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$4,000 lawsuit over 'subwoofer' noise at Burnaby condo tower dismissed

David Wong tried to sue his Edmonds-area strata for not doing enough to find the source of noises, vibrations and thumping coming from somewhere outside of his apartment.

A Burnaby man’s attempt to sue his strata for not doing more to locate the source of loud subwoofery  noises, vibrations and thumping in his building has failed at the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal.

David Wong, the owner of a unit at the Kings Crossing tower near the corner of Edmonds Street and Kingsway, first complained about the noise in January 2021, according to a recent tribunal ruling.

At first, Wong told the manager the noise was coming from a unit next door, but his theory about where the noise was coming from “shifted over time” from the  apartment next door, to the one below him, to the one above him, the ruling said.

The noise eventually stopped when his next-door neighbour moved out, but by that time Wong had launched a suit against the strata for $4,000 in compensation for the loss of use and enjoyment of his strata lot.

He argued the strata had failed to enforce its bylaw against unreasonable noise.

The strata had sent a bylaw infraction letter to Wong’s neighbour, but that didn’t stop the noise.

To investigate further, the strata had relied on the building’s concierge, who was unable to pinpoint the source of the sounds.

“(Mr. Wong) says that it should have become clear that this strategy was not working when the concierge was repeatedly unable to determine the noise’s source,” stated the ruling.

The strata argued Wong’s lawsuit was moot since the noise had stopped when the neighbour moved out, but tribunal member Eric Regehr said Wong’s claim for damages was not moot because it was based on allegations of past harm.

“If Mr. Wong proves that the strata treated him significantly unfairly, he may be entitled to compensation even though the problem is not ongoing,” Regehr wrote in a June 24 ruling.

In the end, however, Regehr decided the strata had “reasonably investigated” Wong’s complaints and did not act “significantly unfairly."

“While I agree with Mr. Wong that the strata’s handling of his complaints was not perfect, I find that the strata’s actions were reasonable,” Regehr said.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor