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‘Clunking’: Victoria man sues strata for $12K because elevator is too loud

Strata responded that it was working on repairing the problem
A Victoria resident said life has been hard due to the noise of the building’s elevator. (Pexels photo)

A Victoria man who was seeking $12,000 in compensation because he says the elevator is too noisy has lost his case.

The man, who asked the B.C. Civil Resolution Tribunal to keep his name private, claimed the strata had not done enough to test the noise and to repair the problems that he said started in early 2020 after 14 years of no issues.

The owner has complained that “he has been disturbed by unreasonable elevator noise,” said the CRT ruling. “(The owner) has complained to the strata many times, but the strata has not resolved the problem. He says the strata has failed to properly repair and maintain the elevators.”

His demands include a special strata meeting, $12,000 in damages, a professional test of the noise, repairs to the “obsolete” elevator equipment and reimbursement for his previous sound testing.

The owner described the noise as including “brakes clunking, motors whining when running, and vibration and rumbling” when one of the elevator cars arrives at his floor, which is about 35 feet from his unit.

“These noises have continuously woken him up at night,” said the CRT decision.

The strata said it has worked to address these concerns, but disagreed as to the the owner’s claims.

“The strata says it has acted reasonably and met its duties under the Strata Property Act (SPA),” said the CRT decision. “The strata says that since (the owner) first complained about elevator noise in 2020, it has worked with contractors and engineers to resolve the problem. The strata says its contractors have conducted some repairs, and that some further repairs are pending. The strata says it is working towards modernizing the 4 elevators, as some parts are obsolete, but that it must carry out this work slowly as it may cost over $1 million.”

The owner included testimony from his neighbours.

“Their August 28, 2023 statement says at the beginning of 2022, they began hearing a clunking/grinding noise from elevator brakes in their bedroom, which is about 55 feet away from the elevators,” said the CRT decision. “They said it became gradually worse over time, and is very disturbing when they are trying to relax and sleep. They said they inquired with the strata manager and strata council multiple times, but did not get a satisfactory answer. TB and AB said the situation is unacceptable, and the noise interferes with their right to quiet enjoyment of their strata lot.”


Several reports from testing companies were submitted into evidence. Based on the evidence, the CRT didn’t find that the noise was unreasonable. It also found that the strata is doing its due diligence.

“(The owner) wants the strata to do more work on the elevators,” said the CRT decision. “However, I find he has not proved that the strata’s approach to elevator repairs was unreasonable. Again, the standard is not perfection. The strata only has a duty to make repairs that are reasonable in the circumstances.”

Chris Campbell

About the Author: Chris Campbell

I joined the Victoria News hub as an editor in 2023, bringing with me over 30 years of experience from community newspapers in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley
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