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Will You Children Please Be Quiet, Please!?

Murray Hill

Playground Noise
June 1, 2016

A condo unit-owner in Murray Hill has a familiar New York problem: his apartment and its balcony are directly above the condominium’s on-site playground, which, with the return of warm weather, has become a source of grating, relentless noise from children at play. The distraught man has a reasonable question for the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times: “Is there any recourse?"

Not much, unfortunately. Screaming-averse unit-owners or co-op shareholders can ask their board to write a letter to the parents or guardians of the offending children, reminding them to be mindful of excessive noise. Beyond that, the board could limit playground hours, or install soundproof windows in affected apartments.

It’s unlikely a court would issue an injunction to remove a playground from a co-op or condo – unless it could be proven that the noise was extremely egregious. “You almost have to have a slam-dunk case,” says attorney Bruce Cholst of Rosen Livingston & Cholst.

So buy a set of earplugs and try to see the bright side: with so many parents of young children looking for apartments in the city these days, that playground might actually be boosting the value of your noisy apartment.

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