BC condo owner loses legal battle after neighbor removes carpet | infonews
08 May 2022 – 07:03
A BC condo owner plagued by noise after his upstairs neighbors replaced their carpet with new flooring has lost his lawsuit against the condo owners.
Condo owner Stephen Ross never had a problem with noise from his upstairs neighbors in nearly 20 years until they ripped out the carpet and replaced it with laminate flooring, according to a report. decision of the British Columbia Civil Resolution Court of May 4.
Ross argued that his family had been living with constant noise since the new flooring was installed and that Strata had failed to enforce its flooring and noise regulations.
The condo owner then took the Burnaby condo to Court saying he shouldn’t have allowed the laminate flooring to be installed and asking for an order for the condo to remove the laminate flooring and repair subfloor or soundproof its ceiling. He also asked for $8,000 in compensation.
And it appears Strata wasn’t convinced they would win, as they quickly filed a counterclaim against the upstairs neighbor who had installed the flooring. The stratum said that if they lost, the upstairs neighbor should contribute to the penalty.
According to the ruling, after the flooring was installed, Ross complained that “the acoustics doubled overnight” and that he could hear “a lot of creaking, banging, running, jumping and crawling”.
He then complained to the stratum and an acoustic engineering test was carried out.
READ MORE: BC strata forces homeowner to wallpaper condo
The acoustic engineer confirmed that the flooring and soundproofing met minimum Building Code requirements, although he admitted that the requirements were “demonstrably not adequate in many circumstances”.
Ross argued that the floor did not comply with the regulations because acoustic tests had shown that the soundproofing ratings were lower than those required by the stratum regulations.
However, the Tribunal rejected the argument.
“I find (the) regulation…does not require that the floor-to-ceiling assembly have a certain (soundproofing) rating. On the contrary, I find that (the) regulation only requires that the underlayment itself- even has a (soundproofing rating),” the court ruled.
The Tribunal ruled that since the soundproofing rating of the underlayments complied with the regulations, no violation had occurred.
Ross then argued that the noise from his upstairs neighbors violated the noise bylaw by causing a nuisance to his family. He presented video evidence and sound recordings of the noise.
He also pointed to the two acoustic reports to show that the noise was unreasonable.
However, layers argued that the acoustic reports showed the noise to be reasonable.
After a long analysis of the acoustic reports, the Tribunal sided with the strata.
The Tribunal highlighted in part an item in the report that indicated that the results were typical for wood joist floor-to-ceiling assemblies in residential buildings of this age.
Ross also provided seven witness statements as evidence that the noise is much worse since the flooring was changed.
However, the Tribunal rejected his arguments.
“Although submissions from neutral parties can be helpful evidence in determining whether the noise is unreasonable, I find that these statements are insufficient to prove that the noise was intolerable to an ordinary person,” the court ruled.
Ultimately, the Court dismissed Ross’ claim.
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