A Nuisance or Not?
All of us have complained about a loud and noisy neighbor or some other disturbance that we have deemed a nuisance at one point or other in our lives. However, we should all be thankful that none of us reside in the Plaza at Five Points Condominium Association in Sarasota, Florida. Apparently, the condominium association sits atop of a nightclub. As a single man I appreciate a good nightclub and having one downstairs from where I live sounds interesting. However, this is not just any nightclub but rather one which allegedly stages “drag queen pillow fighting and gelatin wrestling”. Some of the older residents did not appreciate the noise and activities downstairs from them and filed complaints with the city and police and, according to the club’s attorney, pressured the owner of the building to break the club’s lease. The efforts by the association apparently have failed and now the club’s owner has filed a lawsuit against the association claiming that it went too far. www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140515/ARTICLE/140519808
While this is an extreme example of a noise disturbance or nuisance, it illustrates how difficult it is to enforce a perceived nuisance. In Colorado, the courts have defined a nuisance as an “unreasonable interference with the use and enjoyment of property”. Whether an action is found ‘unreasonable’ depends on the facts of each case and ultimately the judge hearing the dispute. In other words, you can flip a coin as to the predictability of the result. The bottom line is that associations should attempt to resolve nuisance issues informally or through other methods designated in its alternative dispute resolution policy, if applicable, and proceed to court as an absolute last resort.