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  • #37720
    Hugh Jevitt

    Is it normal to be hearing footsteps from apartment above? Moved into a new building with concrete slabs in 2016 & have had problems from day 1. Developer catch phrase “its compliant” is all we have ever got. Have previous lived in an adjacent building without ever hearing any noise transmission from above. We tried addressing as a defect without success. Now the tenants – yes the tenants, have moved out & operate as a Airbnb so the noise from parties & multiple occupants driving us mad. Overseas owner sheltered by an uncaring agent who brushes off all complaints. Strata & building management  sympathetic but failing to take any action or offer any help. Where do we go from here?

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  • #37732

    Lady Penelope wrote:

    There isn’t much that you can do if the council have deemed the building to be compliant.

    I’m not sure I agree. The fact that the council says the slab is compliant doesn’t mean that you have to tolerate the noise transmitted through it.

    There is a simple solution for excessive noise and that is to lay down a decent carpet with good underlay – by far the most effective way of reducing noise transmission through floors.  This, of course, doesn’t suit the selfish people who would rather have an easy-to-clean hard floor regardless of the effect it has on their neighbours.

    It is worth fighting this as it is affecting the quality of your life, and the value of your property, but you have to be organised and determined.

    Have a close look at your by-laws and see what they say about flooring. It may be that you have a by-law that forbids hard flooring or the lifting of the carpet (if they’ve done that).

    Also, get as many witness to the noise as you can, especially those who will sign statements to that effect.

    Try to keep your owners corp/strata manager onside but make it clear to them that they have duties that they simply can’t shirk because it’s inconvenient. At the very least, you need to get your Owners Corp or strata manager to start sending breach notices over excessive noise to the rental agent.

    This is a tricky one because you want the strata committee to at least concede that there is a problem, and not go to NCAT and say the only problem is you.

    There is legal precedent (of sorts) for making landlords responsible for the noise created by their tenants, so the rental agent needs to have the facts of life explained to them too. You don’t have to put up with this and the fact that you are enduring intolerable noise because someone is running their apartment as a commercial business can only work in your favour.

    If the owners corporation won’t do anything about it, you – as an individual owner – can seek mediation at Fair Trading as an obligatory precursor to taking act at NCAT.  The grounds for action would be a breach of  Section 153 of the strata Act, forbidding residents from creating a nuisance.

    As a last resort, you could  take the committee to NCAT over failure to fulfil their duties, one of which is to enforce by-laws.  This would be under section 232(2) – failure to excercise a function.

    However, as I said before, the more people you can get on your side, the better.

    Also have a look at the information on THIS PAGE.

    Given the perfect storm of a disengaged strata committee, a lazy rental agent and an absent owner, you are going to have to be super-determined to push this along.  You might want to think about talking to a strata lawyer or, at the very least, the Strata Answers people who sponsor this website.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by .
    Lady Penelope

    I hate to have to say it but some buildings are just badly built. It is unfortunate that you have purchased in a building that has not got good insulation.

    I live in QLD where some of the older buildings along the waterways that were not ever originally built  as residential buildings have been turned from industrial or commercial buildings into residential buildings. Noise issues are unfortunately common place.

    There isn’t much that you can do if the council have deemed the building to be compliant.

    You can’t prevent people from using their apartments either to walk around in or from hosting a gathering as long as they are within the normal permissible hours.

    If the building has been poorly insulated then a  noisy owner or tenant can cause just as much noise as a short term  airbnb tenant … at least the ‘noisy’ short term tenant only stays a short time whereas a noisy owner can be there for very much longer!

    You could install a dropped ceiling with sound insulation in your own apartment which may assist in reducing the noise issues.

    Good quality ear plugs are however, a cheaper option.


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