Noisy Neighbors (Lärmbelästigung)
It’s good when you rely on your neighbors when you need help. Unfortunately, in reality, it is quite the opposite. Relations between neighbors are mainly bad and on the verge of an incident.
The main culprit of bad neighborly relations is noisy neighbors. When I say noisy neighbors, I mean loud music as you were at a concert or a party, footsteps echoing in the apartment next door as if an elephant was walking, banging on doors and windows, running around the apartment, etc.
What to do?
The best solution is to talk. Try to politely tell your neighbor that the noise from their apartment is quite loud and ask him to take care of it. Unfortunately, very few neighbors will listen to you. Most will deliberately make even more noise after you ask them to.
Why is that so?
- The first reason is the neighbors who make the noise don’t know how loud the noise is reaching into your apartment. They even think you are exaggerating. But there is a chance to talk and solve noise problems.
- Another reason is that a neighbor is a bad person! When your neighbor is such a person, you are in big trouble, and there is a good chance for a court case between you and the neighbor.
How Noise is Made
The reason for the high level of noise coming from the neighboring apartment is poorly soundproofed buildings and apartments. The noise is even more significant when buildings and apartments are not insulated, which is often the case with old buildings. Then the passage of sound through the walls and between the floors is uninterrupted and amplified. For example, walking with bare feet in one apartment causes impact noise in neighboring apartments, regardless of whether they are on the same floor, on the floor above, or below. It’s the same thing with children running around the apartment. Numerous testimonies describe children running in the neighboring apartment as a stampede of elephants. Slamming the door is similar.
Dialogue is the best solution when there is a problem with noise from the neighboring apartment.
Is There a Solution?
There is, of course. In addition to the conversation with the neighbor that I have already mentioned, it is necessary to contact the landlord. Then the landlord should contact the noisy neighbor and ask him to account. If that doesn’t help, it’s a good idea to call the police and the public order office (Ordnungsamt) the next time your neighbor starts producing noise. You may not be the only one who is bothered by noise. Talk to other neighbors to find out if they also have noise problems. If you are in the same problem, join forces. This time send a notice to the landlord jointly.
However, it would be best if the noisy neighbors would read this article and you try to solve the problem together. Just a little attention is enough for the noise will be drastically reduced.
Sometimes you can request a rent reduction because of the noise created by the neighbors.
Making Noise is a Misdemeanor in Germany
Making noise or disturbing public order is a misdemeanor in Germany. This is regulated by Article 117 Unauthorized noise (OwiG), which states that:
- It is a punishable offense to cause noise that could seriously disturb the public or the neighborhood or harm another person without justifiable reason or to an unacceptable extent or an extent that can be avoided under the circumstances.
- A fine of up to 5000 € (five thousand euros) can be imposed for this violation.
Be nice to each other and don’t make noise.
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