Complaint from neighbours about noise from renovation and DIY works

37 posts in this topic

We are currently renovating part of our flat. We are doing the work ourselves and as obviously we have other commitments in life we are doing this gradually in stage over several months. We predict that we will finish by the end of the year. 

The neighbours however (above us) have complained that it is making too much noise and for too long, particularly late in the day and on Saturdays. 

As far as we were aware, noise from DIY and renovation is allowed 7 am til 8 pm Monday to Saturday and not on Sundays or public holidays. Is this correct? 

 

First of all we never carry out these works on Sundays or public holidays. 

Secondly we are keeping well within the specified times, i.e. we carry out work from 9.30 until 12 and from 1:30 til 7 pm at the latest. 

Nonetheless we still receive complaints from these (our only) neighbours. And they bang on the floor anytime after 5.30 pm, earlier still if it is Saturday. 

Thirdly. the noise is unavoidable as we are obviously renovating and they were aware that at some point we would be doing is after we bought the flat, which in essence is our right. 

What, if anything are we doing wrong?! 

How can we drill, hammer, cut, install and hoover silently?! 

It has got to the point where my partner (who doesn't speak much German) no longer answers the door to them as once the husband came down shouting bashed his fists on the glass door so hard that it came loose from the frame. We have since replaced the door with one that doesn't have glass, but it is quite frightening what they think they can get away with just because they are much older than us and have been here longer. 

 

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If you are sticking to the regulations, of course you can make noise for construction and renovations. Make that clear to your neighbors politely but firmly. That's the end of the story.

 

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

What, if anything are we doing wrong?! 

Perhaps you can bring yourself to knock on the door and explain your renovation schedule. You do apologize, but the renovations are necessary and must be done in stages, and there's no way around a certain amount of noise but once they're done, they're done. (You should've done this at the beginning anyway, IMO). Maybe give them a tin of cookies and hope that buys some peace. If not, you can only do so much. It is, as you say, your right, and if you're in the legal boundaries, then hammer on.

 

On the other hand, you may want to consider more than just Sunday for quiet. Day-in day-out renovation noise for several hours a day over what, months?, is objectively annoying and stressful, even more so for retirees. 

 

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just because they are much older than us and have been here longer.

Ah, the universal trump card. One day you will be much older and around longer than someone else, and will hopefully remember this time.

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

...First of all we never carry out these works on Sundays or public holidays. 

Secondly we are keeping well within the specified times, i.e. we carry out work from 9.30 until 12 and from 1:30 til 7 pm at the latest. 

Nonetheless we still receive complaints from these (our only) neighbours. And they bang on the floor anytime after 5.30 pm, earlier still if it is Saturday. 

 

 

Are you renovating six days a week? Most tradesman finish work around 4.00 p.m. If your neighbours return home or are at home all day and must put up with the noise you are making until 7.00 p.m. six days a week, can’t you understand why they get angry?

 

„Sind in der Hausordnung keine Angaben zu finden, gelten die gesetzlichen Vorgaben. Demnach sind die Ruhezeiten mittags von 13 bis 15 Uhr und abends von 20 Uhr bis morgens um 7 Uhr. An Sonn- und Feiertagen gelten die Ruhezeiten ganztägig. Nachtruhe herrscht von 22 Uhr bis 6 Uhr. Um Ihre Nachbarn nicht zu stören, sollten Sie in dieser Zeit beispielsweise Musizieren und lautes Musikhören vermeiden und auch keine geräuschintensiven Haushaltsgeräte wie den Staubsauger oder die Waschmaschine anwerfen.“

 

https://www.gelbeseiten.de/ratgeber/hg/Laermbelaestigung-durch-Nachbarn-Wann-ist-es-Ruhestoerung

 

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2 hours ago, lunaCH said:

but it is quite frightening what they think they can get away with just because they are much older than us and have been here longer. 

 

How do you know what they think? Can you read minds or was the result of a conversation? 

 

Obviously, there's already a war going on between your neighbors and you: They want you to cut back your bushes because they block their sight, you want them to cut back some tree because it takes away your light ... they complain about constant construction noise from Monday to Saturday, you are outraged that they knock on the door or on the floor. Tit for tat... 

 

You can, of course, continue or even escalate all this - e.g. you can cut away the tree in front of your window and then claim it was an animal and they can do the same with the bushes in your garden - or you can watch how you come to a reconciliation of interests together. 

