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Old 26.06.2010, 11:19
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neighbor complaint

hello to all!
just want to share my experience with living with a swiss neighbor. also, if i can get as much input from readers - what am i to do?

my husband and i live here in vaud canton, mountain side overlooking the magnificent view of lake geneva. it was just recently we came here- to this nice apartment and we are very happy with almost everything until one day our neighbor living below us complained through the agency that we were making noise late in the night. (tv was loud, which of course was an exaggeration) my husband talked to our neighbor (btw, he is the son of the house owner) concerning the complaint and if possible next time he can just knock at our door and tell us of the problem. we didnt justify ourselves any more so not to complicate things and told him that we would really try not to make so much noise. he even admitted to us that the house is not well insulated. like the floors n walls, which makes all sounds be heard from his end. yesterday , again we received another complain, now its the sound we use the stairs.. and still the tv noise. but how can he be so inconsiderate when we rarely use the tv, and if so, its very very lowwww.. as in. if i remember right, only 4 times since his first complaint.

well, i think he just wants us out of the house.

i am wondering is there law that protects tenants on false accusations? on the last letter from the agency, they stated it is the 2nd warning, does the 3rd warning means they would go to the police or cancel our contract? how we defend ourselves from this situation.

its a shock to both of us, as we never had any complains when we were living before. more so , my husband never had any experience of complains from neighbors from his more than 20 years of living here.

could it be that he is a racist and just dont want us as neighbors?

btw, im filipina and my husband is portuguese - and we live a very simple and quiet life.

sorry for the long post..
nice weekend to all!

Last edited by evilshell; 26.06.2010 at 12:40. Reason: added paragraph breaks for easier reading
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Old 26.06.2010, 11:55
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Re: neighbor complaint

there are a few possibilities here:

a) you are making noise during the 'quiet' times (after 10pm in the evening, before 7am in the morning, or between 12pm-2pm.

b) they are looking for an excuse to move you out because they want a new tenant to move in.

c) the person complaining is nuts, or doesn't like your accent.

d) it's someone else making the noise, and you are getting the blame.

Are the complaint letters directed through the owner/house agent or just put into your letter box ?
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Old 26.06.2010, 12:57
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Re: neighbor complaint

They cannot do a thing at all if it reasonable living sound...Not a thing.

The one thing to look out for tho is when you move and they ask for a reference from previous tenant. Some times they do....and you have a stack of complaints against you, well it will not work to your advantage. In the meantime id try to live your normal life, no heels, no tv to loud. If the complaints keep coming in say f this and make as much noise as you would in a house without regards to him. I had the same situation where she would bitch and moan all day long.....in the end after several discussions I told her to back off and I made the noise I normally would without regards to anyone.

But it is true that those older places carry noise very very well.
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Old 26.06.2010, 13:35
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Re: neighbor complaint

I wouldnt jump on the racist conclusion so early. From the sounds of it - just by hearing your side of the story, you just have a whinger of a neighbour on your hands. A very common occurance.

I reckon you should give the agency a call and speak to the person who've rented you the house. Rather than them keep firing warning letters just hearing one side of the story - explain to them that this is the first time you've experienced such a moaner of a neighbour - quote your husband's exemplary behaviour here for the past 20 years.

I will also look seriously lower the volume of the tv even lower than before. As you said, its an old house and whilst we think it might be an acceptable volume, noise does travel in the quiet of the night. If push comes to shove, go downstairs to his house when your tv is on and see if the noise does travel to see if your neighbour indeed does have a point. If he persists, ask the estate agent if he could come down as well to hear from himself rather than firing letters based on one party's story.

Ignore him about the stairs. There's no rule to say that you cant use the communal stairs, regardless of time, unless you are causing a ruckus isnt it?

Having said all that - make sure you are aware of your communal living rules for quiet time.
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Old 26.06.2010, 13:59
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Re: neighbor complaint

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I wouldnt jump on the racist conclusion so early. From the sounds of it - just by hearing your side of the story, you just have a whinger of a neighbour on your hands. A very common occurance.

