Unacceptable noise from construction work

45 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I have rented a flat a few months ago, on a 6 month lease period (renewable). When I came to see the flat with the agent, it wasn't mentioned at all that a major refurbishment of the building next door was under way, and on my two 15 minute viewings of the flat noise could never be heard.

 

Once I moved in, the racket started - every morning (Monday to Saturday, from 7.30am) we wake up to a drill just against my wall, banging and all sorts of amazingly loud noise which last all day. It is really difficult to describe how noisy and disruptive this is - basically, it gets so loud that sometimes I have to shout to my partner lying in bed just a few inches away, really.

 

Now I feel that I have been cheated, as I have this lease and I was never told that this was going on *at all* before signing it.

 

Do I have any legal options for compensation (for the value of rent paid so far, costs of moving in, agent fees, etc.), or for somehow to perhaps have the rent reduced while the work is going on?

 

Best Regards.

 

--Nuno

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join the Mieterverein (only 55€ a year IIRC) their lawyers may be able to at least get your rent reduced.

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Yes, you are entitled to reduce the rent. A simple letter by a lawyer is not too expensive and your peace of mind is worth it.

When do the builders start? Nachtzeit is from 10pm until 7am, no loud works are permitted; if they begin before that speak to their Vorarbeiter or even better, the head of the construction firm (if you can find out who it is).

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When do the builders start?

 

 

every morning (Monday to Saturday, from 7.30am) we wake up to a drill (...)
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Do I have any legal options for compensation (for the value of rent paid so far, costs of moving in, agent fees, etc.), or for somehow to perhaps have the rent reduced while the work is going on?

 

No.

 

You only have the legal right to reduce the rent after you reported the faulty conditions to the Vermieter and left him enough time to fix it. If it's not his building that's being renovated, than you can't ask for any retribution...

Unfortunately, just like in many other cases, tennants are hugely disadvantaged very often in their relation to their landlords.

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Unfortunately, just like in many other cases, tennants are hugely disadvantaged very often in their relation to their landlords.

 

Sorry, but bullshit. Tenants in Germany are the most coddled and protected in the world. Why should it be the landlord's problem that the building next door is being renovated? If anything, the OP could try to sue the contractor of the building site next door for damages. He probably won't have any luck, since the guy is following the noise protection regulations and adhering to the correct working hours, but he's the one who's causing the grief - not the OP's landlord.

 

Sometimes Germany's Vollkaskomentalität really gets on my balls.

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Sorry, but bullshit. Tenants in Germany are the most coddled and protected in the world. Why should it be the landlord's problem that the building next door is being renovated? If anything, the OP could try to sue the contractor of the building site next door for damages. He probably won't have any luck, since the guy is following the noise protection regulations and adhering to the correct working hours, but he's the one who's causing the grief - not the OP's landlord.

 

Sometimes Germany's Vollkaskomentalität really gets on my balls.

 

Yes, having to sue someone for common sense means that you are coddled and protected. Are you kidding me?

You're saying yourself he most likely won't succeed.

Have you checked any law-forums to see where most posts actually are? (spoiler: Mietrecht)

The fact that the Mieterschutzbund actually exists also goes to prove a lot...

The fact that if it comes to court, most proof has to come from the Mieter, not the Vermieter also proves a lot.

 

So no, it's not bullshit. What's bullshit is you writing a suggestion that will end up costing the OP money and not getting her anywhere. She has no legal grounds in suing the construction people or the owner of the next-door building as she does not own the place she lives in; and the other person does not have any obligation towards her. (obviously you do not quite understand the legal relationship in this case). The only obligation that exists here between their landlord and themselves - landlord must make sure the living conditions are the ones stated in the contract.

 

Exactly as you hate the Vollkaskomentalität, I hate the Ally McBeal and Barbara Salesch Mentalität. People thinking they can just sue anyone for everything and not being aware of their rights and obligations.

 

@OP: You can actually try and get money back, but it's an extremely stupid procedure. You actually have to submit a letter to the landlord with a protocol of the noise, and give him a timeframe to fix the nuissance. Since he obviously can't do that, you can ask for money back eversince you submitted your letter.

Now the landlord might reject your letter because he would have to get his money back from the landlord owning the construction site. (In this case however the landlord might say you were actually aware of this when you moved it (§536 BGB B) and it's on you to prove it. You can shoot back at him with §536d. I don't think you will have it easy, or that you will have any success without a lawyer in case the landlord is a d!ck).

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Based on my experience here, and the current construction going on around my building, this noise has become the norm for me unfortunately...and I suspect unless it is your building, you can't really do much (unless it is outside the allowed hours which is sounds like it is not). It is insane how much construction is constantly going on and the combination of noise and closed off parking spaces drives me completely crazy, but I don't think much can be done.

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there's loads of speculative advice on this thread. there are shitty tenants and shitty landlords, hence best to get sound legal advice from lawyers I'd say.

 

a friend of mine got a rent reduction as they were long-term building next to her flat. we own our old flat and whilst a 6 month loft conversion was being done directly above us we got no compensation.

yet Mr.Moonboot got vouchers for local restaurants in his old place when building work was being done nearby his owned flat.

 

lots of different scenarios. get yourself some proper legal advice.

