Neighbours musicians

25 posts in this topic

Hi guys and girls.

The story is like this.

I just moved to a new apartment and figured out that my neighbours are students of music academy. They study piano. Both of them
They play the whole day, even on weekends. I've tried to talk with them, I was polite and everything, but they were like "This is your problem".

I am a software engineer and work from home, so I need it to be quiet. And even if I wasn't, I still think that I have a right for peace in the apartment that I pay for.

The agency, that I rent an apartment from, didn't tell me anything about the noise, although I've asked them about it
I have a contract for minimum 1 year of rent, so I can't cancel it. Also, I think it will be hard to find somebody to subrent this place with such neighbours.

I was wandering what is the law for musicians in Berlin. I couldn't get it from previous topics in this forum and they are pretty old. Maybe there are some updates for it?
Or maybe I can cancel the rent somehow? Somebody have any advice?

I don't know German, so I can't go to Tenant Association. I thought about going to lawyer, but how expensive it can be in Berlin?

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You can play a music instrument from one to three hours per day except very loud instruments (acoustic drums).

 

Maybe you could invest in some good quality noise cancelling headphones.

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Here are some pertinent articles on the Berlin city website. You can use Google Translate or DeepL to translate the whole piece.

 

https://www.berlin.de/special/immobilien-und-wohnen/mietrecht/3407416-739654-musizieren-in-der-wohnung-darf-zeitlich-.html

Playing music in the apartment - for instance  the Bavarian Higher Regional Court decided that piano may be played a maximum of three hours a day. The quality of the music is not a factor!

 

https://www.berlin.de/special/immobilien-und-wohnen/mietrecht/2967503-739654-musizieren-in-der-wohnung-wann-ist-es-er.html

Playing music is prohibited during rest periods (13.00-15.00 & 22.00-7.00). But even outside the rest periods, music should not be played for more than two to three hours a day.

 

 

 

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Yes, it is allowed and depends on the instrument. Piano is allowed for 3 hours per day, also on weekends. Check your rental contract for rest periods (Ruhezeiten) or contact your Hausverwaltung for the house rules. 

 

The agency should have informed you, IMO. And it is always good to ask the agency about the neighbours before you sign the contract. A lawyer will cost you ca. €200 excl. VAT per hour!

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31 minutes ago, Krieg said:

You can play a music instrument from one to two hours per day except very loud instruments (acoustic drums).

 

Maybe you could invest in some good quality noise cancelling headphones.

I have it. But sitting the whole year in earphones is annoying and hurts my ears. I just want my own quiet place :(

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In theory you might have a case for (temporarily) reducing your rent which then puts the onus on the owner of your flat to negotiate with them. You would need to do this by letter (in German), preferably after consulting the tenant association (who sometimes can speak English). I suggest you find a German friend to help you navigate this.

 

BTW just because they own the flat does not mean that they can operate outside the law. Are they German? Maybe they don't know the rules?

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1 minute ago, LukeSkywalker said:

Yes, it is allowed and depends on the instrument. Piano is allowed for 3 hours per day, also on weekends. Check your rental contract for rest periods (Ruhezeiten) or contact your Hausverwaltung for the house rules. 

 

The agency should have informed you, IMO. And it is always good to ask the agency about the neighbours before you sign the contract. A lawyer will cost you ca. €200 excl. VAT per hour!

3 hours per day per person or per apartment? Cause there are 2 musicians in the apartment
The agency didn't tell about anything, unfortunately. This is the worst rent agency in Berlin as I've figured out later (I am new to Berlin and I didn't know it has such a horrible service). They hide all the bad parts and don't respond on any calls or emails. I don't have any hopes on them.
 

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Obviously 3 hours a day for the whole apartment, otherwise you could have a string quartet claiming they could play 12 hours because there are four of them.

 

Mietminderung (rent reduction) is an excellent way to get even the shittiest agency to respond. But you need to know exactly what you are doing, it's all set out precisely how much you can reduce for how long depending on what the issue is. 

 

Good luck!

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To be clear @azula these tenants are in the same apartment buildiing as you?  Carpets and plastic feet on a piano can cut down noise quite a bit.   Not sure why your headphones hurt your ears, they sound like they fit badly.   Court decisions over how long people can play piano for vary widely. 

