California residents have the right to a quiet and peaceful living space. Therefore, they have the right to complain if a neighbor is making excessive noise. A noise complaint may arise if the floors in an upstairs unit are not properly covered. In some cases, units that had carpeting are remodeled into having wood or tile floors.
As a general rule, the floors in a unit are not considered to be a common area. Therefore, the HOA will likely have little to no responsibility to intervene in the matter itself. However, the HOA could have a responsibility to ensure that the unit complies with building codes. It will also need to take action if the excessive noise is in violation of governing documents. In some cases, governing documents could have language in them requiring floor coverings.
These documents may also be amended to require that approval be sought prior to putting in new floors. This could protect the board from claims by homeowners if noise complaints are made after an upstairs unit owner changes from carpet to hardwood floors. Language could also require that unit owners meet noise dampening standards that are in line with state requirements. If those standards aren't met, unit owners could be asked to use area rugs to cover their floors.
If an individual is involved in a homeowner dispute, it may be possible to resolve it through private talks with other interested parties. An attorney could also provide assistance in resolving a dispute. Legal counsel could help during talks with a mediator or during an arbitration hearing. If necessary, legal counsel may represent an individual in court in an effort to resolve the matter in a homeowner's favor.