Condo Act Reform – #1 Consumer Protection: Noise

This is the third of three posts on the suggestions for amendments to provide greater consumer protection. Anyone that has lived in, or worked for, a condominium is familiar with the frequency of noise complaints. Sometimes the complaints stem from overly sensitive individuals; sometimes the noise complaints are legitimate. Whatever the reason, every condominium has at some point experienced a noise issue. To address noise issues, the expert panel has made the following suggestion:

The Act should be amended to recognize the right to quiet enjoyment and the board’s responsibility to take reasonable steps to enforce it.

The stated purpose of the above is to enhance the ability of the board to respond to noise complaints. It seems to me that the above suggestion, while commendable, is unnecessary in most condominiums as they already have prohibitions on noise in their declarations or rules. In some cases, these documents have detailed provisions regarding the process, obligations, and liability for costs. That said, it could be invaluable to those condominiums that do not have such provisions and have been unable to enact them because they cannot obtain the necessary number of votes to pass either an amendment to the declaration or a rule (assuming a group of owners is frustrating the attempt to pass a rule by requisitioning a meeting to vote against it). Unfortunately, the issue of noise will always be a difficult one for boards to address.

Up next week #2 – Financial Management: Educating and Informing Owners.