I live and own an apartment and have nei...

Asked by Hex on 18-02-2022 06:09:13
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

I live and own an apartment and have neighbours living above me. What are my rights with regards to the upstairs neighbour using a water pump on their geyser at 5:00am sometimes 5:30am? There is a water pressure problem in the apartments and that is why some opted to install motors on the geysers..

I reached out to body corporate to request they either put a noise cancelling box or some kind of material on it, so that we cannot hear it.. Or to at least switch on the pump from 7:00am to 22:00PM..

The answer that was given to me, was that no rule can be enforced on the usage of the pump as it pertains to the persons health, hygiene and well being.

But what about my well being and health, not getting the rest i need, because of the constant noise?

What are my legal rights.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 18-02-2022 08:51:53

Hi there and thank you for your question, 

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread. 

If there is a general issue with water pressure in the apartments, and if the BC has previously given owners permission to install water pumps, then I don't see how you can force the BC to tell the owners to remove the pumps. That's just the first thing. 

I also don't see how the BC can dictate to owners what times of the day they are allowed to use the water pumps, because as I understand it the water pump comes on automatically if you draw water from the geyser. So, if your upstairs neighbour showers at 5am, then his/her water pump would turn on at 5am and operate for the duration of the shower? Then turn off.

So, if I understand the situation correctly, the real issue is that your neighbour wakes up very early. 

Can't you speak to your neighbour directly and explain the situation to them, and say that you are happy to pay the costs of somebody coming out to put a box / sound proof material around the water pump to hide the noise? You could say that it would make the noise softer for both the neighbour and you - so both parties could benefit. 

This is, realistically, the best way to deal with the situation.

Also, because the water pump has been installed in the neighbour's apartment, the BC can't control it, or work on it. The water pump belongs to the neighbour. So trying to get the BC to deal with the problem, won't work. 

What the BC could do, however, is to speak to the neighbour and make the above suggestion, and then you offer to pay for the box / sound proof material?

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question. 

Att. Patrick 

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