In this case, the Applicant lived in a lower floor unit in a Strata development. The Respondents living in the unit immediately above the Applicant’s unit, removed carpet and replaced the flooring with tiles. The Applicant took action in the State Administrative Tribunal for orders that the floor space in all rooms, other than the kitchen, laundry and bathroom, be covered or otherwise treated to an extent sufficient to prevent the transmission of noise disturbing the Applicant’s peaceful enjoyment of his unit. Orders were made in those terms by consent, but the Respondents failed to comply with the Tribunal’s orders.

The Applicant then commenced contempt of Court proceedings in the Supreme Court seeking an order that the Respondents have failed to comply with the judgment of the Tribunal and were in civil contempt of Court.

The Court found in the contempt of Court penalty hearing that the Respondents’ conduct was not only wilful but defiantly so and was contumacious. The Respondents were ordered to comply with the Tribunals order but because one of the Respondents undertook not to live in the upper unit until there had been compliance with the Tribunal’s orders, the Court declined ordering a daily fine of $100.00 until the orders were complied with.

The lesson is where you live in a Strata development of units, do not to cover floor space with tiles (other than in wet areas, i.e. kitchen, bathroom, laundry) unless over a noise-reducing structure, as the noise emanating from the tiles could impact on others’ peaceful enjoyment of their unit.

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