Fellow Unit Owners Creating Unbearable Condo Rooftop Noise!

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M.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I live on the top floor of a 60-unit condo building. The noise from the roof deck is unbearable. I have lived in the city for several years and have a reasonable expectation of noise levels. The noise was not disclosed in the purchase and apparently nobody was on the roof when I initially saw the unit. Is the HOA responsible for helping to control this noise issue, since the nuisance is originating from a common area?

Mister Condo replies:

M.M., I am sorry that the roof deck noise is unbearable. Your association’s governance documents likely spell out what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to noise. If you have registered your complaint with the Board, it is up to the Board to determine if your complaint carries enough merit for the Board to take action against the unit owners who are responsible for the noises. However, if your condo documents are silent about noise regulation and instead use the term “nuisance”, the Board may not have enough definition of nuisance on which to act against the noisemakers. I would encourage you to work with your Board on determining which, if any, rules are being broken and then ask the Board to take action to enforce the rules. These action may include fining the rules breakers or restricting their use of the common area for repeated offenses. Then again, the Board may not have any action to take if no rules are being broken. It is unfortunate you were not made aware of the noise issue before making your purchase but this sounds like a case of “buyer beware”. If so, and the noise cannot be controlled, I might suggest you also sell to an unsuspecting buyer during a time of year when the noise doesn’t exist. Good luck!

6 thoughts on “Fellow Unit Owners Creating Unbearable Condo Rooftop Noise!

  1. I CANNOT BELIEVE YOU JUST SUGGESTED:
    If so, and the noise cannot be controlled, I might suggest you also sell to an unsuspecting buyer during a time of year when the noise doesn’t exist. Good luck!
    HOW DOES THAT HELP THE SITUATION IN ANY WAY?????

    1. Bob, what is your practical advice to this problem? Many associations have rooftop amenities that are for the use of all unit owners. Just because this particular unit owner didn’t know about the noise before he purchased does not mean that the association will take steps to make the noise stop. In fact, if the space is an outdoor pool or recreation area, there may not be any measures to be taken at all. If the unit owner cannot tolerate the noise, I see no reason for him to stay in this predicament. Selling the unit may be the only practical solution. I freely acknowledge there is more than one way to skin a cat. I’d love to hear your solution.

  2. There are building code requirements for the maximum allowable transmission of noise through floors/ceilings. Given the insulation that should be present on the roof I would be surprised if those were exceeded. You cold ask your Board for this to be tested. You might also request to have suitable noise dampening material installed in your ceiling.

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