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Old 19.10.2021, 23:37
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Night time rules.....who is being unreasonable

So I am I am in a flat in Zurich. Central Zurich just off langstrasse. It happens to have no fibre internet how this is possible in 2021.........mea culpa silly me...

Anyway, I got a letter in the post from the landlord saying I have been reported for being too loud.................okay.... Weird as I have been away for most of the past month (only lived in this apartment for a very short time).

Now I have someone thumping on my ****ing apartment saying "GO TO SLEEP."

wtf??? I was not playing music, I wasn't having a party or playing an instrument, I was having a shower. (10pm).

Am I being unreasonable here in thinking this is excessive? The other day when I was in the flat I was in my kitchen having a conversation and by that I mean literally just a conversation and I heard the same banging to get us to be quiet. This was well before 10pm....

Is this a normal thing in Switzerland or have I stumbled across someone mentally ill? Seems cheeky as that the landlord is sending me such an aggressive letter (presumably on behalf of this person) when he won't even reply to my messages asking (STILL!) for my laundry card which is costing me a fortune in laundrette currently.

Quite disappointed and I'm definitely looking for somewhere else as I haven't had this experience in previous residence in Zurich...

Is there any clear guidance as to what constitutes noise as I genuinely consider myself to be a pretty quiet person and I feel like I'm having to tip toe around my own apartment here.

(The other option is to go to where I think the aggravator is and give them a good piece of my mind.......but I'd probably end up arrested or something )
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Old 20.10.2021, 00:26
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Re: Night time rules.....who is being unreasonable

Do you hear anything yourself ?
I had a crazy neighbour shouting in the middle of the night. I thought he was just below me but he was actually 4 floors below.
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Old 20.10.2021, 04:22
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Re: Night time rules.....who is being unreasonable

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Is there any clear guidance as to what constitutes noise...
Yes, there are.
  1. The Hausordnung. These are the rules of the building and usually form part of the rental contract, although often as a separate document.
  2. The municipal by-laws. The Hausordnung may be stricter, but as far as I know is not allowed to be more lenient than the by-laws.

What is considered permissible from 22h00 is noise that can be heard in that room only.

You can easily test this by putting on your music or TV and then going into the next room, and also into the stairwell. Similarly, you can talk, and ask a friend listen from outside. If you or your friend can hear the sounds outside of that room, then they're too loud.

In some buildings the sound insulation is really poor. That's annoying, in all directions, both to have to be careful and to put up with noise, so everyone is considered responsible for trying to keep down the sounds that carry.

Sometimes, a block of flats might develop a usual practice, which is even more quiet, so that the noise drops, say, at 21h00 instead of 22h00, once the children are in bed, or those whose work starts really early in the morning. In such blocks, while you might technically be entitled to go on till 22h00, that's not regarded as considerate behaviour.

There are many threads on this forum recommending ways to lower the amount of noise you produce (eg with non-noisy slippers) and how best to contact your landlord (ideally in the local language, by phone or by a letter in the post. Mails are still, even in 2021, often less effective.)

You could also ask your landlord to please tell you, since you don't know, which kinds of noises bothered someone, and when, so that you can prevent them. That way, you'll either learn what to stop doing or you'll be able to explain that, for example, that late-night drilling was while you were away.

Good luck.
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Old 20.10.2021, 09:57
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Re: Night time rules.....who is being unreasonable

I think sometimes its very easy for people not to realise how loud they're being. I had a guy above me in a Swiss Star apartment a while ago who would literally be shouting on his phone at 1-2am in the morning whilst walking about clearly in hard soled shoes on the parquet up and down his apartment. I reported him and thankfully the noise stopped (and then I moved out anyway )

He too may have felt that he was having a normal conversation.

Especially if alcohol has been consumed, people often speak a lot louder than they think they do (I'm very guilty of this myself).
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Old 20.10.2021, 12:06
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Re: Night time rules.....who is being unreasonable

@ichbin, the "aggressive" letter from the landlord is a generic one quite probably redacted by a lawyer. The objective of this letter is to cover the landlord's ass in case your neighbors keep complaining. In this way, landlord shows he did SOMETHING to tackle the problem. Take this as a warning, but don't overthink it.

I had a similar problem earlier this year. The day my upstairs neighbor complained we were having a party when I was on the phone with my brother. I opened the door to show there was no party, wife was sleeping and I was alone. He kept complaining after I opened the door and then I was a bit aggressive on him, I did not get arrested because the neighbor ran to his apartment Some weeks later found out he has some mental problems: the guy was trying to open my apartment with his key. When I confronted him at my door, he looked lost, he was convinced it was his apartment. So, be open to the possibility that someone is not mentally OK.

Since then, there's no good relationship with the neighbors. The wife of my neighbor behaves like a mom protecting his husband like a child, that confirms my mental issues hypothesis. But.....f**k it, I spoiled the chance to be loved, I can live with being distrusted and possibly feared.

PS. if 2 different neighbors complained, the issue might be the building.

Last edited by Axa; 20.10.2021 at 12:18.
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