Neighborhood disturbances in a condominium: how to react?
With the summer season, it is not unusual to see an increase in neighborhood disturbances.
This increase is all the more significant in condominiums, which often include many homes and are therefore more exposed to the inconveniences inherent to living in a community.
Are you wondering how to deal with these neighborhood problems? We can inform you about the nature of neighborhood disturbances that may be punished and the remedies available to you.
1- Some examples of neighborhood disturbances
Neighborhood disturbances in condominiums can take various forms. Here are a few examples:
- Noise nuisance related to family parties or parties with friends
- Olfactory nuisances generated by the use of barbecues or planchas
- Loss of tranquility and insecurity caused by airbnb type rentals
- Aesthetic disturbance caused by the degradation of common areas or by the storage of waste
2- Determining which neighborhood disturbances may be subject to sanctions
Since living in a community necessarily means having to put up with certain neighborhood annoyances, it would be illusory to believe that all neighborhood disturbances can be punished.
In reality, only two categories of neighborhood disturbances can be punished:
- Neighborhood disturbances constituting a violation of the provisions of the co-ownership rules;
- Abnormal neighborhood disturbances.
Neighborhood disturbances constituting a violation of the provisions of the co-ownership rules
The condominium rules constitute a common charter that is binding on all the inhabitants of the condominium, whether they are owners or tenants.
It includes provisions governing the conditions of use of the private and common portions of the co-ownership.
In this sense, condominium rules may contain provisions prohibiting or limiting the exercise of activities that generate olfactory, sound or visual nuisances.
For example, it is possible to deduce from the provisions of a co-ownership by-law that airbnb-type rentals are prohibited in the co-ownership concerned.
If the behavior that is causing the neighborhood disturbance you are experiencing is specifically prohibited by the condominium rules, you therefore have a first legal tool to challenge it.
The analysis and understanding of condominium rules, which are often very voluminous, are not easy because of the vocabulary used. Your lawyer, used to handling this type of document, will be able to help you decipher its meaning and scope.
Abnormal neighborhood disturbances
Neighborhood disturbances that are considered abnormal, i.e., those that exceed the usual and unavoidable inconveniences of the neighborhood, can also be punished. The determination of the abnormal nature of the disturbance is left to the sovereign appreciation of the courts. According to case law, judges generally take into account the following criteria to determine whether or not a disturbance is abnormal:
- The intensity of the disturbance
- The frequency of the disturbance
- The environment in which the disturbance occurs (urban or rural environment)
- The local customs
3- Remedies available against neighborhood disturbances
Proof of the disturbance
Before even considering recourse to put an end to the disturbance, it is essential to obtain proof of the existence of the disturbance. To do this, the following can be used
- A bailiff’s report
- Witness statements
- An expert report established by a private expert
- Photographs or videos
Once the proof of the disturbance has been established, the victim will have different recourses:
A penal action can be taken if the disturbance constitutes a penal offence. (This action will allow to obtain the cessation of the disturbance and the allocation of damages in compensation for the prejudice suffered;
A civil action can also be initiated in order to obtain the condemnation of his neighbor to damages and to stop the nuisance under penalty of a fine per day of delay;
If the author of the disturbance is a tenant, his behavior may even justify the termination of his lease and his subsequent expulsion from the rented premises.
Would you like to initiate an action to obtain the cessation of the neighborhood disturbance? A lawyer in your area who belongs to the AGN Network will be able to help you through the following steps:
- Assessing the chances of success of your action
- Putting together your file
- Determining the most appropriate procedure to implement
- Follow-up of the procedure in accordance with the legal provisions
Our lawyers are at your disposal to answer all your questions and advise you. Our meetings can be held in person or by videoconference. You can make an appointment directly online at www.agn-avocats.com.
AGN AVOCATS – Real Estate Department
09 72 34 24 72