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I have an eight apartment building we own and at present, one of the apartments is being completely renovated. The bathroom and kitchen are being ripped out and replaced. This has been going on for about 3 three now, from 7.30 until around 6 at night. No one has complained a bit. It's all part of life here and I'm sure other places as well and especially city living. I understand the noise can be irritating, but such is life at times.

 

I do have one question to the OP. What will you do in the winter months when the snow and ice begin and someone is outside scraping the sidewalks and street at 6 am (and earlier) which if you've never experienced, can be rather sleep disturbing too?

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This is an old string, but topic is the same. 

My situation is a bit different though, as it is actually construction work that has been going on for at least 3 months on a building that has been torn down and now the foundations are being put in.

 

Starting from 7 am most days, I am almost shaken out of my bed by the pounding. I cant work at home as the noise and vibration are too much. Anybody had any luck getting compensation in such a case? Not the landlord's fault, but can the construction people be held liable? This is just getting a little ridiculous now...

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58 minutes ago, mrbobke said:

This is an old string, but topic is the same. 

My situation is a bit different though, as it is actually construction work that has been going on for at least 3 months on a building that has been torn down and now the foundations are being put in.

 

Starting from 7 am most days, I am almost shaken out of my bed by the pounding. I cant work at home as the noise and vibration are too much. Anybody had any luck getting compensation in such a case? Not the landlord's fault, but can the construction people be held liable? This is just getting a little ridiculous now...

So, are you a member of the Mieterverein? Talked to your landlord?

Or do you own your place- then a lawyer's letter might bring something.

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I have a project like that starting soon (no noise yet) and what I've learned so far is that regardless of whether the landlord is "responsible" for the noise or not, you may still be entitled to reduce your rent when the noise is too much as it does interfere with your daily life and use of the place, and it would be the landlord's problem to recoup the losses from the construction project.

 

join the mieterverein.  You can't just reduce your rent willy nilly, and there are a lot of loopholes eg did you have a reasonable suspicion the land would eventually be developed?  If so and you took the place anyway you're out of luck.  It can be as "obvious" as having a a vacant lot next door, but also less obvious like my case:  a supermarket.  You need proper advice so join up.

 

afaik max reduction is 20% if your building is abutting or directly opposite the construction site (not sure if there is an extra radius allowed for the pile driving phase - I'd hope so but...).  Also, the construction here is slated to start at 7 am and run til 6 pm.  AFAIK they are legally supposed to stop by 5 pm but but apparently they have permission for the extra hour?  No idea. It hasn't started yet but slated to last three years.  Joy.  All for luxury apartments that are selling for 17k/qm.  No that is not a misprint.  

 

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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This has been going on across the street from us for more than 2 years now. Old building demolished, dug out about 100 ft. down, pile driving for months and now it is 6 stories high. No end in sight. We live in the city and have not asked for a rent reduction. We will bring that fact up the next time our landlord wants to raise the rent when we refuse.

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I watched this 50 story apartment building going up in Chicago.  They built a floor/week.  As construction went on in the upper floors, residents were moving into the lower floors.  A block away and I never heard a sound.  In Chicago (the US actually), time is money...germany uses a different currency.

 

 

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Piers under Chicago high rises have to be drilled down to hardpan, about 75 feet, and how on earth do they manage to do it with little sound disturbance?  Perhaps they're using concrete piers, poured in place, instead of driving piles into the ground.  Of course, you'd have some noise from the concrete trucks.
I was fortunate to work for a soils engineer in the 60s.  Part of his job was designing the piers for the many new high rises going up in San Francisco, on very tricky soil.  It was interesting learning a new vocabulary -  tremie pours, etc. - through transcribing the boss's reports.

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If you rent then you are lucky because you can get a rent reduction regardless of who is responsible.

 

We own our home and our neighbours tore down an old house (adjoining ours) and are building a new one, we have had lots of noise like this for 10 months now and still going and there is basically nothing that we can do about it.

At one stage they were compacting the earth down and the whole of one side of the house was shaking, glasses it the kitchen, pictures in the living room etc.  And it just a case of "tough luck" because it is all considered acceptable.

 

But what really gets me is that occasionally they start work before 7am.  This has now happened on 6+ occasions with the earliest being last week when they started unloading a lorry at 05:47am!!

 

Once I called the Police (local number), what did they do/say "Sorry, we don't have anybody available at the moment to deal with that"! 

And what does the Ordnungsamt do about it?   NOTHING!  Well, they occasionally have a word with them.

 

According to the law then they can be fined up to 5,000 Euros.  And we could be due compensation if the early morning noise causes us problems.  But of course in Germany then you have to really prove real loss to get any compensation.  The fact that you get a headache from all the noise, and that the early morning starts wake your 4 year old up is not enough!

 

And that is just the start of it.

 

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I sympathise. We have a new construction going on near us. Just a simple 6 apartment building. Luckily we don't live close enough to be really disturbed, because the construction has been going on for fucking ages. I feel for the directly neighbouring properties. OP, it's worth doing something about. 3 months is nothing in German construction. It will go on and on. However long a construction normally takes in any other country, you can easily quadruple that time here, and then some. It's mental.

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