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9 hours ago, White Rose of Yorkshire said:

 

Are you renovating six days a week? Most tradesman finish work around 4.00 p.m. If your neighbours return home or are at home all day and must put up with the noise you are making until 7.00 p.m. six days a week, can’t you understand why they get angry?

 

„Sind in der Hausordnung keine Angaben zu finden, gelten die gesetzlichen Vorgaben. Demnach sind die Ruhezeiten mittags von 13 bis 15 Uhr und abends von 20 Uhr bis morgens um 7 Uhr. An Sonn- und Feiertagen gelten die Ruhezeiten ganztägig. Nachtruhe herrscht von 22 Uhr bis 6 Uhr. Um Ihre Nachbarn nicht zu stören, sollten Sie in dieser Zeit beispielsweise Musizieren und lautes Musikhören vermeiden und auch keine geräuschintensiven Haushaltsgeräte wie den Staubsauger oder die Waschmaschine anwerfen.“

 

There are no house rules here so I guess the general ones apply. But tradesmen will call during the day, for example to do repair works both at their flat and at ours, so I don't see how the quiet time of 1 pm to 3 pm can be adhered to for a start, and that goes for anywhere for that matter. 

If a flat needs renovating it simply needs to be done. The sooner we finish the sooner it will be quieter all the time again. 

We are not renovating all day every day six days a week - the noise is not constant and the loudest drilling over a couple of days was over back in July. 

There are definitely quieter times when further research for the project, measuring, placing, fitting, screwing and painting take place, yet they still bang on the floor and say they can't hear their television just when are drilling one panel in place say at 5.30 pm. 

What makes the situation absurd is they are up at night making noise and the woman runs the washing machine late at night too despite having all day free to have done this. I would have thought that was forbidden, not what we are doing.

 

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8 hours ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

How do you know what they think? Can you read minds or was the result of a conversation? 

 

Obviously, there's already a war going on between your neighbors and you: They want you to cut back your bushes because they block their sight, you want them to cut back some tree because it takes away your light ... they complain about constant construction noise from Monday to Saturday, you are outraged that they knock on the door or on the floor. Tit for tat... 

 

You can, of course, continue or even escalate all this - e.g. you can cut away the tree in front of your window and then claim it was an animal and they can do the same with the bushes in your garden - or you can watch how you come to a reconciliation of interests together. 

 

I spoke to the woman about the hammering on and breaking of our door and said that my partner wanted to call the Police as this was the second time her husband had behaved in this way. She tried to calm the situation down just like I did. The door needed replacing at some point anyway. Him breaking it meant we did it straight away. 

 

There is definitely no war going on between us. 

 

We do not want them to cut back a tree. We are considering removing it because it could cause problems. 

 

We are not outraged that they knock on the door. Our neighbour came down and hammered on the door twice. Once he broke our door. 

 

They can't cut down bushes in our garden as they do not have access to this garden, it is surrounded by a fence and a locked gate. 

 

We can however reach the sapling outside of our window as it is very close. We also have the right to access the land where it is growing as our windows on the side of the building on the ground floor in this garden which belongs to them. Moreover our case for the pruning or removing of the sapling is backed up by what is specified in the deeds. We'd rather simply remove it ourselves and not bother them about it. 

There will come the time when they will have to have a gardener in to tend to the entire garden anyway as they are at an age when mobility issues are setting in and this garden will become too much for them. If left to grow wild we wouldn't see anything but tall plants and weeds directly in front of three of our windows. 

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39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

I spoke to the woman about the hammering on and breaking of our door and said that my partner wanted to call the Police as this was the second time her husband had behaved in this way. She tried to calm the situation down just like I did. The door needed replacing at some point anyway. Him breaking it meant we did it straight away. 

 

That doesn't answer my question how you think you know what they think, but no matter ... it is very obvious what is happening here: A classic neighbourhood conflict with childish behaviour on both sides.

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

There is definitely no war going on between us. 

 

Classical war among neighbors. At some point you'll see each other again in court. Before that you can call the police on each other, just for fun.

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

We do not want them to cut back a tree. We are considering removing it because it could cause problems. 

 

It is even more drastic to remove the tree on one's own authority than to ask only to cut it back. 

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

They can't cut down bushes in our garden as they do not have access to this garden, it is surrounded by a fence and a locked gate. 

 

Closed gates can also be opened, if in doubt by force. Some decide autocratically to remove a neighbor's tree, others to open gates and cut bushes. 

