Neighbours who complain about noise levels

171 posts in this topic

This has nothing to do with construction, like the other topic: Apartment quiet hours and renovation work. This is about tenents making noise during non-quiet hours.

 

Our 2.5 year old daughter sleeps, mostly, during quiet hours (naps for 2 hours in afternoon and sleeps 9pm - 9am). Outside of those hours I'm still "mother-from-hell" because I CONSTANTLY nag her about being quiet, even though I've been told that any amount of noise is okay outside quiet hours. My only conversation with dd these days is: "Don't jump!" Don't run!" "Keep quiet!" , but she is just being a kid! If she's awake during quiet hours, I try to keep her mesmerized with TV (which I feel is a huge parenting compromise on my part just to try to keep things quiet here) or we are outside if the weather is good. I feel like I can't even be in our own home!

 

Still...

 

I was told today that the woman downstairs says the noise is excessive, especially during quiet hours (THE KID SLEEPS THEN!!!) and that if we can't control her that we'll be evicted. She yells at us all the time, but usually, we're just walking across the floor! Dd isn't even doing anything!

 

Our neighbors (on our floor) tell us that the woman is extremely sensitive and that "she should move to the country if she wants life that quiet". They've also told us that they don't hear our daughter and that we should ignore this woman and her complaints.

 

Our daughter has her moments that she does stomp or yell, which I promptly tell her to stop (and she does), but it's not during quiet hours.

 

So... what are my rights here?

 

As a side note: the guy we are renting from is a single guy, who spent most of his time at his girlfriend's flat, and was rarely here except some weekends. So my feeling is that this woman wants us to be the same "perfect", "absent" tenents and her expectations are simply unrealistic.

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You can't hover around, nobody can do that not even the woman downstairs, so don't worry. You are allowed to make normal living noises and she has to accept that, sorry for her that that the cosy calmness is over. And she has to accept that your daughter does behave like a kid.

One thing you can do, is to try being friendly whenever you meet her and keep on asking her, whether she heard much in the last time to show, that you are worrying about her complaints and try to do it in presence of other neighbours. This always looks good.

I think most of those complaining neighbours are frustrated that nobody is interested in them.

Good luck for you and sorry for my denglish. :)

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keep on asking her, whether she heard much in the last time to show, that you are worrying about her complaints

On the other hand, this approach could backfire, and the woman could see it as acknowledging her right to bitch. It's entirely possible, and in my limited (2 yrs) experience in this country probable, that she might take any acknowledgement of noise as an admission to it being excessive and as support to her previous complaints.

 

I say just keep on how you're going and make any apologies or explanations of your own counter-noise attempts only when she complains to you. Of course, always be friendly. :)

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Hi Velochic,

 

I read German language local papers frequently,

and there were reports about tenants terrorizing

families with children. Mostly it's like your scenario:

most fellow tenants are reasonable, even supportive, because

they have/had families with children.

 

Then there is this one fanatic tenant in the house

who gets laywers to write letters of "cease and desist the noise".

 

Unlikely in your case - the fanatic tenant is interested in longterm control of

the behavious of others.

 

In any case you can join the Münchner Mietverein for a small fee,

and they help you with letters.

 

Here is a link to their site with the topic noise - in German.

It says tenants have to tolerate occasional childrens' noise in quite hours.

 

http://www.mieterverein-muenchen.de/mietre...haftsstreit.htm

 

Hope that helps

 

Margret

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Thanks all for the reassurance. MachNL... you seem to be in a worse situation than we are. I feel for you, man. I thought mine was a bad situation.

 

I've been thinking a lot about this situation and I've come to this conculsion. I think she just resents the fact that there is movement above her... that someone LIVES above her again. Period. Dd, admittedly, has a funny walk (let's not go there), so the way she carries herself, probably does make more noise than other kids. But dd is not loud at all. This woman needs to just learn to live among human beings instead of dogs.

 

I just hope she makes another formal complaint. This time I'll be ready for her. Thanks to all at Toytown!!

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Hey,

The german laws state that kids have the right to make noice. Tell your neighbor to "shove it" and don't worry anymore. The laws are for the really stupid who run their TV's and stereos really loud. Kids don't matter in these laws unless they are too old, which, I assume they are not. You cannot be evicted for children being children in Germany. Don't you just love this country!

Eurovol

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Eurovol is right, by law, kids have a right to make noise. Stop worrying about her making noise and let her be a kid.

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I just had the amazing pleasure this weekend of telling one of these Noise-obssessed asshole female neighbours, directly to her face, to FUCK OFF!

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Jeremy, I wish I had your... courage... :)

 

I could go on forever about what's happened since the first post, but essentially, we've been told to ignore the neighbor downstairs. It's an interesting tale involving a lot of discrimination, but I won't go there.

 

Thank you to all for your supportive information. It really has helped!

