Living in downtown Toronto is not the easiest thing sometimes admittedly. In a city where the property values are high enough to prevent a certain subsection of the population from owning a condo or house, this leaves many people renting. Being next to a tenant or a owner can be a challenging experience if you’re in a building where the walls are thin or your neighbour is particularly loud. Every once in a while, you might run into the dreaded noisy neighbour!
You know these people. They’re the kinds of people who seem to begin assembling IKEA furniture whenever you’re about to drift off to sleep, or perhaps who like to blast loud music into the early hours of the morning, or who enjoy having loud parties. There’s also the footsteps, the banging, the clanging, maybe an unattended dog or pet, and even sometimes band practice.
Knowing what to do in such a case can be a challenge. As much as the internet may allow us to believe that letting it fester and then leaving a passive-aggressive note is the way to go, this is not the most respectful way to approach the subject.
If you have good patter with your neighbours and if you’re friendly, letting them know what the issue is either in the moment or a day later is appropriate a lot of the time. Many people, especially those new to the city or new to living in a condo, are not aware of the disturbances they are causing by their actions. It could be something as simple as taking off shoes when they enter their unit to prevent the sound of stomping for those underneath them. It must be remembered that not everyone is aware of these tidbits of information – though unquestionably most people are.
If you don’t have a friendly relationship with your neighbours or if it has become a repeated issue, filing a complaint with property management is the next step. Though daytime noise is more forgivable, the by-laws of the condo building and the city’s noise by-laws must be followed in the evening between the hours indicated. If they’re causing a ruckus after 9 pm, generally, file a complaint with the security and/or property manager and let them take care of it. Generally this will be the end of it. If the resident continues to receive noise complaints via the property manager and refuses to comply with the rules, they’ll likely be gone completely before long.
Now there are occasions when you yourself might become the noisy neighbour. Maybe you want to throw a party one night or maybe you know things might get a little loud on your end for whatever reason. If this is the case, let those living around you know. Give them a heads up. This is always helpful in avoiding a noise complaint. You might get a little pushback but all you can do is let them know.
When handling noisy neighbours, just remember that they’re not necessarily consciously being inconsiderate. Generally there are those who will be respectful about it and either adjust their behaviour when they receive the complaint or who will let you know beforehand that there might be some noise. Then, there are also people who will simply be noisy neighbours – you’ll never be able to keep them quiet and things are going to get bothersome quite a bit. If it’s during late or early morning hours, file a complaint with property management. If it’s during the daytime though, such as in the afternoon, you may have to make do with it. For example, a singer practising their lessons at 2 pm is less of an offense than someone having a party at 2 am. When it starts to get unreasonable and having an effect on your own lifestyle, this is when action must be taken.
Most condo developments throughout Toronto that, including in neighborhoods like Liberty Village, have their own building noise laws in place as well as have security/concierge overseeing the premises. Taking the appropriate steps to handle such behaviour is the first step to resolving it. It will be different in each case, depending on the circumstances of the noise, but being respectful to them and letting them know how they can be respectful of you oftentimes will nip it in the bud. If not, the condo property manager will handle it and you won’t have to worry about a thing from then on.