What to do when there is a herd of elephants in your neighbouring unit?

What to do when there is a herd of elephants in your neighbouring unit?

In a recent case one unlucky unit dweller has described the sound travelling from his upstairs neighbours as being subjected to a “booming sound”, “like a herd of elephants coming down at you” and “living underneath the thunderdome in my own home”.  You may ask what could lead to such a ruckus?

As commonly occurs in home renovations, the unit above had installed floating floors. The installation of the floors had reportedly greatly increased the noise to the unit below.  

Whilst your first plan of attack in dealing with any issues that arise in your strata should be to have a friendly chat with your neighbours to try and work out a solution, if this doesn’t work you do have options. The Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 restricts your neighbours from using their lot in a way that will cause nuisance to other lot owners. Your particular strata scheme may also have by-laws that deal with the situation.

If a neighbourly chat doesn’t resolve the issue you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal for orders to assist. Whilst the forum is intended to be user friendly, as an applicant you must still prove to the Tribunal that there is a real problem requiring intervention.

This is where our unlucky unit dweller went astray. His application relied on only his uncorroborated personal account of the noise. The Tribunal found that he should have substantiated his claim by providing additional expert evidence about the noise, either from a builder or an acoustic engineer.

Whilst there is a cost in engaging these experts to provide an opinion, it may be money well spent if you don’t want to be living under the thunderdome!