In NSW there are several steps to the dispute resolution procedure set out in the Strata Schemes Management Act (2006). If it gets to this stage it is vital to know your which way round the Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Trade and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT) to get to a satisfactory result.
There is no ‘simple statement’ from the Office of Fair Trading about what you and can’t do with your floor, and what steps you can take if the noise from someone else’s flooring is disturbing you. Every situation and building is different and needs to be considered against the specific building structure, relevant Acts, regulations, by-laws, approvals and noise generated. There are two ways you can approach resolving a dispute at the CTTT – through your by-laws (which can vary from building to building) and through strata law which applies to everyone.
|A new owner was excited about renovating her apartment before moving in. She went through all the appropriate applications and submissions to the building’s executive committee and was assured by the timer flooring company that their product met the 6 star standard required. She had ordered the flooring and asked for a final approval from the executive committee so it could be installed the following week. However, she had to cancel the installation on discovering that the 6 star rating assumed that the building had dropped ceilings rather than just the concrete slabs.|
However, it’s an incredibly complex issue and it’s not just for people who suffer from the unwanted noise. Owners often don’t realise there is a problem till they get a letter from their owners corporation ordering them to pull out their floorboards or put properly insulated carpets down again Sometimes people who have tried to do the right thing have been given bad advice or paid for an inferior installation and end up having to replace their expensive wooden floor with expensive insulated carpet. Timber floor sales people will often encourage this notion if it means making a sale.