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Difficulties Related To Neighbors In the condominium – Noise-Related Troubles (1)


Many people, especially those in big cities, live in condominiums, which cost a huge amount of money. Prior to purchasing it, we assessed and judged if the environment was good or not. People buy condominium units for various reasons. Some people choose to purchase one because there is a nearby park or a supermarket. These things may be a plus to some people, but may be demerits to other buyers. The proximity of certain establishments may be the reason why some choose not to buy a condo, mainly due to concerns of noise or pollution from the busyness of the area. The reasons someone chooses to buy a home vary from person to person.


It is commonly known that “handling neighborhood disputes over noise in condominiums” is one of the most difficult cases, even for professional lawyers, to mediate. Noise-related cases are extremally tough and tricky as there are no defined laws to address such problems and help find resolutions.


Neighbors with a piano or musical instruments is one particular example of noise-related troubles. One family bought a condominium unit because playing the piano is not a prohibited act under the condominium owner’s policy. But soon after this family started living there, they started to receive multiple complaints from the neighbors over the noise from the piano. Although the family had a right to play the piano, as it was allowed based on the policy, the neighbors also had equal rights to live quietly and comfortably. Some people were simply annoyed by the noisy piano.


In a bad scenario, the noise could have led to more serious mental and concentration troubles for others, especially if some people work from home or are sensitive to constant noise. A story that actually happened in the past in Japan, as a worst-case scenario, there was an incident that led a murder case over noise because of a lingering stress that ruined people’s mental health.


In addition to noise complaints from music, there are other ways noisy neighbors cause disturbances. Some other common noise complaints can come from the downstairs neighbors because of loud footsteps, stomping and running noises coming from the upstairs neighbors. These types of upstairs neighbors can cause serious problems and aggravations for their downstairs neighbors. A family with a little child may be the cause to such loud noises. The family could claim that their child has the right to run and they also have the right to move freely in their unit because, after all, there is no “policy” against these loud noises in the condominium rules.


However, it’s natural for some neighbors to get annoyed with these consistent noise disturbances. In worse cases, the stomping continues into the wee hours of the night – causing sleep deprivation to the downstairs neighbors. What are neighbors supposed to do when there is no policy to protect them? 


How people react to these types of scenarios vary from person to person. Some will feel “annoyed” and others will “just not care about it.” The sounds coming from the neighbors, whether it’s music or it’s a repetitive sound, will be deemed a cacophony sound or not – depending on the listener.


The idea of peace and quiet is subjective and is defined by each person so who a person lives with and what they do will vary by household. There are countless factors that affect someone’s reaction to different sounds. In my case, I like animals, so whenever I hear dogs’ barking in the neighborhood, I don’t really care, no matter what time it is. But not everybody is like me. While I enjoy listening to these lovely creatures’ howls or barks, some people become really annoyed by it.


Every resident in their condominium has the right to live peacefully in their homes. But, the definition of words such as “peaceful”, “annoying” or “comfortable” vary greatly from person to person. The key point here though is to avoid conflict and have mutual respect for each other.


Those residents who make annoying noises should take proper measures into their own hands to avoid disturbing their neighbors, such as soundproofing their music room. As I mentioned earlier, people have different reactions to sounds and neighbors should be considerate of this truth.


On the other hand, those on the receiving end, should also take measures to try to avoid feeling hostility towards their neighbors, such as listening to music or wearing earplugs if possible. These small gestures show that we have a mutual respect for each other’s welfare and want to live peacefully with each other.


I think the key to resolving “neighborhood woes” is communication. Once some trouble occurs among neighbors, some people prefer to avoid talking about it in hopes of not further aggravating the issue. Neighbors don’t want to confront noise issues nor meet each other face to face. But, I do think that the more they have open communication, the more they will be able to understand each others needs and come up with out-of-the box solutions. This also helps build and strengthen relationships. When a strong bond has been generated, people might be more understanding and considerate of each other. People with tight bonds won’t be bothered too much with trivial matters that might have once a been a big deal to them. Some who may have “suffered” greatly to noise disturbances might not care anymore, while those who make the noise, might be more mindful so as not to disturb their neighbors.


Being neighborly and investing in these relationships can go a long way and benefit each other.