 

And everyone will see himself in the right, even if both are wrong. 

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

Moreover our case for the pruning or removing of the sapling is backed up by what is specified in the deeds.

 

If you're so sure about that, why do you have to ask strangers on the Internet about it?

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

We'd rather simply remove it ourselves and not bother them about it. 

 

No matter what answers you get here: You see yourself in the right anyway, even if it's obviously wrong what you have in mind.

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

There will come the time when they will have to have a gardener in

 

You won't like that, but: It's none of your business.

 

39 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

 

. If left to grow wild we wouldn't see anything but tall plants and weeds directly in front of three of our windows. 

 

Well, that's bad luck then. And reason for the next round in the neighbourhood war. Have fun. 

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Ok let me be the party pooper here.

I`d much rather that someone turned up and renovated over a couple of weeks even if it meant noise all day.

 

You say they`re retirees but did you know that before you decided on renovating this way ?

Did you not think that when you renovate in your "free time" that this may well be everyone elses free time so that rather than having noise when they`re maybe at work they come home and their free time is consistently fucked by someone renovating ?

 

It once again comes down to the lack of common courtesy.

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1 hour ago, lunaCH said:

But tradesmen will call during the day, for example to do repair works both at their flat and at ours, so I don't see how the quiet time of 1 pm to 3 pm can be adhered to for a start, and that goes for anywhere for that matter. 

 

 

 

In our town, tradespersons are exempt from having to observe the local Ruhigzeit rules.

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28 minutes ago, pmd said:

 

In our town, tradespersons are exempt from having to observe the local Ruhigzeit rules.

 

I think in general noise when you are fixing something should be tolerated even during the quiet time when it is just a one occasion thing.   The problem is most people do not know this and they might still complain.

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1 hour ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

That doesn't answer my question how you think you know what they think, but no matter ... it is very obvious what is happening here: A classic neighbourhood conflict with childish behaviour on both sides.

 

Classical war among neighbors. At some point you'll see each other again in court. Before that you can call the police on each other, just for fun.

 

It is even more drastic to remove the tree on one's own authority than to ask only to cut it back. 

 

Closed gates can also be opened, if in doubt by force. Some decide autocratically to remove a neighbor's tree, others to open gates and cut bushes. 

 

And everyone will see himself in the right, even if both are wrong. 

 

If you're so sure about that, why do you have to ask strangers on the Internet about it?

 

No matter what answers you get here: You see yourself in the right anyway, even if it's obviously wrong what you have in mind.

 

You won't like that, but: It's none of your business.

 

Well, that's bad luck then. And reason for the next round in the neighbourhood war. Have fun. 

Our neighbour is already known to the Police as he threatened to murder our predecessor's ex-wife, so it is highly unlikely they will call the Police. He also has partial dementia and wants to live at home and not be bundled off to an old people's home so will not risk calling the Police out himself as then everything what he has done is likely to come out.

Moreover, they have no reason to call the Police as we have not done anything wrong, ever! 

 

As far as a war is concerned you couldn't be more wrong. There simply isn't one. We might not hear from them for weeks on end.

We are working through several issues that have cropped up. You are trying to blow the whole thing out of proportion. 

 

Whether a gardener tends to their garden is not our business, you're right. However the garden's plants have to be kept at ground level, according to the deeds. In the past when relations were good they kept this garden well and nothing grew high. Since then their health has deteriorated and relations are not what they were. 

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40 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

I think in general noise when you are fixing something should be tolerated even during the quiet time when it is just a one occasion thing.   The problem is most people do not know this and they might still complain.

 

Sorry, but then what's the point in having Ruhigzeit? Your power drill is still going to wake up my toddler irrespective of how many times you decide to use it.

Don't get me wrong, I  find the rules to be a pain since my kids are older now but they certainly weren't in the past when both parents and children needed a kip.

 

In the past few years, we only had to politely tell 2 neighbours to stop using garden equipment during Ruhigzeit - both are Rentner who frankly should know better.

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21 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

Our neighbour is already known to the Police as he threatened to murder our predecessor's ex-wife, so it is highly unlikely they will call the Police. He also has partial dementia and wants to live at home and not be bundled off to an old people's home so will not risk calling the Police out himself as then everything what he has done is likely to come out.

