Avoiding noisy neighbors when moving in Metro Vancouver
Noisy neighbours are the worst. City life in the core of Vancouver can be naturally noisy, as expected when living in, or moving to any city. But a home should be a sanctuary of peace and relaxation. But when your neighbours are noisy to the point where they cause you disturbance, do you know what to do? If you are about to move to a new home, do you know how to stay away from properties with potential noisy neighbours? If you are in a unit within a strata lot, do you know if noise disturbance bylaws are set by the strata, or the city? These are all very important questions that we would like to address in this article.
Be smart and find out about your prospective Vancouver neighbours
The last thing you want to do is to move into a beautiful home in Vancouver with a great view and a great layout, but only to have your neighbours ruin it for you. This is why some research on your part would become very helpful.
One option, is to ask your real estate agent. They are a wealth of information, especially if they have been in the industry, and have worked in a particular Metro Vancouver city for a long time. They may know about the current residents, whether there has been any reported noise complaints, or the city bylaws. If you live in a strata, you may be able to read the strata board’s meeting minutes, or the strata restrictions on noise. If there is a caretaker or a doorman, they are also able to provide some valuable information. Do try to find unbiased advice where possible, since not everyone may be honest about noise complaints, or even know enough about them.
Another option is to visit the potential home and the neighbourhood a few times, and at different times of the day. Go in various times of the week to see if there is a potential problem. If the residents are always throwing loud parties, or have noisy children screaming or arguing, you may want to steer away.
Find out about the noise disturbance bylaws in Metro Vancouver
You may have control over where you are moving to, but you will have no control over who will be moving into the neighbourhood. This is why there are bylaws within each city to ensure everyone will get the peace and rest they need. For example, in the city of Burnaby, there is a bylaw that forbids making noise continuously that is over 50 dBA’s (A-weighted decibels, which is an environmental noise measurement) between 7AM and 10 PM. Between the hours of 10PM and 7AM, the bylaw forbids any continuous noise that exceeds 45 dBA’s. As a reference, normal appliances are likely to have noise levels of around 30-40 dBA.
If you are moving into a strata, noise regulations may apply slightly differently. In British Columbia, there is a provincial Strata Property Act, which is an update to the former Condominium Act that ended in July 1, 2000. All stratas are governed under this legislative framework, but they can make their own rules within that framework. Rules made by the strata are usually stricter and can overrule City bylaws. It is important to contact the strata council or manager to find out the rules set by them and how they enforce these rules.