Ever Had A Complaint That Someone’s Making Too Much Noise ???

I was asked to write an article in 2003 by Christopher Durso the edititor of Common Ground a national magazine published by the Community Association Institute. Chris was looking for someone with knowledge of the problems that relate to noise in community associations, especially in the most unforgiving conditions, the urban mid and hi rises.

I was recently quoted in the same publication Common Ground , this time on elevator maintenance and contracts. In reviewing that article I came across my article from 2003 and it is just as appropriate to todays condo resident as it was then so I thought I would share the article with you:

Isn’t sound great? It allows us to enjoy Beethoven, or the Beatles, or the Beastie Boys; to awaken to robins singing in the back yard; to talk and talk and talk to our friends; even–thanks to fire and burglar alarms–to know when we might be in danger.

But while it’s a part of our everyday lives, and lovely and useful to boot, we often don’t think about sound. When we do, we focus on it as “noise”–as sound that annoys us. Mark Pearlstein, a veteran community association attorney who has written a weekly Q&A column in the Chicago Tribune for 13 years, estimates that 10 to 20 percent of the questions he receives relate to noise disturbances.

This isn’t surprising. People make a lot of noise, and their neighbors are going to hear some of it, especially when they live close together, in high-rise condominiums or townhome communities. How do you handle the complaints that arise from loud music, heavy footsteps, and various thumps, bumps, and grunts? As a strong, competent, caring organization that wants to help its residents live well.



There are many sources of noise in the world, but for our purposes we can divide them into three general categories: 1. Noise from outside your association. 2. Noise created by the operations of your association. 3. Noise generated by your residents.

For the Common Ground article in its entirety The Sound and the Fury


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