Burnaby condo owner sues for loud music and chatter – .

Burnaby condo owner sues for loud music and chatter – .

Small Claims Court ruling says owners of Burnaby Tower’s 19th floor unit sued upstairs neighbors after they got no redress

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Can you sue a noisy neighbor for disturbing your peace and sleep, and is that nuisance worth $ 200 a night?

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Condo owners Yang Chu and Felix Tan had enough to give it a try.

Owners of a 19th-floor unit in a Burnaby skyscraper sued their neighbors upstairs after they got no relief after texting them to reduce noise and emailing the property manager to complain, according to a small claims court ruling from the civil resolution court. .

Chu and Tan said the noise occurred late at night 19 in the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Loud conversation and bass-heavy music “for several hours” forced them some nights to sleep at a relative’s house to have their eyes closed.

They also said they missed three days of work because the noise disturbed their sleep.

The noise “occurred after 10 p.m. and before 7 a.m., often over several hours, when I find it reasonable to expect residents of a multi-unit building to conduct themselves calmly. so that others can sleep, ”wrote tribunal member Julie K. Gibson. “I find that the evidence establishes that the respondents caused noise nuisance to the plaintiffs.”

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Gibson noted that noise is considered unreasonable “where there is substantial and not insignificant interference with the owner’s use and enjoyment of his property”, but in the living strata there is “a certain amount of give-and-take between neighbors. ”

Gibson also noted that a “noise nuisance” does not need to reach a certain decibel level to be “unreasonable”, as determined objectively by a “reasonable occupant”.

But she also noted that Chu and Tan submitted sound recordings of “loud conversation and repetitive music with a strong bass component” recorded while standing in front of their neighbors’ closed door. They also recorded levels over 50 dBA (decibels weighted based on human hearing).

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According to Gibson’s written decision, an earlier British Columbia Supreme Court ruling had referred to WHO guidelines that 30 dBA would cause “disturbance in a room” and 50 to 55 dBA would cause “discomfort in a room”. outdoor living spaces ”.

A Burnaby bylaw limits noise between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 45 dBA.

Gibson also said the respondents – co-owners Seyed Mohsen Hashemi Sefat and Hirad Abbaspour – said “the accusations are not a fair representation of what happened,” but did not specifically respond to any of the incidents. Sefat admitted to playing “loud music” in some of his text messages to Chu and Tan, Gibson said.

Sefat said that Chu and Tam “interrupted his girlfriend while she was watching a movie on occasion”; he didn’t cross-prosecute, so the details weren’t relevant, Gibson ruled.

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Chu and Tam asked for $ 200 for each of the 16 incidents, or $ 3,200, plus $ 795 in compensation for the three lost days of work that they said were caused by the noise.

Referring to other damages ranging from $ 500 for limited balcony noise to $ 5,000 for nearly three years of “buzzing noise and life,” Gibson noted the “long duration of every noisy event and the late hours ”in that case and awarded damages of $ 2,500. , approximately $ 156 per incident.

She rejected the claim for lost wages because Chu and Tan had not submitted any evidence to support these claims.

And she said there was no need to order Sefat and Abbaspour to stop the noise because the stratum already has such a settlement.

Neither party could be reached for comment.


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