Living in a condominium provides all kinds of benefits, including freedom from routine maintenance such as lawn care or snow shoveling to security. Many people also enjoy the sense of community and accessing shared amenities including fitness centres and party rooms. However, living in close quarters with others can sometimes lead to issues that need to be resolved.
Noise and unpleasant or unwanted odours are among the most common concerns raised by those living in condominiums. Sounds and smells can travel from one unit to another or into common spaces. Fortunately, resources are available to help you find solutions to before they escalate into disputes.
Condominium owners can easily find resources for addressing the top issues in condo living on the Condominium Authority of Ontario’s (CAO) website. You’ll find guided steps to take you through self-help resources that can assist you with these and other common issues, such as pets, short-term rentals and condominium managers.
The Guided Steps to Common Issues provides four steps that can help you manage an issue. Using noise as an example, here are the four steps to help guide you through this issue:
Understand the issue itself
Noise complaints are one of the most common condominium issues. In many instances, living in a condominium will mean living close to your neighbours, and sounds from one unit can travel into another unit or into the common elements.
If you receive a complaint or are having an issue with unwanted noise, start by reviewing your condominium’s by-laws and rules. Most condominium corporations have rules about creating noise and disturbing other residents.
The next step is to notify the corporation about your concerns and then you may want to follow up with your board in writing.
Sometimes people require extra help to solve a dispute. You can consult with a mediator or arbitrator. If the issue continues, then you may consider seeing a lawyer or a paralegal.
On the CAO’s website, you’ll find information, tools and templates that can help you better understand the issues so that you can work with your neighbours to resolve disputes and live harmoniously. Find more information at condoauthorityontario.ca.