Avoid Disputes About Hard Floors

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The issue of noise transference from hard flooring in apartments (like timber and tiles) is a common source of dispute. Even when a resident is using their lot for normal daily activities, inadequate soundproofing under their hard floors can have a significant and frustrating impact on adjacent lots.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) establishes a minimum standard regarding noise transference between lots.
Other issues to consider include whether any specific by-law requirements regarding hard floors were complied with, and whether the complainants have followed the preliminary procedures for disputes about by-law issues.

If an adjudicator finds unreasonable noise transference, they may require the lot owner to replace the hard floors with carpet or install greater levels of sound insulation under the floor. Less substantial requirements, which any owner involved in such a noise dispute should consider include:
floor rugs and carpets, with insulated backing, in high traffic areas;
felt pads under furniture legs;
soft closers on cupboard doors;
removing shoes when inside the apartment; and
minimising noisy activities, such as keeping the volume on TVs and stereos as low as possible and avoiding

Occupiers who experience noise transference could also investigate whether there is any scope to install sound insulation on their side of the floor, ceiling or wall.

Any apartment owner who is considering replacing their flooring should check their by-laws and ensure adequate soundproofing is installed to avoid any adverse impact on their neighbours. Parties are also encouraged to raise any concerns politely, constructively, and as early as possible.

If you have any issues within your complex or would just like some advice on any other matter please don’t hesitate to contact Cathy at North Shore Body Corporate on (07) 5448 8725 for your free consultation.

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