father of the spy

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About father of the spy

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  • Location Hamburg
  • Nationality British
  1. Hey all, we've been in our most recent flat for about a year now and the neighbour below is driving us a little mad. She seems to complain about everything. In the first couple of months of living here she came around and asked us to not throw food down the sink in the kitchen, not that we do this. At this point we'd only been living here a couple of months (there's 4 flats in total in the building and we're on the 1. floor of 4 fwiw). We politely said we try not to let any food go down the sink and she disappeared.   In the basement there are three locked areas, one for each of the first three flats - the fourth flat at the top has an attic, to use for storage. There is also an area to dry clothes after washing. Us and the family below us are the only ones who seem to use this drying area. Through the winter when we needed clothes a little faster to dry, I turned on the radiator to speed it up. We have a little boy (3 yo now), and sometimes he needed his stuff sooner, not that we ever turned the radiator on too high or for longer than a few hours before getting the clothes back again.   So, of course, the woman downstairs (who is about 50 and lives with her husband and 20 yo son), didn't like this and surprised us when we went out one day in the stairwell and complained about how pointless it was to turn on the heater because she's lived in the building for 15 years and never had any problems. We explained we wanted to speed up our drying a little and to avoid mould growth. She went on and on about the cost of living going up and we gave up and stopped turning the heating on.   Then a few months went by and the next complaint came. This time it was about our son being too loud in the stairwell before we went to Kita. Again, she had waited and jumped out of her flat to surprise us, this time it being 7:20am in the morning on a Monday. She complained he was too loud and jumping down the steps (I mean, he's active and lively, but he's three), and he shouldn't be playing in the communal areas and that we also close the door to loudly when we leave the flat. Bearing in mind it was on a Monday morning and taking my kid to Kita before I go to work is a little stressful anyway (and given we've just had a newborn as well who is now 6 months), and I'm starting to get annoyed with her constant shouting (she's a VERY loud talker), I rolled my eyes and explained my annoyance that my son is only 3 and I can't cover his mouth up with tape or turn him off etc and that we're only in the stairwell for 5-10 mins and that we don't let him "play", that he's just lively. To which she replied that she works at home now and needs her peace and quiet in the morning before she starts work so that she can have a coffee and needs her 'Ruhe'. I was pretty irate at this and politely ended the conversation, knowing that in our area from 7am Ruhezeit is over until 10pm. Since then, we've tried to close our flat door as quietly as possible as well as not letting our son jump down any steps etc. More or less, we gave her what she wanted.   Then three days later came the next complaint. This time it was about the smell of turpentine in the basement. The thing is, I like to paint a little. Impressionist style landscapes and stuff like that. I keep all the paints and the turpentine (which is the odourless replacement kind, so no smell from that), in a sealed plastic box, and only get them out when I find the time - which is very seldom anyway. Bearing in mind that I've probably painted downstairs about 20 times over the last year, averaging about twice a month. She didn't care for the first 10 months of our tenancy and I'm always tidy and air the basement out during and afterwards, but since she complained about our son and I pushed back a little, she called up the Hausverwaltung and complained that the smell of the turpentine was getting into her drying clothes and she was having to re-wash her clothes etc. I mean, that's just straight up bullshit. We have a little baby and a toddler and hang their clothes down in the same space and never have their clothes stunk of turpentine or oil paint etc - and also we wouldn't put them in clothes that DID stink of that. I feel like going down and asking her to smell her clothes for proof!   So anyway, I covered the wire fencing of the basement up in our little corner and bought an air purifyer. Then we went on holiday to the UK for 2.5 weeks. I was hoping that she would be happy with some peace and quiet, and maybe after we came back we would all have cooled off a little and be able to get on a little better. Then I painted in the basement two days after we came back - literally for 30 mins - and then two days later we got a letter from the Hausverwaltung banning any painting in the basement due to flammable liquids being down there. I'm a little shocked they just believed her without investigating or calling us. We're yet to call them back, but we're a little disappointed at them for just caving to this woman.   We're also getting increasingly pissed off with this woman - who we've tried to placate each time she's complained, and she just wants more. I feel like there's a pattern?    I feel like just going back to turning the heating on in the drying area and letting our son jump down the steps as he wants, and slamming our door shut each and every morning/evening.   Has anyone got any experience with someone like this in Germany? We're going to join a housing advice organisation and see what they say, but this woman is starting to annoy the hell out of us. We've never had complaints in any of the flats we've lived in (5 now including this one), and we're always super friendly and talkative and respectful. We don't have parties and we don't have pets or anything like.   Anyone got any other advice?   Apologies for the long post.