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I currently have the other side of the problem - one of my neighbours is being v annoying. The problem is, I don't know which flat it is!

 

For the past 3 weeks now, his (or her) alarm has been going off at precisely 3.30am, they put it on snooze for 9 minutes, it goes on again, etc repeat 2 or 3 times. (I know this routine, I do it myself).

 

My alarm goes off at 6.30am and I sleep so craply now between 3.30 and 6.30 that it's really starting to piss me off.

 

This person also was on holiday for 1 week (4 weeks ago) and left their alarm running, so that every morning at 3.30am it would go off for a whole hour. the first night there was a load of shouting from surrounding neighbours telling them to shut up. After a few days, a notice went up in the hall by the postboxes saying pls turn alarms off when u go on holiday. So that was sorted.

 

But since then, as I say, I still get woken up every single morning during the week (thank goodness not at weekend).

 

Any solutions?

 

I cba to get up at 330am and wander around in my nightie figuring out which flat or which building it is! (Could be a neighbouring building).

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Why doncha put a note up in the hallway saying what you've said here. Somethin' like:

 

"Whoever wakes up at 3:30 and hits snooze several times, can you please turn the alarm volume down?"

 

Most likely that will embarrass them into doing it...

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gday

I think i have you living upstairs :)

but hey thefloors aremadeof wood the sky is blue and there aint anything anyone can do...

 

I went upstairs and told the owners to keep it down cause her daughter was jumping and jiving for 3 hours straight. my other half had just come out of hospital and so icouldnt givea rats arse how old the kids were- she was really nice and ever since has kept it down and has minimized the noise level...

 

However i must say that - you have to have respect no matter what age your kid is... Our neighbours have 4 kids and are spanish hot blooded kids but keepit down the whole day... i spoke to them about it and themum said that she has to respect otherpeople livingthere - yes the kids are loud sometimes but still...

 

She also mentionedsomething about taking the kids out tothe park...that tires them out and walking which is both goodfor you and her... or him ;) so when the kids are at home they jumps less and sofourth...

 

But let me tell ya what i hearfrom upstairs... a frigging coin the little girl rolls from place to another then bounces a ball constantly... but asi said not much now...

 

if you get her or him to play in acertain partof the wohnung that helps... Andcarpet that area...

 

what do you think???

 

amdoh after re reading theendof your post

 

Just live and if they complain they have to get insulation to minimize the noise however the council will never pass that so she basically has to listen to you...

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...and in doing all this don't forget the shootout last week in Nymphenburg because the guy got fed up with his noisy neigbours...

 

see here

 

YL6

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My neighbour is being taken to court for his trouble with his downstairs neighbour. The reason? Not only did he tell the guy to fuck off (fairly reasonable course of action I 'spose, I live next door and never hear a thing), he then mentioned that any trouble resulting in his eviction would result in a visit from some Russian mafia thugs. The police got involved and now he has got a battle on his hands to actually avoid eviction.

 

I've had a couple of complaints from downstairs myself, including one of hanging my duvet too far over the balcony, I have a dog who gets a bit excited at walk times, and on occassion the stereo has gone up a bit too much, but a nice apology, and knowing that you *are* allowed to live seems to work well enough.

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I really don't like the quiet hours thing, I think if people want to live where it is quiet, then move to BFE. A city is noisy, and if you don'T like it don't live in the city. I never understand that when I am in a pub and 11 rolls around and the have to shut doors and windows (which I think makes it disgusting and hot and smokey, so I would rather stay at home and be comfortable, then go out and be miserable) because the neighbors might complain. I think why live near a bar and not expect noise? I understand if there is a family "neighborhood" or something and a pack of young partying people moving in and throw parties, 24/7, but when you live near a bar? get used to the noise, or don't live there.

Or it always seems that Sunday is the only day we can mow the yard, but can't do that, so you have to let it grow!

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Yeah, but I don't live in the city :) I don't know what a BFE is, (big fat elephant?) but I live in the green.

The suggestion of putting up a note is a good one, however, as I said I don't know which building it's in, and don't think it's in ours!

Guess I could go into the other buildings through the garage and hope their doors are unlocked.. *gets out her ninja suit and torch* :ph34r:

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Avoid petty arguments by immediately punching anyone who disagrees with you

Couldn't agree more. Top quality advice :)

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My flatmate once told me a story about how his bitchy neighbors were compaining about the music and stuff when he had dinner parties at his house. They called the cops numerous times.

 

So he bought a decible reader, and looked up the state law for california.

 

So when the police came, he showed them the meter and they had to go to every neighbor's house and tell them to stop complaining because he was in legal limits.