I reckon you should give the agency a call and speak to the person who've rented you the house. Rather than them keep firing warning letters just hearing one side of the story - explain to them that this is the first time you've experienced such a moaner of a neighbour - quote your husband's exemplary behaviour here for the past 20 years.

I will also look seriously lower the volume of the tv even lower than before. As you said, its an old house and whilst we think it might be an acceptable volume, noise does travel in the quiet of the night. If push comes to shove, go downstairs to his house when your tv is on and see if the noise does travel to see if your neighbour indeed does have a point. If he persists, ask the estate agent if he could come down as well to hear from himself rather than firing letters based on one party's story.

Ignore him about the stairs. There's no rule to say that you cant use the communal stairs, regardless of time, unless you are causing a ruckus isnt it?

Having said all that - make sure you are aware of your communal living rules for quiet time.
There also are some practical things to be implemented:
> Put cushioning material like towels below TV, computer, loudspeakers and other such appliances.
> Make sure that no such apparatus and no loudspeaker is nearer to the wall than 40 centimeters.
> Replace the shower-browser with a new one
> Make sure that there is no resonating material behind either TV or loudspeakers

This all will not just help with the neighbour, but improve your comfort at minimal costs !
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Old 26.06.2010, 14:16
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Re: neighbor complaint

How do you get on with the other neighbours? Maybe you could ask them if they also hear you and ask about the reputation of that guy ?
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Old 26.06.2010, 14:30
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Re: neighbor complaint

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How do you get on with the other neighbours? Maybe you could ask them if they also hear you and ask about the reputation of that guy ?
hi there..
no complaints from the others, we have 2 more adjacent neighbors. Thanks for giving that suggestion, we will do some inquiries.
a nice day to you!
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Old 26.06.2010, 14:38
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Re: neighbor complaint

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I wouldnt jump on the racist conclusion so early. From the sounds of it - just by hearing your side of the story, you just have a whinger of a neighbour on your hands. A very common occurance.

I reckon you should give the agency a call and speak to the person who've rented you the house. Rather than them keep firing warning letters just hearing one side of the story - explain to them that this is the first time you've experienced such a moaner of a neighbour - quote your husband's exemplary behaviour here for the past 20 years.

I will also look seriously lower the volume of the tv even lower than before. As you said, its an old house and whilst we think it might be an acceptable volume, noise does travel in the quiet of the night. If push comes to shove, go downstairs to his house when your tv is on and see if the noise does travel to see if your neighbour indeed does have a point. If he persists, ask the estate agent if he could come down as well to hear from himself rather than firing letters based on one party's story.

Ignore him about the stairs. There's no rule to say that you cant use the communal stairs, regardless of time, unless you are causing a ruckus isnt it?

Having said all that - make sure you are aware of your communal living rules for quiet time.
Thanks so much for the info and advices.

Concerning the stairs, it is not a communal stairs. It is our stairs that connects us from the lower part to the upper part of the house where the bedrooms are.

We will do what you have advised. Glad to hear some insights on it.
Good day to you!
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Old 26.06.2010, 14:39
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Re: neighbor complaint

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There also are some practical things to be implemented:
> Put cushioning material like towels below TV, computer, loudspeakers and other such appliances.
> Make sure that no such apparatus and no loudspeaker is nearer to the wall than 40 centimeters.
> Replace the shower-browser with a new one
> Make sure that there is no resonating material behind either TV or loudspeakers

This all will not just help with the neighbour, but improve your comfort at minimal costs !
Thanks very much!
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Old 26.06.2010, 14:42
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Re: neighbor complaint

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there are a few possibilities here:

a) you are making noise during the 'quiet' times (after 10pm in the evening, before 7am in the morning, or between 12pm-2pm.

b) they are looking for an excuse to move you out because they want a new tenant to move in.

c) the person complaining is nuts, or doesn't like your accent.

d) it's someone else making the noise, and you are getting the blame.

