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Old 10.02.2007, 18:34
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One neighbour complains about our noise

Hi,

Today one neighbour living below us talks to us to complain about our making noise:
- "Your studio is like an atelier",
- "I've talked to the "concierge" of the house, he said what I describe your making noise is possible",
- "this is the last time I talk to you, next time I will inform the "Gérance"".

Earlier, this woman (70 y.o, living alone) always knocking at the tube (which connect all the stages) to warn me (with a very noisy sound) when ever I make a noise, no matter how late it is (10:00 AM, 16:00, 20:00), even with the smallest noise. Recently, after getting annoyed and bored, I also knock at the tube whenever she knocks at it, as a "revenge".

Being aware that
- we are much younger
- from a noisy country
- we are less strict at what bothers us and what does not.

we know that our standard of what is acceptable noise might exceed hers. That's why we always try to minimize our noise: walk by flip-flop, cover chair legs with smooth tissues/textile. But since we receive often her sudden warning (very noisy and annoying), we must think about whether we should minimize our making noise to "minus infinity" or not.

Our habit and philosophy (from the environments we have lived in before) are:
- Neighbours should help each other (in the current building we are living in, we do help the other neighbours, when ever they need us)
- Neighbours should not complain to much of each other (above us there's a younger woman who often walks with her high-heel shoes at night (from 0:00AM to 6:00AM, as she seems to have a nighty life).

As we tolerate the others, we are annoyed by being too much complained by others too.

What should we do now?

Thanks for sharing ideas
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Old 10.02.2007, 18:58
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Obviously we cannot hear the noise you are making - or not making as the case may be. However, you admit that you are "from a noisy country" and are "less strict at what bothers us and what does not".

You ask what you should do. Well, you cannot apply the "habits and philosophy" of previous countries you may have lived in. You are now in Switzerland!

Maybe the woman below you always complains about everyone who lives above her. Or maybe you are simply too noisy...
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Old 10.02.2007, 19:10
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Thanks AbFab,

We've intended to talk to the "concierge", but still wonder

- If this woman always complains, then our talking to the "concierge" also bothers him (he is enough with complain, isn't he? )
- If this woman is right, and the "concierge" is with her, we are in the risk of paying for some fine "of making too much noise". We want to avoid this fine or what ever bother us later.

Should we talk to the concierge, with a soft voice: "We don't know what we should do in this situation, please give us an advice" ?

Thanks
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Old 12.02.2007, 15:09
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Hi there,

My partner is also from a place where noise seems to be tollerated. Although he does make an effort not to be too loud, there are some things he just cant change. Like watching TV at a volume that's way too loud, because he can't hear it very well otherwise.
He also sounds like a herd of Elephants, when he's coming up the stairs and makes the floorboards shake when he walks. This is only partially due to more than 100 kilo of muscle he carries around, as we live in a very old house that carries the slightest noise to the other tennants.

In the beginning our Landlady who lives two floors below, complained about the noise. She even called once because she could hear us talking, it is true, I can sometimes hear the people downstairs even when they talk normally, but complaining isn't going to stop their day to day lives, it doesn't bother me anyway.

I've noticed that the Landlady only calls when she's alone, unhappy and had a drink and since I've been making an effort to get along with her, she hasn't complained at all and my partner isn't walking any quieter.

I think that you should also try to get along with the lady who complains about you. We tollerate alot more from people we like. She might just be lonely and unhappy which makes every little creak seem alot louder and more annoying than it would under different circumstances.

If she doesn't accept that, then you could explain to the landlord that although you have tried your best to maintain the peace, she won't relent and ask him for advice.

This however does depend on your level of noise, if it's normal day to day living, by swiss standards or truly too much. The Swiss are very particular where that's concerned, and since you are residing in Switzerland they expect you to abide by their rules.


Good luck
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Old 12.02.2007, 16:17
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Hi Clazy-Zi,
You do provide a very friendly and safe solution.
"The old woman might be unhappy and lonely", that's the key.
Thanks so much for your input to my seeking for solutions
Bests
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Old 16.07.2008, 15:38
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Hi,

I moved here last december and a month after I received a written complain about black hair in the public washing machine. Since I'm new in the building I decided to ignore it and wash clothes in my flat using a very small washing machine and dry them using a blower just to avoid any trouble.

