Mackenzie family protected from
noise complaints, says
12 January 2015
The children of a
family in Abbotsford jump on a foam mattress to avoid disturbing their
neighbour below. (CBC)
A lawyer specializing in human rights issues says the law protects
families with children making noise in their home — up to a certain
"Human rights law allows kids to be kids," said Devyn Cousineau, a
lawyer with the Community Legal Assistance Society (in
"Up to the point where it becomes unduly difficult for their neighbours
to live with that noise."
Earlier this week a woman in Abbotsford told CBC that she and her
family are being forced out of their townhouse because her children
play too loudly.
Cousineau said strata councils and landlords need to accommodate people
who have children.
When noise complaints arise, Cousineau said procedures should be
followed to ensure fairness, such as objectively assessing whether or
not noise levels are unreasonable.
Strata councils also need to ensure that bylaws are implemented in a
way that doesn't unduly prejudice people because they have children.
Cousineau suggests all parties explore noise-proofing options.
Landlords can potentially move tenants to a more suitable apartment.
People who feel they're being targeted because they have children have
a few different options.
"To the extent you can accept an offer of mediation or go through any
kind of dispute resolution mechanism, that's going to be your best
bet," said Cousineau, adding litigation, including through the Human
Rights Tribunal, should be a last resort.