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B.C. couple compensated for 'intolerable' noise caused by neighbours' sound system

Sonos wireless speakers system. (file photo) Sonos wireless speakers system. (file photo)

A B.C. couple has been ordered to pay their former neighbours $3,500 in damages as compensation for the "intolerable" noise caused by the pulsating bass from their sound system, according to a small claims decision.

The province's Civil Resolution Tribunal ruled on the dispute Wednesday, finding there was enough evidence to prove – on a balance of probabilities – that the noise was a nuisance, which is defined in law as something that causes "a substantial and unreasonable interference with an owner’s use and enjoyment of their property."

Rukshila Levelton and Michael Levelton told the tribunal their neighbours, with whom they shared a wall, began causing "unreasonable noise" when they purchased a new sound system in February of 2022.

The owners of the stereo, Anushka Indrasiri and Nathasha Vithanage, countered by saying the Levelton's were "unreasonably sensitive to noise," according to the decision.

At first, the Leveltons complained directly to their neighbours, asking by text message for the volume to be turned down, according to the tribunal.

Indrasiri responded by saying, “You and all other neighbors have to get used to this system,” which he described as "the best sound system in the world," the tribunal decision says.

After trying to resolve things directly, the couple made complaints to the strata council and the police before filing a claim with the tribunal.

Finding in favour of the Leveltons, Tribunal Member David Jiang noted evidence submitted that included noise logs, videos, text messages and a bylaw infraction letter about the stereo noise issued by the strata.

Another neighbour, whose unit was also adjacent to Indrasiri and Vithanage's told the tribunal the wall would "tremble" due to the bass which would pound for "hours at a time," particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. That neighbour also complained to the strata and called the police before ultimately moving out.

Jiang also noted that the respondents were "often uncooperative and unwilling to reduce the volume of their sound system."

Ultimately, the tribunal found that the neighbours were subjected to "significant and unreasonable bass" for hours at a time.

"I find the noise was intolerable for an ordinary person,' Jiang concluded.

In addition to the $3,500 in damages, the tribunal ordered that the Leveltons be paid $175 as reimbursement for fees. Top Stories

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