Then came a second complain 3 months after. Now its about the loud music. This old grumpy swiss woman handed me a written 'house rule 2' .I was telling her as she began pointing word for word in that piece of paper that she can come back when my husband is at home because its no use explaining to me anything about it when I don't understand her language at all and what's written on the piece of paper she handed to me. But she was so mad that she ends up shouting at me. I decided to say a nice goodbye and shut the door.

When my husband told me its about the loud music I played during the day. Unfortunately, I don't play music at all. Our tv is not very loud as well since my 2 yr old girl is watching just cartoons...

The woman wants me to be quiet from 12-1pm and 10pm-7am. I told my husband to tell her that I don't play music. What I'm thinking is maybe its the running of my daughter that she believed a loud music. But its impossible to stop a 2 yr old to stop running or jumping during the day.

If its just about noise, I can also complain about her dog who barks hours before we are supposed to be up and until the time we are supposed to be in bed.

This time, I find it normal if she complains since I see a piece of paper on our neighbors door, I mean every door.

In a few months 3 of our neighbors plus us are moving out of the building. for whatever reasons, no one knows.
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Old 16.07.2008, 15:54
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Some of these sound like sound-proofing problems. If you are living normally, then tell them to tell the landlord about the defect of the building. I'm sure cooperation would find its way through somehow.
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Old 16.07.2008, 16:30
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

A few points of concern regarding your post;

(i) You refer to "us" and studio - is your apartment a studio? and if so is more than one person occupying it with the knowledge of the letting agent.

If not and there are rules on your contract (studio apartments are often outlined for one person), if your neighbour complains you may be a lot of s**t.

(ii) you bang back on the pipes.... would not advise this as you are only aggravating the situation by coming across as scornful to her concerns.

(iii) You come from a noisy country, would you define the way you talk as higher in volume than the average person here? Often the sounds we make from day to day (clacking heels, chairs etc...) may not be as irritating to her as your conversations (which may also easily carry through the walls).

I'd advise to sort this out as a matter of urgency or life can begin to get a little uncomfortable if she goes through official channels.
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Old 16.07.2008, 17:07
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

true story: my neighbour (also ~70yo lady) once complained that I make too much noise doing the dishes. the exchange went something like that:

she: u make too much noise washing up
me: but i only got 2 plates and 1 pan to wash, and i take only 10 mins.
she: can't you use the dishwasher?
me: like i said, i only got 2 plates and 1 pan to wash...
she: can't you accumulate for a few days, and wash all at once in the dishwasher?
me: like i said, i only got 2 plates and 1 pan...altogether (i live alone)

while she is swiss, i can't say its a swiss thing, probably an old folks thing. she's come by a few times to complain, but only for the initial 5 mins, then she goes on about other stuff for 25mins like the weather, oil prices etc. i'd listen, and she's normally not so upset when she leaves

like a song goes, help the aged, cos one time they were just like you, drinking smoking, sechs and sniffing glue...
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Old 16.07.2008, 17:39
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

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true story: my neighbour (also ~70yo lady) once complained that I make too much noise doing the dishes. the exchange went something like that:

she: u make too much noise washing up
me: but i only got 2 plates and 1 pan to wash, and i take only 10 mins.
she: can't you use the dishwasher?
me: like i said, i only got 2 plates and 1 pan to wash...
she: can't you accumulate for a few days, and wash all at once in the dishwasher?
me: like i said, i only got 2 plates and 1 pan...altogether (i live alone)

while she is swiss, i can't say its a swiss thing, probably an old folks thing. she's come by a few times to complain, but only for the initial 5 mins, then she goes on about other stuff for 25mins like the weather, oil prices etc. i'd listen, and she's normally not so upset when she leaves

like a song goes, help the aged, cos one time they were just like you, drinking smoking, sechs and sniffing glue...
She needs company.

Next time, use your 2 plates and 1 pan, bake her some cake and share it with her, when she "visits".

Sure work one.

