K.B. from Santa Fe County, New Mexico writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in condo where I am in the upstairs unit and other owner is downstairs. I have a swamp cooler and the owner downstairs installed (with board approval) a condenser for air conditioner. I can hear it go on and off from 30-36 times a day, when going off there is a mechanical thud that I hear. The condenser is one that could have been installed on the unit owners back ground floor patio of front patio. They get the benefit of the cooler and I get the noise. I tried emailing and talking with them and the board but no response and I don’t expect one. Is this an issue that I should take to civil court? No other condo units have coolers on the roof if they live on the bottom floor.
Mister Condo replies:
K.B., I am sorry that you are now living with a noise nuisance that wasn’t there when you purchased your condo. Since you indicate that the Board gave approval for the installation of the condenser, I don’t see where you are going to have much luck challenging in court. It was not the wisest of decisions and there is a possibility that the noise level is such that it could be considered a “nuisance” in violation of your governing documents but unless they specify a certain decibel level that is exceeded by this condenser, I am afraid you may not have much recourse other than to sell your unit and seek one that is quieter. In my opinion, this wasn’t a very well thought out decision by your Board but what’s done is done. If you think you have a legal case, by all means pursue legal remedy. Since I am not an attorney, I cannot offer you legal advice. Good luck!