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  • #66760
    andyj
    Flatchatter

      I have had a similar issue to this one, published earlier, in our apartment block for some time now and would like some feedback from the forum/community as to what is considered reasonable transmission of noise/ adequate flooring insulation. I have been reflecting on the comments above. I note Jimmy”s comments regarding increased noise now he has new residents above..

      Background:

      Many years ago the owner above had a timber laminate flooring installed throughout the whole unit above. This naturally excluded the laundry/bathroom/kitchen, but included the dining area. What resulted was horrendous noise from above which reverberated throughout all the surrounding units, but was worst in mine directly below.

      What complicated matters was that immediately after the flooring was installed, new tenants, a young family moved in. The family was extremely active, with the kids running/jumping from 7am till late, the mother skipping rope at 11pm, general yelling/screaming, door slamming etc. This was a daily experience that turned worse on weekends.

      After approaching our SC and  strata manager, the strata manager suggested we address the flooring issue as they felt this was the most offending culprit. 6 months of trying to negotiate with the owner above to remedy the flooring resulted in no progress and disharmony between neighbors. I then engaged a strata lawyer who suggested I take both tenant and owner for mediation. Owner for by-law 14 (at the time) an tenant for by-law 1 and s117(a). The SC subsequently suggested that I take the owner for By-Law 14 and the OC would deal with the tenant behavior as this was affecting 3 other units as well.

      It took me 12 months of adjudication, appeal from upstairs owner, a second appeal from the upstairs owner, a dummy spit from the upstairs owner at the Tribunal member, and they finally agreed to carpet all but the dining area near the kitchenette. This dampened the noise from a hammering sound to heavy rumbling.

      Another 12 months and the OC finally won at the Tribunal against the tenants and they moved out on condition that the OC did not pursue penalties against them. Unfortunately though, during the protracted battle the tenants obtained legal aid which forced the OC to engage their own lawyers. Many owners not directly affected by the noise were cheesed off at the expense incurred as we could not claim costs from the tenants.

      The following 4 years and we had good tenants above and the noise was not an issue.

      My Question:

      We have another very active young family with children who arrived early 2020 and live above. I can hear some heavy thumps most days and a good 1-2h of on and off running (reverberates like nearby thunder) most (but not all) evenings. On weekends the running begins at 7am and combined with fairly loud bangs as the mother cleans that will last to 11am. There is also gleeful jumping/dropping of stuff in the evenings. The strata manager has had a listen to the noise and commented that it would drive him mad, but without an OC meeting (which I suspect will go down like a lead balloon after the last fiasco) he cannot really do anything.

      Would most consider this to be reasonable noise that should be tolerated in a unit block. Our block is solidly built (double brick) and about 50 years old.?

      I really don’t want to have to go down the tribunal path again as the last saga was exhausting to say the least.

      I have been living in strata in Sydney since 1995 and this apartment block stands out by far re: noise

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by .
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    • #73166
      Jimmy-T
      Keymaster

        Jimmy, can you indicate which sections of the SSMA and other strata acts compel the owners corp to enforce strata by-laws.

        It’s section 232(2) but you would have to prove that they knew there was a by-law breach.  At the moment you don’t seem to have done that.  Also, if you CAN prove there has been a by-law breach (rather than just a complaint), why not just go straight to Fair Trading and then NCAT. Otherwise you are just double-dipping into a can of worms as well as making it seem like you are the problem, not them.

        The opinions offered in these Forum posts and replies are not intended to be taken as legal advice. Readers with serious issues should consult experienced strata lawyers.
        #73753
        andyj
        Flatchatter
        Chat-starter

          Thanks Jimmy,
          Although the NTC was issued as a result of a vote at an AGM, and therefore I would have thought all owners would be aware that there was a breach, you are correct. It is best not to open a can of worms by double dipping and going down this path. I guess the tendency for  investors to be uninterested in the goings on in their strata schemes, and the behavior of tenants, unless it directly affects them is commonplace and I just have to accept that..

          I have followed your advice and purchased Snooper (software) that has a number of nifty features including triggering a recording when noise exceeds a defined threshold (can be set in -dbm). I can highly recommend software such as this as it timestamps all recordings and arranges them neatly into folders delineated my day and month. I have also invited friends to come and witness the situation on various occasions and I am in the process of having stat decs furnished. I am also keeping a detailed diary as advised. I will let the forum know of how this turns out as you have expressed a desire for posters to, if possible keep the community abreast of the outcome of forum posts.

          This has been going on for over 3 years now and needs to be put to rest. This isn’t my first rodeo in Strata..

          Interestingly one comment I received from someone purportedly via the Community Justice Center is that “Residents are allowed to make as much noise as they like as long as it is between 7am and 11pm”. I know this statement to be fertilizer for a fact.

          Kind regards

          Andyj

           

           

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