 

The legal limit was 69 decibles... so he had it on 68.5 day and night for a whole month! HAHAHAHA

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@Robbie : Thanks for the smilie, but your post still fired me up. Kids simply have to be kids. I take my daughter out EVERY DAY (even on rainy days) not so much to let her "get it out of her system" but so she gets some exercise. She is one of the most well-behaved children I have ever seen. She's 2.5 but throws a tantrum only once in a blue moon. That in itself is a miracle. She minds me almost always. We don't have any balls in the house, so she's not bouncing anything, and our floors are carpeted except for the entryway. Her favorite activity, which she does for hours is READ (I read to her, or she "reads" a book she has memorized).

 

This lady downstairs has yelled at us when: our daughter jumped over a cord (three or four jumps... that's it!), once when she ran to me in the bedroom (all of 3 seconds of running), and once when she got mad at me at naptime and she stomped her foot and started crying and having a tantrum. That's IT. Other than the fact that she walks funny across the floor and it probably makes more noise than we do, she is quiet. So, what have I started doing?

 

Once I got in her face and said "Please QUIT WALKING!" My God, I couldn't believe that I told her that! Quit Walking?? I'm trying to make her be so quiet I'm telling her to not walk! Now... she walks on her tippy toes in the flat. I've tried to get her to quit because it's not good for her developing muscles, but I've told her to be quiet so many damned times, she's trying to be quiet in her own way. What else have I done: at the risk of starting a debate, I think TV for kids is poison. It's the main factor of obesity in children in the U.S. Nevertheless, I've let the kid watch hours of TV during the day when she won't nap during quiet hours... result: now she doesn't want to nap because she knows she'll get a big long dose of the plug-in-drug if she doesn't. I'm compromising my parenting philosophy for this witch downstairs.

 

Finally... let's talk about the discrimination factor. My husband is from Turkey (not Turkish, Armenian, and a U.S. citizen) and obviously looks middle-eastern. I am an American who speaks very little German (I'm enrolling in a class this fall). I understand enough to know that this hausmeister guy told me that our daughter running across the floor is a big problem (the whole 1 or 2 times she did it!!!) and if she continues to make noise we will be evicted. The guy loomed over me and made me feel helpless. I was totally intimidated. My husband, with his exceptional German, goes to talk to the guy and the first thing hausmeister asks is: "WHERE ARE YOU FROM?" What the hell does it matter? He finds out we're Americans and changes his whole attitude. Tells my husband, "Just ignore her (the woman downstairs). I have three kids of my own and kids are kids sometimes. Let your daughter be a kid!" WHOA! Had my husband said "We're Turkish" or had he not been able to speak German, I KNOW we'd still be getting harassed. Why did the guy give me one story and my husband another once he found out our nationality?

 

Robbie, man, I'm sorry, but the first person you need to respect is your KID, not a stranger. Yeah, you can help your kids find quiet activities (crafts are great!), but if you don't have kids, you simply won't be able to understand that you can let them run all day outside, and sit them in front of the evil television for hours... and they will STILL have a moment when they are excited or upset or whatever and will be loud. Besides, we read the link Margaret gave us, and kids have the right to make noise.

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I also agree that you shouldn't have to make your baby daughter be quiet all the time. If I were you I would look up the law that says children are allowed to make noise; it should be in the Grundgesetzbuch or something. You should be able to get that free, probably even order it on the Internet and have it sent to you. Then I would mark the page and carry it with me at all times.

Here's some German that might help you in dealing with her:

"Jetzt hören Sie mir mal zu. (Now you will listen to me for once.) Wir sind so leise wie möglich (we are as quiet as possible), aber meine Tochter ist zwei ein halb (but my daughter is two and a half years old), und sie muß sich bewegen dürfen (and she has to be able to move around). Ich werde sie nicht am Stuhl festbinden (I won't tie her up on a chair), nur weil Sie überempfindlich sind (just because you're over-sensitive). So leid es mir für Sie tut (sorry as I may be for your discomfort), das ist nicht mein Problem (that isn't my problem). Ein Kind hat das RECHT (a child has the right), manchmal etwas lauter zu sein (to be a bit noisy sometimes)!"

At this point you show her the passage you've marked. Continue:

"Wenn Sie sich beschweren wollen (if you wanna complain), dann viel Glück (good luck)!"

At this point it would help if you were a member of the Mieterschutzverein mentioned above. In that case you could say: "Ich bin Mitglied im Mieter-Schutz-Verein (I'm a member of the MSV), und ich werde mir zu helfen wissen (and I will be able to take care of my rights)."

In any case you should end with: "Ich lasse mich doch von Ihnen nicht schikanieren!" (I won't let YOU bully me!)

And then you just storm off, leaving her no opportunity to say anything back.

If you would like to say that to her and need help with the pronunciation PM me. Under NO circumstances should you tell her to fuck off because insult is a crime here. My little speech is polite but also very clear; it might shut her up if she is just enjoying bullying someone helpless who can't say anything back.

Btw I don't think you subletting rather than being the main tenant makes any difference whatsoever to your rights in this case, so long as the landlord agreed that you could live there/ that the other guy could sublet.

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