Condo owner Derek Pope wasn’t bothered too much before by noise coming from the unit directly above him.
The owners of the unit above had removed their carpet floor and replaced it with hardwood.
The hardwood flooring didn’t cause problems for the unit below, although it was later found that it did not meet the minimum requirement for noise insulation.
There were the “usual minor noises such a radio or a dropped item”, Pope wrote in his evidence before a B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal.
Things changed when the condo above Pope was sold to the Yas family in 2013.
Not long after, Pope and his wife began hearing loud noises coming from above.
Pope presented witnesses to corroborate his claim.
As tribunal vice chair Kate Campbell related in her reasons finding the Yas family in breach of the strata’s bylaw against nuisance, a friend of the Popes, who stayed with them on numerous occasions, stated hearing “loud bangs in the evening, extremely disturbing crashes, and other identified noises”.
The person claimed that “at times the noises were so loud they could not hear dialogue on television”.
Moreover, the noise “sounded like someone propelling themselves on an office chair” for one to two metres.
There were sounds as if a “100 kilogram man had jumped from counter height”.
There were “thumps, bangs, and crashes, plus a bouncing noise”.
Another person, who worked for the Popes, testified that the sounds coming from above were “excessive”.
A third person testified that he and the Popes found the noises upsetting that they “began to dine in restaurants” instead of at the Popes’ home.
Arlene Yas, the surviving member of the family, denied that the noises were coming from their home.
Yas told the tribunal that they “placed area rugs and used felt pads on furniture, so the alleged noises could not have come from” their unit.
“However, I find the evidence she provided does not confirm she actually took these actions before this dispute was filed in November 2016,” tribunal vice chair Campbell wrote.
Campbell noted that while Yas “provided photos showing rugs, they do not indicate when the rugs were purchased or placed”.
“The photos also do not establish what amount of the floor surface was covered, or that the rugs were thick enough to prevent significant noise,” according to Campbell.
After weighing the evidence, Campbell ruled that the Yas family breached the strata’s nuisance bylaw “on an intermittent but ongoing basis from August 2013 onwards by causing noise that unreasonably interfered with Mr. Pope’s right to use and enjoy” his unit.
Campbell ordered Yas to replace the wood flooring with carpet at her own expense.
Yas is also to pay Pope a total of $13,489.53 for general damages for nuisance, reimbursement of sound testing costs, pre-judgment interest, and tribunal fees.
Yas will also have to reimburse the strata $5,775 for costs of acoustics testing.