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Noise From Commercial Spaces and Construction

By March 26, 2008


Larry Cragun at the Seattle PI Real Estate Professional blog asks What About Your Bundle Of Rights And Noise?

Oh, so you bought a condo in a mixed use project? You were the first one to buy. You asked the sales agent what was going in the shops on the main floor and received a vague answer. Since no lease was in place, it looked like a restaurant might be the right tenant. Humm, a nice restaurant might be nice.

So you buy and move in. Months later, indeed a restaurant becomes your new neighbor. Actually you become more than neighbors, it is like you have become roommates. You wanted the view and purchased the corner unit on the second floor. What a view. Oh, your new neighbor the restaurant, it caters to the young 20’s crowd.

This made me laugh because I’ve bought a second floor corner unit in a mixed use project above a vacant commercial space. Fortunately no tenant has moved in yet because our developer is asking above market rates to rent the space. However, I did read the public offering statement which said as a second floor tenant I may experience noise from the commercial unit downstairs. Of course people want their cake and to eat it too. That is they want to live downtown and be in the thick of things but want it quiet too. I hope whatever eventually moves downstairs is a late night noise and not an early morning noise so it’s at least in-sync with my schedule. And of course if I didn’t want to take the risk I should have bought re-sale so I could have quantified the noise situation before putting money down.

While we’re on the subject of noise, Elizabeth Rhodes recently had a Home Forums Extra question construction noise, Neighbor wants compensation for nearby construction disruption. And Elizabeth’s research says no compensation for you:

As for the issue of the noise and dust, Bellevue attorney Michael Rodgers of Rodgers Deutsch & Turner, says you have no grounds for compensation as long as the construction project has the required building permits.

I’ve actually found the city to be the worst offender for noise at 12th and Madison. They’ve worked through the night, started in the middle night and took much longer than they initially projected. Trace North for the most part has been very quiet compared to the city.

I own and manage Urban Living, a boutique Seattle and Bellevue real estate brokerage. I love lofts, floating homes, new construction, and mid-century moderns, but I will help you buy or sell just about anything!

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