Step 2: Legal considerations
The Condo Act prohibits anyone from causing an unreasonable noise nuisance, annoyance or disruption in a condo. Corporations often also have prohibitions against creating unwanted noise in their governing documents.
There may be municipal by-laws regarding noise, depending on where you live.
What counts as ‘unreasonable’ noise?
Noises can be unreasonable if they interfere with someone’s right to use and enjoy their unit. The Condo Act prohibits unreasonable noise in units or common elements regardless of what the condo’s governing documents say.
Condo governing documents
Each condo corporation has unique provisions dealing with noise in their governing documents and what is allowed varies from community to community. Generally speaking, noise provisions are intended to ensure that residents can enjoy their units in peace. Everyone must comply with the governing documents and boards must take reasonable steps to enforce compliance.
Examples include provisions that prohibit loud noises after 10 p.m. or using loud equipment, such as power tools.
Your first step should always be to check what your governing documents say if you are dealing with a noise issue. Provisions on noise are most likely found in the declaration or rules
Condo boards may not be able to control noise from outside the corporation’s property. This includes noise coming from other buildings, traffic or nearby construction. This is an area that is governed by your local municipality through their bylaws.
You may need to address this by reviewing those bylaws and contacting local enforcement bodies.
Poor maintenance of the condo can also lead to noise, such as noise coming from ventilation or piping. You need to determine who is responsible for repairs before you can address the noise. Your condo’s declaration will outline responsibilities for repairs and maintenance. Generally, condos are responsible for repairing common elements.
Addressing noise issues
Condo boards or owners may take legal action against residents that cause unreasonable noise, including by filing an application with the Condominium Authority Tribunal.
Owners can also take action against a corporation that is either causing an unreasonable noise or is not taking adequate steps to address an noise created by other residents.
Only owners and condo corporations can file cases with the Tribunal. Tenants or other non-owner occupants should contact the unit owner if they have a noise issue.