S.W. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am having some noise issues with unit owners who live above me. This has been ongoing for almost one year. The problem is a complex one due to the fact that the noise is being made by a 2 year old child running and jumping above. I have approached both parents individually to explain my dilemma in a manner that was non-confrontational. The father was sympathetic; the mother said there was nothing she could do. I have brought this problem to the condo board and they have sent warnings to the parents. These warnings currently have had no effect.
The police really don’t want to get involved in this type of situation and would prefer to leave this matter to the condo board. As the child gets bigger and the parents fail to discipline him, I anticipate the noise becoming worse. Other than waiting for the child to grow up and go to college, what might my options be? Other than moving, or buying earplugs…
Mister Condo replies:
S.W., I salute your reasoned approach at resolving this serious problem. Peaceable enjoyment of your condo is most likely one of the rights you have as expressed in the by-laws of your association. It sounds like your Board is on the right path to correcting the problem but needs to take further action as their warnings seemingly have no effect.
I recommend that you do two things. First, continue to work with your Board to solve this problem. As you have learned, this is not an issue for police as no laws are being broken. This is an issue where the Board needs to fulfill its duty of maintaining the community’s noise standards by enforcing the rules. Check you condo documentation for noise regulations. Then inform your Board that the previously issued warnings are not having the desired effect. The next step is for the Board to ask the unit owner to appear before the board and/or face further disciplinary action, such as fines. When a unit owner gets hit with fines, the Board usually has their attention and real change should commence. The second thing I think you should do is have a back-up plan. Contact an attorney to inquire about suing your Board to make them take action against the offensive unit owner. You don’t want to sue your Board unless it becomes absolutely necessary to do so but I think it would help you to learn about your rights from an attorney experienced with such matters. You can find a list of such qualified attorneys at http://www.caict.org/?page=Directory#Attorneys – Individual. Best wishes!