B.V. from Westchester County, New York writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condominium recently announced that there will be a very noisy long-term (months) project going on at our property, outdoors. Several of us living closest to the work site have requested temporary sound barriers be erected but the Board has refused our request. Don’t they have an obligation to keep our homes as livable as possible even or especially when noisy projects are occurring? Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
B.V., while I assume that the project is for the betterment of the association, I am sorry that your Board doesn’t share your concern for noise abatement. As is always the case, the Board consists of your fellow unit owners who were democratically elected to conduct the business of the association. Similarly, they can be replaced by newly elected volunteers if they are not performing in the best interest of those who elected them. It really will come down to whether or not enough unit owners feel as you do that there needs to be some type of sound protection installed. If so, you could apply pressure to the existing Board to move forward with a sound barrier. If not, you likely have little other recourse. You could try to recall the existing Board members that are not in favor of the sound barrier but that is a tricky and more complex way of accomplishing your goal with no guarantee of success. Start a petition, gather signatures, and present the Board with an overwhelming number of the electorate who are willing to spend the money to erect the sound barrier. Short of that, the Boards decision will stand and you will be living with the sounds of construction for several months. All the best!