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CCOC Decision Summary

#551-O, Malespin v. Sierra Landing Condominium Association (June 9, 2003) (Panel: Reilly, Cihak, Bruce)

The homeowners (HO) in a multi-story building complained that the condominium association (CA) to which they belonged failed to take action to prevent excessive noise from the unit above them.

The evidence produced at the hearing showed that the HO's unit, #101, was directly below unit #201, but that the two units had different floor plans, and that the kitchen and laundry/utilities room in #201 were located above one of the bedrooms in #101.The evidence also showed that the owner of #201 was in compliance with a CA rule requiring that all floors in the units have at least 80% of their surfaces covered with carpets and that the noises complained of were those commonly associated with the use of kitchens and utility rooms.

The hearing panel concluded that the HO failed to prove that the noise from the upstairs unit was excessive.The panel wrote that, "[a]nybody who has ever lived under another apartment can appreciate that noise resulting from another's living habits can be annoying.However, people who live in close quarters, such as apartments and condominiums, understand that such noise will occur.Some of this will result from the mechanization of modern living including heating units, dishwashers, garbage disposals even flushing toilets.Unless the noise is excessive, it must be accepted as part of life in close condominium quarters." The panel further concluded that even if the building layouts were badly designed, they were not the fault of either the CA or the owner of #201, and the CA did not violate any rules.

The panel dismissed the complaint.

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