Stressed penthouse owner takes strata to court over elevator noise

May 1 2023, 5:09 pm

A penthouse co-owner and resident took his strata corporation to court over elevator noise, and he did pretty well in a small claims case.

The case was between Ding Wong Cheung and Strata Plan LMS 2970. Cheung says that the strata hadn’t reasonably responded to his complaints about elevator noise. He claimed $945 for a noise report he obtained and $20,000 in damages for stress and discomfort.

Cheung represented himself, while a strata council member represented the strata.

Cheung co-owned two strata lots that form unit 1701, which the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal states is the only penthouse in Cheung’s building. The elevator room is above that penthouse unit, and Cheung says the noise is “unreasonable and excessive.”

He also claimed that the strata had refused repairs and had obstructed his attempts to investigate the noise with a professional.

Cheung’s demand included monetary compensation, but he also wanted the tribunal to order the strata to conduct repairs.

On the other hand, the strata say that the elevators are well maintained and that “some noise is unavoidable.” Furthermore, the strata claimed it investigated the noise, suggested it was reasonable, and said it would be “nearly impossible to reduce the elevator noise to Mr. Cheung’s desired level.”

Cheung and his spouse moved into the unit in November 2018 and first formally complained about the noise two years later.

The strata brought a company in to make modifications, but Cheung says those modifications did not affect the noise.

In 2021, Cheung’s complaints continued, and the strata again brought the company in to do a “more thorough investigation.”

Following that investigation, the strata once again deemed the noise levels reasonable. But, again, Cheung disagreed and conducted a report through Raincloud, which cost over $900.

Unfortunately for Cheung, the tribunal said that the strata did what it could to address his noise concerns but that, in the end, the noise wasn’t enough to be considered a nuisance.

The tribunal ordered the strata to reimburse Cheung for the noise report he conducted.

Ultimately, Cheung got a little more back than he put in, walking away with $1,077.91, which included $945 for the noise report, $20.41 in prejudgement interest, and $112.50 in CRT fees.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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