No damages for homeowner disturbed by kids "running, playing, jumping" in strata

Dec 7 2022, 6:18 pm

A homeowner’s claim that a neighbour’s visiting grandchild was not permitted to run, jump, and play according to strata rules, was dismissed.

On Thursday, December 1, the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled that Martin J. Donatelli’s claim against his strata was thrown out.

Donatelli lives in a four-storey building with 55 residential strata lots in unit 315. He claims that his upstairs neighbours in unit 415 “repeatedly breached a strata noise bylaw by permitting their visiting young grandchild to run, play, and jump in their strata lot.”

According to Donatelli, his strata refused to enforce the bylaw and asked for thousands in damages – $1,050 for his time spent on the matter, $1,800 for “unnecessary stress and suffering,” and additional damages for noise incidents that happened after he filed his dispute application.

But the strata and the tribunal didn’t see it from Donatelli’s perspective.

Even though the bylaw says “running, playing, jumping and other activities likely to disturb other residents is not permitted in strata lots, hallways, or stairwells,” the strata says it’s supposed to read broadly.

“The strata argues that if the bylaw were applied literally, any child visiting the strata would surely violate the bylaw…this would be an illogical, absurd interpretation of bylaw,” reads the tribunal decision.

But Donatelli says that kids can visit…if they don’t run, play, or jump.

Unfortunately for him, the tribunal sided with the strata.

“I agree with the strata that it would be absurd to impose a literal interpretation of bylaw… because on its face, the wording of the bylaw prohibits all forms of “playing” in strata lots. This would mean that strata residents could not play card games, video games, or board games, or engage in any other form of play in their homes,” reads the decision.

The tribunal said that the strata reasonably met its duty to investigate the claims, but Donatelli failed to produce evidence that there was “objectively unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment” of his unit.

So, play on, kids!

Daily Hive StaffDaily Hive Staff

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