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#19176
Will ONCAT ever follow B.C.’s wider-empowered model ? NOISE INVESTIGATION Order TRAN 2021/01/18 19:27  
Not legal advice, as usual.

With ONCAT Ontario's Condominium Authority Tribunal slowly moving to handle pet & other limited condo disputes at Ontario condos , a recent Order issued by British Columbia’s wider-empowered C.R.T. Civil Resolution Tribunal, invites some stark questions :

why so limited here ?

A fulltime lawyer-adjudicator at BC’s CRT has just ordered a 68 unit 11 year old Vancouver Island strata corporation to conduct a credible acoustical / noise isolation investigation which it could not show him it had bothered to arrange.

That’s despite months of the complainant-owner’s sleep deprivation & bi-weekly journal submissions. That adjudicator cites finding little proof the strata had meaningfully nor fairly even addressed the victim's complaints, much less ordered the investigation. You can be sure their one 10 minute cursory visit wasn't at 5 am. either. ( He also awards a mere $ 2 K & costs to the lowerfloor complainant-owner ).

Despite months of sleep deprivation & torture by wild 5 am - and even 4 am - toddler shenanigans from above, the lowerfloor victim even found herself the target of unsubstantiated nuisance counter-allegations.

NOT derived from a credible review of factuality, those allegations of course had to be unsupported & in an unfair disregard of the victim's statutory right to measures to stop putting her through a sleep-deprivation Hell.

( The strata corporation's counter-allegations as raised by its representative Councillor, are considered & rejected. )

The counter-claims could only have become credible after conducting the acoustic investigation only now ordered.

( Yes, noise disputes CAN be a sinkhole of management time & resources. But the B.C. association’s dubious response recalls a similar 'circling of the wagons' against a Toronto lawyer https://ontario.cafcor.org/index.php?option=com_fireboard&Itemid=46&func=view&id=17111&catid=2#17111 with 2013 Oppression remedy granted ; her new upperfloor neighbours had ripped out carpet & actually established a Bollywood dance studio. )

Not at 5 am. But in B.C. months of Strata Council dismissive inaction occurred despite bizarre 5 am and even now 4 am shenanigans with the child getting heavier.

The distubances were documented by the lowerfloor complainant’s 134 pages of journalized incident reporting as well as confirmations by the Applicant’s witnesses. The under-supervised toddler’s shenanigans upstairs included noises & jumping that sometimes over-rode noise-cancelling headphones down below. And vibrations / noise levels that reportedly are recorded sometimes setting objects a-shaking in the victim’s strata below.

Unlike in Ontario, closely following CRT outcomes is the newspaper Georgia Straight. Among readers commenting online about the relevant article ( linked below ), folks complain of noise proliferation claimed worsened by what has been modern day Code-compliant wood construction. While other Straight readers roast the toddler’s parents, some commenters think anything about child expression should be allowed - even 5 am & 4 am gym-time.

But whatever in this specific case may eventually ensue ( from the acoustical investigation now ordered to start heading the matter professionally towards a non-voodoo solution ), several conclusions might be arguable :

1 - CRT’s adjudicators have been addressing stonewalled or under-addressed nuisance and/or noise complaints in BC strata communities.

Ordering the investigation here is consistent with a line of Tribunal decisions where incompetent stonewalling, unfair disregard, evidence of bias whatever could be suspected.

2 - The CRT decision pointedly cites that specific “quiet hours” are not specified in a strata by-law here. Municipal hours apply. But addressing nuisance is a strata council obligation albeit vulnerable to lots of uncertainties.

3 - What if the professional investigation now ordered, happens to show that regardless of whatever is still occurring at 5 am or 4 am, the acoustic isolation between the units is NOT B.C. Code compliant ? For noise-makers, should it then be : ANYTHING GOES ! ?

Arguably its all the more reason for noise to be suppressed on pain of fines & injunctions until remedials can be in place.

It’s all the more reason why irresponsible under-supervision is intolerable until IDENTIFIED noise & vibrations exposures can be howsoever addressed in the short & long terms .


( Para 73 contemplates the strata corp sucking up the investigation & remedial costs if - IF - acoustical shortfall will be identified. A cited 2019 CRT award in another dispute had ordered the costs split between the strata corp & the successor to an earlier blameworthy carpet-lifter )

4 - Back in Ontario one might consider whether ONCAT should be headed towards applying this type of analysis & remedy ?

Right now some Ontario corporations may see the ONCAT process as a joke. Or “Just ignore the process ?”

Didn’t ONCAT just pass stages like hearing : “We don’t keep records, so how can there be an unlawful records-refusal ? “ “Those who want records here are not smart enough to transform their ONCAT award into actionable status of court order !”

From some U.S aftermaths : “And if they dare do we might retaliate by denunciations, defamations, charge-backs for lienable voodoo “costs” after amendments arrive ! "Better not want a future request actioned . . . .” "We defy Open Meeting’ state laws“ . . . .

Tran v Owners, Strata Plan VIS 6828, 2021 BCCRT 28 issued Jan 11/21 https://canlii.ca/t/jcjcs

Jan 12/21 Georgia Straight “B.C. condo owner wins $2,000 damages for noises by neighbour’s toddler” by Carlo Pablito https://www.straight.com/news/bc-condo-owner-wins-2000-damages-for-noises-by-neighbours-toddler
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#19177
a 2019 CRT adjudication and a columnist applies TRAN 2021/01/19 16:48  
Not legal advice.

1 - One of the Tran citations is Bobiash v. The Owners, Strata Plan BCS 2656 et al, 2019 BCCRT 670 https://canlii.ca/t/j59wl 2019 CRT Order that noise remediation costs be split between the strata corp & the noise-making successor who bought from an earlier blameworthy carpet-lifting OWNER of the noise-source strata unit.

2 - Tony Gioventu’s Jan 16/21 Colonist Q&A briefly discusses Tran adjudication without identifying it : “ Noise complaints on rise as people stay home during pandemic” https://www.timescolonist.com/homes/condo-smarts-noise-complaints-on-rise-as-people-stay-home- during-pandemic-1.24268038

( . . . 3 am piano playing & vacuuming . .. )
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