HAT
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Old 16.07.2008, 18:03
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

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She needs company.
Actually, that does work. Getting acquainted with your neighbors is one of the easiest way to neutralize them. Just don't get too close. But, YMMV.
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Old 16.07.2008, 18:13
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

oh boy og boy!
The swiss are very quickly to forget about their stunning little country, and to apprecaite it...and quick to moan about any noise coming from anyweher. I also had experience with my below old lady, who is always at home, and I have 2 small kids that run and do not understand what it means to walk softly.

My advice is to REALLY try and make an effort on your behalf, and even go out of your way to be nice to her...to even take her a bunch of flowers, and maybe she will feel bad next time to complain, and actually think: hey, they are nice people, so...
See, I always think by being SUPER DUPER nice to people like that, and taking flowers or something...maybe the next time they will turn a bit of a blind eye to yr noise and rather think that you are nice, and then NOT go out of her way to make yr noise a problem.
Good luck, not aan easy one...and also...you have to think about what is tolerated noise, and how far you are going to be 'good' on teh noise...otherwise...also start to ignore the ankle-biters!
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Old 16.07.2008, 18:21
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

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...to even take her a bunch of flowers

Flowers are great neutralizers. Has worked for me countless times in my life.
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Old 16.07.2008, 21:28
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

A neighbor once called me to complain that the fan on my laptop has been disturbing her for over a month now, insisting it was coming from my apt ... laptop fans are noiseless so there was no way that even if she was sitting next to it that she would hear anything. Pointing this out to her didn't appease her though.
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Old 16.07.2008, 21:49
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Both my neighbors are Swiss and I always used to ask them if we were too noisy. Both said that a) we were not noisy and b) they like hearing us talk and stuff as it makes them comfy knowing that we are around. Both are single btw and getting old.

There was another Swiss neighbor few floor down who used to complain about everything because she was depressed and lonely. She is dead now so.

Conclusion? Some foreigners are genuinely over the top noisy and show lack of respect for local rules and yes there are some Swiss that are over the top with their complaints.
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Old 16.07.2008, 21:58
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

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She needs company.

Next time, use your 2 plates and 1 pan, bake her some cake and share it with her, when she "visits".

Sure work one.

HAT
you are asking a chinese guy to bake a cake for a swiss, a people known for their mad baking skillz? why don't you ask me to fry rice??
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Old 16.07.2008, 22:02
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

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A neighbor once called me to complain that the fan on my laptop has been disturbing her for over a month now, insisting it was coming from my apt ... laptop fans are noiseless so there was no way that even if she was sitting next to it that she would hear anything. Pointing this out to her didn't appease her though.
maybe she needs company too, flowers even. perhaps you can try and give her a chance to talk about something else. or...find a common enemy "hey, what about that auslander downstairs? what's he washing in his kitchen, an elephant??" and then you both together...
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Old 16.07.2008, 22:09
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

Another thing. When I watch TV at night I use headphones. You can get 5+meter extension chord for the headphones. Get a wireless headphone if you are a show off
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Old 21.07.2008, 17:57
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

I had read about about the Swiss and noise before moving here. Then one day, after moving in to our place, we asked the neighbors about the no-washing on Sunday rules.

They looked at me like I was weird. "I couldn't manage if I didn't do wash on Sunday!" the Swiss lady said. (she has a husband and 2 young boys, and a job)

I have never heard a toilet flush from another apartment. I don't hear anyone else's washing machines or showers.

I think it matters in what building you live. Apparently, my building is rather sound-proof. Now if I could unlearn my habit of avoiding flushing, I'd be happier. I moved here from a place having water shortages.
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Old 01.05.2009, 21:53
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Re: One neighbour complains about our noise

I wanted to do a few guitar lessons so we checked first with the landlords company. They said no because of the noise (we have a 4&5 floor maisonette with no neighbours below us or behind us). I challenged them because we have a (swiss) music school next door (same landlord) who has neighbours above, below and directly behind on the same floor and has never had a complaint.
The landlord then said people coming into the building would be a nuisance. My (swiss) girlfriend then rang the landlord and gently explained that we share an entrance in the building with a bank, a hairdresser, a key cutter, a clothes shop and a physiotherapy practice which require the door to be kept open from 06:45 to 19:30 6 days a week, so how could this possibly be a problem?
Magically the problem dissapeared...
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