- Nuisance : Noise pollution
Definition : Nuisance - Noise pollution
Nuisance caused by noise. In matters of divided co-ownership, the Civil Code of Quebec specifies that each co-owner freely uses and enjoys his private portion and the common portions, provided he complies with the by-laws of the immovable and does not impair the rights of the other co-owners. Therefore the declaration of co-ownership (by-laws of the immovable) generally contains clauses sanctioning noise pollution.
I have been a member of the board of directors of our co-ownership for ten years. We have in our building two families who have recently moved in with small children. Since then, some elderly co-owners have complained about the noise generated by crying, moving furniture and the noise of scooters. They called the police to report a situation they consider unacceptable. The police refused to receive their complaint on the grounds that the debate is civil in nature. These co-owners want us to intervene to stop everything. They propose that a formal notice be sent to them. This seems excessive and expensive to us. Question: What should we do?
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I am a co-owner in a co-ownership in phases of 10 syndicates of co-owners who share a grassy lot in common part. Until the arrival of young children in the condos the space was not very busy. Currently it is the regular meeting place for children and their parents (end of the day during the week and weekends depending on the temperature). The temporary installation of inflatable games and water games (stored after each use) attracts several children from the neighborhood and consequently increases the noise level. Many homeowners who live nearby complain about the noise and use of this space. In our declaration of co-ownership, it is mentioned that the tranquility of all co-owners must be respected.
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The declaration of co-ownership is a contract that orchestrates and regulates the lives of co-owners, lessees and other occupants of the immovable. It represents the guideline for everyone who lives in the immovable.The declaration of co-ownership provides, systematically, that it is up to the board of directors to have its content abided to. However, it happens that people break the rules, in particular by a non-compliant use of a private portion with regard to the destination of the immovable, a noise nuisance and work carried out in violation of the by the laws of the immovable. Other examples illustrate the problems that can occur in the co-ownership, such as an encroachment on a common portion or the improper installation of a floor covering. Anyone who does not abide to the declaration of co-ownership is liable, inter alia, to a legal recourse based on article 1080 of the Civil Code of Quebec . This action may be brought by a co-owner or the syndicate.
In principle, co-owners have the right to enjoy their private portion as he sees fit. In addition, the law provides for a duty of tolerance on the part of neighbours, i.e. to accept the normal inconveniences that may result from the exercise of the right of ownership by the other. However, there are limitations to this use. In the event that the nuisance caused by an occupant of the building becomes excessive, it constitutes an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. It is common for such a case to constitute a breach of clauses relating to the peaceful enjoyment of the private portions, which are provided for in the by-laws of the immovable. That said, an abnormal neighbourhood disturbance does not systematically constitute a violation of the declaration of co-ownership. It should be noted that in certain circumstances, this type of inconvenience may be punished, even if the perpetrator has not committed any fault.
Acoustic comfort is an important element for the quality of life of the occupants of an apartment building. However, it is recognized that noise is one of the most common nuisances in co-ownership. Many disputes between co-owners arise from the noise generated by each other. This bone of contention generates several disputes. To be honest, the proper sound insulation of apartments is one of the main components to watch out for while shopping for a condo. It should be remembered, however, that "acoustic comfort" is not synonymous with sound transmission index (ITS). This index measures the soundproofing capacity (e.g. of a wall), i.e. the average transmission loss of airborne noise through an assembly, expressed in decibels (db). The higher the ITS index, the better the sound insulation.
An apartment held in divided co-ownership caught your attention. You seriously consider buying it, but before making a commitment, you would like more information about the neighborhood. To obtain additional information to that supplied by the co-owner seller, it will often be necessary to conduct your own survey. This is important on account of the possibility of abnormal neighborhood annoyances caused by noise, odors and smoke, the main cause of co-owners’ conflicts.