Are the complaint letters directed through the owner/house agent or just put into your letter box ?
hello,

The complaints were made by him through the agency. We received them by mail.

thanks!
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Old 26.06.2010, 15:45
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Re: neighbor complaint

You could try what my kids do when they don't want us to know that they're watching telly. Use headphones...
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Old 26.06.2010, 19:16
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Re: neighbor complaint

sorry about your sour neighbour...
to copy NotAllTheir - the best thing we ever bought since our arrival apart from GPS is cordless headphones - less than F100 from interdiscount and easy to use...
we also moved our shoes to next to the front door and religiously wear cloth inhouse...
i don't have any experience with this, but should you not initiate urgent conversations with the agency and ask to contact the previous renters to find out what they did differently?
good luck!
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Old 26.06.2010, 23:49
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Re: neighbor complaint

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Thanks so much for the info and advices.

Concerning the stairs, it is not a communal stairs. It is our stairs that connects us from the lower part to the upper part of the house where the bedrooms are.

We will do what you have advised. Glad to hear some insights on it.
Good day to you!
I am assuming that you werent running up and down the stairs at some ungodly hour but just to get to bed? This neighbour of yours sound like a pain in the arse.

A tip - one thing I do in the house is to wear slippers - usually slippers that I bring home from hotels. Literally zero noise when I walk and my neighbour has attested to that.

I hope you get things sorted soon.
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Old 27.06.2010, 00:16
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Re: neighbor complaint

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Thanks so much for the info and advices.

Concerning the stairs, it is not a communal stairs. It is our stairs that connects us from the lower part to the upper part of the house where the bedrooms are.

We will do what you have advised. Glad to hear some insights on it.
Good day to you!
Wood stairs can be noisy. You might want to consider something we used that is removable carpet for stairs. We had it because of our dogs. When we moved I sold all but 1 package. If this is something that could work for you, send me a PM.
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Old 27.06.2010, 00:21
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Re: neighbor complaint

slippers are the swiss way, great idea. also, as much as he does sound like an a*s, if you are planning on staying in your apt for a while i would suggest trying to make nice with your neighbor, esp being that he's the son of the owner. invite him for a drink or something and try to make him feel comfortable enough to come to you. i know, sounds like sleeping with the enemy but it'll make your life easier and hopefully any future problems can be dealt with directly with a bit of an established relationship-
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Old 27.06.2010, 02:40
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Re: neighbor complaint

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i am wondering is there law that protects tenants on false accusations? on the last letter from the agency, they stated it is the 2nd warning, does the 3rd warning means they would go to the police or cancel our contract? how we defend ourselves from this situation.
I assume the (son of the) owner is following the procedures to cancel your rental contract.

After the 2nd written warning I would recommend to appeal. You can ask for help at the protection of tenants office in Vaud http://www.asloca.ch/?q=node/52

And I'd mention about the lousy noise insulation in the flat, as by the law the landlord has an obligation to ensure the property is sufficiently isolated.

HTH
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Old 27.06.2010, 03:46
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Re: neighbor complaint

I've read and heard so many stories about neighbors and problems that I am so thankful to have never experienced any of these issues. I live in a minergie standard house with very thick walls. It is as quiet as a mouse.

However, one of my colleagues from the UK has had similar neighbor issues and approached the situation in an unusual way. His neighbor filed several complaints about him and also came angrily knocking on the door one day. He was confident that he was not making noise out of the ordinary and had a lawyer friend send a "Cease and desist" letter about the neighbor's harassing behavior and invasion of privacy. A copy was sent to the landlord.

The neighbor doesn't bother him anymore and the landlord apologized.
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Old 27.06.2010, 09:46
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Re: neighbor complaint

I suggest you fight fire with fire.

Complaint about noise from that specific tenant. Since he has no way of proving that you are making noise you don't have to prove anything as well.

Then you will find out if you are been treated any different than him.

I will also suggest a pair of headphones when watching TV like someone else did,. I do that myself after 10 PM as I like to have the sound a bit loud.
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Old 27.06.2010, 11:32
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Re: neighbor complaint

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btw, im filipina and my husband is portuguese - and we live a very simple and quiet life.

sorry for the long post..
nice weekend to all!
I know for a fact that Portuguese love to have their TV on real loud at almost any hour of the day or night they're home.
What might be a normal habit for some can easily be a disturbance for others, sometimes. And then clashes occur. It's a nuisance I know.
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