Neighbours halt boy's piano playing

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 14:13 31/05/2012
Jonathan Zou
Supplied
NOT ENOUGH: Jonathan's mother says he does not get enough time to practice his music.

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A boy's piano playing is causing tension in the North Shore suburb of Hauraki with neighbours' complaints leading to two Tenancy Tribunal hearings.

Jonathan Zou, 12, has been restricted to practising at certain times and places to please his neighbours, but his mother Dandan Yi said her son could not fit in enough practice to continue with his music lessons.

"It's like a nightmare," she says. "I pay rent for a happy home, not a jail."

She said her landlord knew her son was learning piano, cello and saxophone and didn't set extra conditions in her tenancy agreement.

Yi's landlord, Bruce Fox, took her to the tribunal after complaints from upstairs neighbours.

Fox said Yi was upset because she did not agree with the tribunal ruling.

"Dandan just doesn't agree with the decision of the court, which on the balance of the evidence, didn't find in her favour.

"The Tenancy Tribunal and the adjudicator has determined that when Dandan introduced a second (larger, louder) piano 13 days into the tenancy she in fact interfered with the quiet enjoyment of the upstairs tenants' environment and she must desist,'' he said.

Auckland Council environmental health manager Duffy Visser said complaints about piano playing were rare but that any repetitive noise can cause problems. Among the more unusual complaints Visser has dealt with is a call about a neighbour flushing their toilet at night.

Summer parties are the most common cause of complaints.

Visser said the volume, time of day and duration are taken into account when a complaint is investigated.

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