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  • #49139

    How can an OC find out if there are different noise insulation requirements for units on different levels? An owner has replaced carpets in his 3 bedrooms and his combined sitting-dining room with floorboards without OC consent. Some owners have said they’ll approve this retrospectively IF and only if he can prove that he installed noise reducing material underneath the floorboards as per Australian Standard requirements.

    He says that as his unit is on the first floor and is located over garages and not other units that no noise reduction materials are required under the floorboards. How can the OC obtain a copy of Australian Standards to check if he is right? Also would the local council be able to advise on this?

    His unit shares common property walls with at least one other unit on the same level as his unit and a floor with the unit above his. Also there is a unit across the stairwell from his. He claims wrongly that noise only travels downwards, not upwards or across. Residents of 8 units in his stairwell say that when music is being played in his unit it can be heard in all other units in that stairwell and the unit he shares a CP wall with.


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  • #49191

    I find it odd that some owners are happy to approve the floor boards if the problem owner has installed noise reducing material underneath the floorboards as per Australian Standard requirements.

    Who cares what noise reducing material was installed? The question is: could it cause other residents a problem over the projected life of the floor? In the worst case, someone moves in who clip clops around in high heels at 2:00am.

    Jimmy’s advice is correct. Get a professional acoustic engineer to test the installation.


    Of course sound travels sideways and in apartment blocks, it can move in other mysterious ways too. Most apartments on the same floor are sitting on the same concrete slab so you can see how that would be the case. If he has put the boards directly on to concrete he has turne his flat into a giant xylophone.

    The retrospective approvalists need to understand that they are opening a can of worms that might come back and seriously affect them when another renovator uses this by-law breach as a precedent to do what they want.

    I would be saying to the floor board installer that he needs to pay for acoustic engineers (chosen by the committee) to conduct sound tests to establish the exising sound insulation levels in the building in non-affected flats, and then the level of sound insulation in his flat in relation to all the flats around him.

    Do not accept the bog-standard BCA ratings as the benchmark for your block – it has to be the level of insulation that everyone bought into … unless you want to turn your unit block into a cheap and cheerless Lego block such as we have seen popping up (and falling down) all over our cities.

    If … sorry, when the floorboard guy refuses, start proceedings at Fair Trading to have the carpet re-installed. That is the only way your committee will be taken seriously.

    If the guy had done as much research on your by-laws and strata law, as he must have put into finding the cheapest flooring, he wouldn’t have this problem.

    The music question is different, and I’d be issuing Notices To Comply if it is at all intruding on other residents’ peaceful enjoyment of their units.

    It sounds like this person really shouldn’t be living in an apartment but that doesn’t mean everyone else has to conform to his selfish standards.

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