September 6, 2023 | James Davidson |

In the case of Reany v. Waterloo Standard Condominium Corporation No. 670, the CAT was asked to deal with a complaint about excessive noise coming from the common element gym, located on the same floor as the complainant’s unit.

The condominium corporation argued that the Tribunal did not have jurisdiction to deal with the dispute.

The question was whether or not the dispute related to noise and/or vibration coming from an activity of an occupant (which is within the CAT’s jurisdiction) or noise and/or vibration due to alleged deficient repair or maintenance (which is not within the CAT’s jurisdiction).  The condominium corporation noted that an engineer (retained by the condominium corporation to investigate the noise concerns) had recommended upgrades to the gym flooring, which the condominium corporation asserted was a matter of maintenance or repair (and therefore outside the CAT’s jurisdiction).

The Tribunal held that the dispute in question did fall within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. The Tribunal said:

The problem description filed with the application, as well as the parties’ submissions on the motion all suggest that the unreasonable noise complained of may be the result of an activity being carried out by other residents/owners.

Moreover, I am not satisfied by WSCC 670’s argument that because a ‘repair’ of the floor in the gym may reduce the transmission of noise, that this is a case about maintenance and repair. Just because a repair may be a remedy requested or required, does not automatically remove a case from the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.  

The bottom line seems to be as follows:  If a complaint about noise and/or vibration is sufficiently tied to an activity of residents/owners, the CAT may well have jurisdiction over the matter, even if the necessary remedy may involve a repair.

As with many legal issues, the CAT’s jurisdiction (or lack of jurisdiction) in a particular case may very much depend upon the precise nature of the complaint.