Spa Added to Condo, Complaint, What Now?

This is a common dilemma – it isn’t always a spa, but read on:

This is the Email to me:

“I installed a spa bathtub in my condo unit.  It is in an upscale building.  I did not realize it was precluded by the CC&Rs. I did have a noise study done and its  not much noiser than conversation. The association claims its a rule violation and I guess it is. It  seems to me though to be a pretty unreasonable restraint.  Do you have any experience with this issue.    Thanks for your time.”

 Thanks for the opportunity to speak on this subject. People do not realize that there are reasons why many CC&Rs (the good ones) prohibit changes to condo units that could affect the neighbors. Noise transmission changes are particularly troublesome. The noise created in one condo is often more offensive by transmission to the one above, beside or below.  This is especially true when the residents of the condo in question are used to living with the extra noise of kids, or a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, or air conditioner that, because of the benefits conferred (to the residents of the subject unit) seem to offer a fair tradeoff, or speakers placed on wood or laminate floors which reverberate down to the neighbors ceiling,  not up into the subject unit.
And there is the damage that can unwittingly be done by changes in design, construction, wiring or plumbing to common systems when an owner hires a contractor to come in and work on those systems, especially when the contractor has litte experience in working on common shared utility and plumbing systems, floors and walls, etc. Even worse is handyman work done without permits, or the benefit of a licensed and insured contractor against whom no one has a chance of remedy if things go wrong.
I have stayed in the Carmel Highlands Inn, a very posh resort on the Carmel oceanside. Each unit has a jacuzzi tub. I know from experience that the noise one encounters when luxuriating in one of the jacuzzi tubs at some reasonable time of the day or night is much less offensive than the noise one has to listen to after retiring when the jacuzzi tub in the unit above OR below OR next door is being used at very late night hours.
And one more thing! If there is more than one person in the tub, although one may believe that the tub itself is noisier than the conversation, one has never heard conversation that is elevated and carried across water!  Even in an outdoor spa a back yard away!
So don’t think these same issues related to spas are limited to condos. I have seen the noise complaints come up in townhouses and single family homes as well!
What I think is I probably would not want to live in an adjacent condo.
  • Share/Bookmark

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.