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If your neighbours are being unreasonable, get yourself one of these and play during the same time:

 

image.png

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49 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

To be clear @azula these tenants are in the same apartment buildiing as you?  Carpets and plastic feet on a piano can cut down noise quite a bit.   Not sure why your headphones hurt your ears, they sound like they fit badly.   Court decisions over how long people can play piano for vary widely. 

Yes. They say that they isolated the room, but it didn't help. I asked them to move the piano to a different room, but they refuse. 
My ears are very sensitive to any touch. If I have earphones on my head for a long time, it starts hurt a little. And again, this is not a solution

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2 hours ago, azula said:

I don't know German, so I can't go to Tenant Association.

 

Joining a Mieterverein and hiring a translator will cost less than always having to go to a lawyer. You might also be able to find someone at the Mieterverein who speaks English (but there is no guarantee).

 

If you need a translator, I would recommend: https://www.redtapetranslation.com/

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1 hour ago, azula said:

They say that they isolated the room

 

If the room is insulated and the noise is reasonable, then you might not have a stand.

 

Quote

I asked them to move the piano to a different room

 

And pay for the insulation of the new room ... and you are surprised they refused.

 

Quote

My ears are very sensitive to any touch. If I have earphones on my head for a long time, it starts hurt a little. And again, this is not a solution

 

Oh, I see where this is going ...

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22 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

If the room is insulated and the noise is reasonable, then you might not have a stand.

 

 

And pay for the insulation of the new room ... and you are surprised they refused.

 

 

Oh, I see where this is going ...

Even reasonable noise is still noise. This is not something they can't control like a dog or kids. They could move the piano to another room, where we will not have a common wall. And if the current isolation is not enough, they could double the isolation material. There is always the way to not disturb your neighbours. But they just don't care. I can't imagine myself doing this to my neighbours. This is very selfish. So don't blame me. I respect my neighbours

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If you can't beat 'em join 'em, as per LukeSkywalker's suggestion. It works a treat. I know from experience.:D

I can sell you a vintage  flugelhorn for a couple of hundred euros. If you are a beginner it will sound very bad. And they will not be able to complain. :ph34r: And you will have to practice often in short bursts at the beginning. It will be like the Chinese water torture for your accoustically sensitive friends. Especially if it is out of tune and you make a lot of mistakes...

Eventually you will become proficient and derive immense pleasure from your hobby. A whole new world may open up for you. PM me if interested.

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14 minutes ago, azula said:

Even reasonable noise is still noise.

 

We are allowed to do reasonable noise, just in case you do not know.

 

14 minutes ago, azula said:

They could move the piano to another room, where we will not have a common wall.

 

Why don't you work in another room?

 

14 minutes ago, azula said:

And if the current isolation is not enough, they could double the isolation material.

 

That's not up to you to decide.   Go to court and try your luck.

 

14 minutes ago, azula said:

There is always the way to not disturb your neighbours.

 

This does not mean you are not allowed to do anything in your place.  And to be honest, it is very difficult not to "disturb" people with "sensitive ears".  I know it because I have a neighbor like that and she tried to bully me too.

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, azula said:

They could move the piano to another room

 

<<<Scratches head and wonders where I could fit a piano in any of our rooms.>>>

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Who knows what your neighbors are like, but don’t forget that the music conservatories in Berlin are still basically closed, so your neighbors, if they are indeed students at one of the Hochschulen, have absolutely no where else to work at the moment.
 

Perhaps it will get better once the schools open up again. 
 

It’s probably best to just move, as annoying as that is. I’m sure you can find a Nachmieter pretty easily...

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25 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

Why don't you work in another room?

 

Honestly that was my first thought too. Much easier than moving a $%^ piano.

And with Corona and a lot of people not having anywhere else to work but from home, you are extremely unlikely you'll get anywhere with your complaints. It doesn't sound to me that they are producing frivolous noise, they are just trying to get better and pass their next exam, which is what students are meant to be doing. What if they have scheduled lessons ?

Your best bet is probably to ask them if the could avoid playing whenever your 1-2 most productive hours in a day are.

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