 

I admit I am not an expert, but I suspect the police do not have the power to bundle people off to old people homes for making complaints about noise and height of plants.  Your wording seems to suggest you feel you can do pretty much anything as he will not dare to complain.  Nice.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

Our neighbour is already known to the Police as he threatened to murder our predecessor's ex-wife, so it is highly unlikely they will call the Police.

 

Whether he is known to the police or not (we can't verify this here anyway) has no influence on whether he or his wife can call the police to complain about noise or bushes. You don't lose your rights here just because you are supposedly known to the police, you know?

 

23 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

He also has partial dementia

 

None of your business, again.

 

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and wants to live at home and not be bundled off to an old people's home so will not risk calling the Police out himself as then everything what he has done is likely to come out.

 

Your idea that someone could (or should?) be taken to an old people's home (by whom?) because he calls the police when the noise is rampant (a piece of advice that victims of noise get here regularly) has nothing to do with reality. And that's a good thing. 

 

But I'm out of here now, because as I said before: You always see yourself in the right anyway, no matter what answer you get. And whenever someone notices that your behavior might not be okay either, you come up with a new objection.

 

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3 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

 

I admit I am not an expert, but I suspect the police do not have the power to bundle people off to old people homes for making complaints about noise and height of plants on the border.  Your wording seems to suggest you feel you can do pretty much anything as he will not dare to complain.  

We certainly don't think we can do anything.

The Police do not have the power to do this and I didn't mean to imply that they could do this in an instant, but if the situation is bad enough that he is causing criminal damage to other people's property and/or because his drinking and his dementia/delirium means he is a danger to his wife (she had told us this several times and we are directly underneath so hear him when it gets bad) and to us as neighbours or people who are nearby, then the Police will do something on grounds of public safety. 

At some point a person with dementia can't live at home, especially if the spouse can no longer cope and is at her wits' end. We are not at that point yet and hopefully it will not progress in that direction. We do know it will remain fairly stable or unstable (depending on how you see it) as it is but it won't get any better.

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4 minutes ago, someonesdaughter said:

 

Whether he is known to the police or not (we can't verify this here anyway) has no influence on whether he or his wife can call the police to complain about noise or bushes. You don't lose your rights here just because you are supposedly known to the police, you know?

 

None of your business, again.

 

Your idea that someone could (or should?) be taken to an old people's home (by whom?) because he calls the police when the noise is rampant (a piece of advice that victims of noise get here regularly) has nothing to do with reality. 

You are wrong on so many levels here. 

If anyone would be going to the Police it would be us, not them insofar as we have done nothing wrong! You keep trying to turn this all around on us. 

 

His dementia is certainly our business if we fear for our safety and his wife's safety. He has a form of dementia which involves agression. 

He also drink heavily, which, according to his wife, also brings on delusion and agression. 

He has threatened her several times. There is often shouting and slamming of furniture or tools. 

As mentioned he has previously threatened others. 

His delirium consists of for example telling his wife that she has taken all his money and saying he wants to sell his share of the flat to get his money out and leave - something near on impossible as the woman has no money to buy him out. 

It certainly is our business if we are directly underneath and can hear what he is doing. Not so much because of the noise, if it is during the day, but more so for the safety of the lady living there with him. She herself has said one day the time may come when he has to go into a home, but she doesn't want to do that to him as once upon a time in the past he was a lovely man - which I can fully comprehend and believe. 

 

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25 minutes ago, pmd said:

 

Sorry, but then what's the point in having Ruhigzeit? Your power drill is still going to wake up my toddler irrespective of how many times you decide to use it.

Don't get me wrong, I  find the rules to be a pain since my kids are older now but they certainly weren't in the past when both parents and children needed a kip.

 

In the past few years, we only had to politely tell 2 neighbours to stop using garden equipment during Ruhigzeit - both are Rentner who frankly should know better.

I was not aware of this. I was only aware of the times during which works can take place (noise from DIY and renovation is allowed 7 am til 8 pm Monday to Saturday and not on Sundays or public holidays) which we are fully respecting. 

The complaints do not concern this Ruhigzeit time of day in any case.

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10 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

I was not aware of this. I was only aware of the times during which works can take place (noise from DIY and renovation is allowed 7 am til 8 pm Monday to Saturday and not on Sundays or public holidays) which we are fully respecting. 

The complaints do not concern this Ruhigzeit time of day in any case.

 

Yes, your town obviously doesn't have a lunchtime Ruhigzeit. My point was about occasional noise during Ruhigzeit, lunchtime or otherwise.

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