B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has rejected a claim made by two Surrey strata owners for $299,000 in damages after an alleged noise complaint eventually drove them from the building.
Gurvinder Rooprai and Sukhjit Rooprai are former co-owners of the unit. They told tribunal member Kristin Gardner that in March 2021, a family of three moved into the one-bedroom directly above theirs.
The Rooprais asserted that was a violation of the strata’s occupancy bylaw. And, they said, the family created an ongoing noise nuisance.
As a result, they said, the strata failed to enforce its occupancy and noise bylaws. As a result, the Rooprais say they had no choice but to sell their strata lot.
They claimed $299,000, which includes $100,000 for loss of use and enjoyment of their strata lot, $100,000 for mental distress, $8,000 for strata fees, $10,000 for moving costs, $65,000 for loss of profit from prematurely selling their strata lot, and $16,000 for reimbursement of a penalty for paying their mortgage out early.
The strata, however, said it properly investigated the pair's noise complaints and decided there was insufficient evidence that noise from the family’s unit was unreasonable.
The strata said it reasonably enforced its occupancy bylaw and the family moved out in January 2022.
The strata says the Rooprais are not entitled to any of their claimed remedies.
The Rooprais had, at various times, complained of noise from early morning to late at night. That included a dishwasher running at night, loud banging, a grinding noise and a child running and stomping their feet all day.
Various meetings were held to discuss the issue.
The strata issued a warning letter to the family but also issued another to the Rooprais, who had taken to banging on their ceiling out of frustration.
Gardner found the Rooprais expected the strata council to start imposing fines against the upstairs unit as of their second complaint.
“I find that expectation was not objectively reasonable,” Gardner said.
Gardner did add, “I find the evidence shows the Rooprais were extremely bothered by the noise.”
She found the strata promptly responded to and made reasonable attempts to investigate the Rooprais’ noise complaints. She further found the strata had not treated the Rooprais unreasonably.
In dismissing the claim, Gardner said “even if the Rooprais had proven the strata acted significantly unfairly, I would not have found the noise was unreasonable.”