I will say this, in simple terms. Just because a person bought a stacked condo WHERE THE HARD SURFACE FLOORS WERE ALREADY IN PLACE does not mean that they can escape a nuisance claim if the noise is unbearable to a neighbor.  Changing floors out without architectural approval is often a violation of the CC&Rs or rules which can be addressed. Nuisance activity is also a violation which can be addressed.

Maybe this is a clearer way to look at it. The Association CC&Rs may allow dogs, but that does not mean the neighbors have to put up with incessant barking, scratching, fighting or poop or dog urine dripping down on their balconies!

The CC&Rs may not prohibit stereos but unusually loud music, late night parties, or placing the boom box speakers on hard surface flooring may well be actionable.

If you are selling, or buying, or considering renting a condo – it is a stacked unit – and the complex was not built with special noise deadening materials (the majority are not), and there are hard surface floors in the unit, or above, or below, or even next door to it, then beware. The chances of becoming the victim of, or perpetrator of a noise issue are very, very real.

And even worse, if you are buying a new stacked condo unit and paying extra for hardwood or laminate floors, don’t think you are getting a good deal. You may end up spending double in legal fees to defend a noise complaint. Consider the ramifications of becoming the unit with the perpetrators (often involving active noisy children or company over to enjoy a dinner or party) that make the life of the residents in the unit below miserable. You will likely hear from them –  again and again.  It may be in the form of someone banging on the ceiling with a broom, calling the police to complain (yes, believe it happens even for daytime children noise!), some form of retaliatory noise – like a very loud TV or stereo, or some other nagging complaint – it won’t be fun.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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