must not:
- use or enjoy the lot, or permit the lot to be used or enjoyed, in a manner or for a purpose that causes a nuisance or hazard to the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not), or
- use or enjoy the common property in a manner or for a purpose that interferes unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of the common property by the occupier of any other lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the common property, or
- use or enjoy the common property in a manner or for a purpose that interferes unreasonably with the use or enjoyment of any other lot by the occupier of the lot (whether that person is an owner or not) or by any other person entitled to the use and enjoyment of the lot.
Further, are you able to establish whether the parquetry was an original or after-market installation and whether or not such floors are approved by strata?
You may wish to contact your real estate managing agent (as opposed to the relevant strata manager) as the “unreasonable noise” may be in breach of your residential tenancy agreement.
Lastly, you will need some probative evidence of the unreasonableness of the noise – so should you wish to pursue the matter further, we recommend you engage the services of an acoustic engineer to confirm if the noise experienced is within acceptable standards.
Please note that this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal advice