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What Are Sectional Title Rules Regarding Noise?

This is a widely asked question and there are certain rules in place, but also certain realities that come with living in a complex. Your neighbours live much closer to you when living is a sectional title home than they do in free standing homes. This is a physical reality that you must come to terms with if you decide living in a complex is for you.

What are Sectional Title Rules Regarding Noise?

Noise nuisance is considered any sound that disturbs the peace and convenience for any other person(s) within the complex, within reason. This can be anything from loud music or dogs barking to revving engines and power tools. Living in a complex places focus on mutual respect and consideration for one’s neighbour.

Each complex has its own sectional title rules regarding noise and complaints of noise within a complex. These rules differ but generally speaking they state that noise should stop and everyone must be able to enjoy “silence” from 10 pm to 10 am on weekends, weekdays will differ. Before and after these times any noise level considered reasonable, like a lawnmower or music outside are acceptable.

Municipal law sees “Disturbing Noise” in an urban environment as anything that is measured as a considerably higher decibel than ambient noise levels, like a loud party. This is considered “Noise Nuisance” which can disturb the convenience or peace of any person(s). “Party Noise” like loud music is tolerated until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, any later and you are within your rights to file a complaint. Asking permission before having such a party beforehand can grant you some leniency. Note that there are severe penalties for breaking the by-laws laid out in Section 9 of the Noise Control Regulations.

How Sectional Title Rules Handle Complaints Regarding Noise?

If you have a complaint of noise in line with your sectional title rules regarding noise you can take it up with a Trustee. They may then be able to settle the dispute internally, without legal action which will only cost both parties money, effort and time.

How You Can Ensure you are Neighbourly and Follow the Sectional Title Rules?

There are several ways to handle any disputes courteously and considerately as well as to avoid them in the first place. Keeping quiet and hoping that the problem will go away is an ineffective method of handling a dispute.

If the nuisance is consistently interfering with your rights in your sectional title home then you have a valid complaint. You can always ask your neighbour (calmly) to stop doing what it is that is causing the nuisance. It is often the case that they are not aware that they are disturbing others and simply bringing it to their attention is enough to resolve the issue. Chatting to your neighbour is advised before escalating the matter.

If this is not the case, then if the neighbour is in contravention of the rules then the body corporate are well within their rights as stipulated by the Sectional Titles Act to lawfully enforce its rights against the non-compliant neighbour. Keep a record of the instances and take this to your managing agent.

For more information on sectional title living and property management, contact us at Mansfield Property Solutions.

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