Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25.10.2016, 14:16
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 16
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Alekk has earned some respectAlekk has earned some respect
Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Hi,

I have problem and would like to ask for an advise, maybe someone was in similar situation.
I'm renting an apartment for almost one year. This apartment has only one bedroom and it has a 'common' wall with bathroom. There is strange a noise (probably water taping in pipes) in this wall, which is very audible, especially during the night. It happens several time during the night and takes few minutes, after which it's silent. So it makes our sleep very bad, it wakes us up, even though we sleep in ear plugs.
We raised this problem several months ago, and agency was trying to investigate it with some technicians and building owners but we just received the letter saying that they decided that it's not possible to fix it.

This apartment is quite expensive and it's totally not worth to live there with this noise but we don't want to move again. Do you think if there is any possibility for us to request price decrease? Or the only way is to move out?


Thanks and regards,
Alek
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25.10.2016, 14:22
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Near Luzern
Posts: 1,488
Groaned at 83 Times in 47 Posts
Thanked 1,815 Times in 818 Posts
Patxi has a reputation beyond reputePatxi has a reputation beyond reputePatxi has a reputation beyond reputePatxi has a reputation beyond reputePatxi has a reputation beyond reputePatxi has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

White noise generator
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25.10.2016, 14:23
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,055
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

You should join the Mieterverband, it costs less than SFr 100 per year and they can best advise you.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Sbrinz for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 25.10.2016, 15:06
donpiedro's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 615
Groaned at 23 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 849 Times in 329 Posts
donpiedro has earned the respect of manydonpiedro has earned the respect of manydonpiedro has earned the respect of many
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
This apartment is quite expensive and it's totally not worth to live there with this noise but we don't want to move again. Do you think if there is any possibility for us to request price decrease?
So is the problem the noise or the rent? Or will a decrease in rent make you sleep better at night? Sorry, I'm confused
Reply With Quote
The following 6 users would like to thank donpiedro for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 25.10.2016, 15:12
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Neuchatel
Posts: 23,047
Groaned at 553 Times in 424 Posts
Thanked 25,570 Times in 11,735 Posts
Odile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond reputeOdile has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Same question- lowering the rent will not improve your sleep quality?!?

Perhaps discuss with the agency how to improve insulation for that wall if the noise itself can't be cured.

Do you think it happens everytime someone else in the building flushes the toilet (in which case it would indicate that perhaps the Swiss aren't so stupid in making those 'stupid' rules).
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Odile for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 25.10.2016, 15:14
robBob's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Zurich
Posts: 2,080
Groaned at 41 Times in 28 Posts
Thanked 1,645 Times in 952 Posts
robBob has a reputation beyond reputerobBob has a reputation beyond reputerobBob has a reputation beyond reputerobBob has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

They should be able to build in a dummy wall with insulation. We had the problem once in the states (could hear the neighbors expressing their love) and thats what the landlord there did. Shouldn't cost too much!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25.10.2016, 15:15
Sbrinz's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Murten - Morat
Posts: 12,055
Groaned at 563 Times in 354 Posts
Thanked 11,548 Times in 5,941 Posts
Sbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond reputeSbrinz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

The noise might even be rodents running up and down the service ducting.

But don't let the rat catcher leave out poison, you will be left with the smell of decaying bodies! You need to set traps or borrow a cat.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25.10.2016, 16:31
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 16
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Alekk has earned some respectAlekk has earned some respect
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
So is the problem the noise or the rent? Or will a decrease in rent make you sleep better at night? Sorry, I'm confused
The fact is that this noise is very annoying but with ear plugs we can handle that. And we prefer sleeping with this noise than moving our because house moving is much more painful
My main concern is that we pay a lot of money for this apartment and I don't think it's ok, that an apartment with such a defect is so expensive. I thought that in Switzerland apartment prices are somehow regulated..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25.10.2016, 16:35
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 11,858
Groaned at 687 Times in 504 Posts
Thanked 15,843 Times in 6,223 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
The fact is that this noise is very annoying but with ear plugs we can handle that. And we prefer sleeping with this noise than moving our because house moving is much more painful
My main concern is that we pay a lot of money for this apartment and I don't think it's ok, that an apartment with such a defect is so expensive. I thought that in Switzerland apartment prices are somehow regulated..
You contradict yourself. You say that the noise wakes you up even when you earplugs and that "it's totally not worth to live there with this noise"... and yet you want to stay there, in an apartment that is clearly affecting your quality of life, with a rent reduction?

I think you have your priorities a little screwed up.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25.10.2016, 16:43
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 13,952
Groaned at 128 Times in 119 Posts
Thanked 26,208 Times in 10,059 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
You contradict yourself. You say that the noise wakes you up even when you earplugs and that "it's totally not worth to live there with this noise"... and yet you want to stay there, in an apartment that is clearly affecting your quality of life, with a rent reduction?

I think you have your priorities a little screwed up.
I can sympathise, though. You are forking out a big wodge every month in rent and you don't really expect there to be a problem with the building which disturbs your sleep every night. The agency's response that it's impossible to fix is a bit of a cop out, too. More likely it's too expensive for them to fix.

They shouldn't have to move just to solve it. The costs involved in moving are astronomical.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Sandgrounder for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 25.10.2016, 16:52
MathNut's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kt. Glarus
Posts: 4,420
Groaned at 35 Times in 33 Posts
Thanked 10,765 Times in 3,230 Posts
MathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond reputeMathNut has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

How long have you been living in the apartment? Reason I ask is that it's very possible you will get used to it in time. When I moved from the middle-of-nowhere countryside into downtown Zürich, the noise of people walking down my street talking and laughing would wake me up multiple times a night. After a few months it didn't any more. Similarly, I had a colleague who moved to an apartment building next to a tram stop - she said that the noise of the trams interfered with her sleep for a few months, then it didn't. Eventually it seems your brain learns to recognize the noise and dismiss it as unimportant without really waking up.

If you look around at all the noisy things there are in a city - bus and tram lines, train stations, bars that are open till late at night, church bells that chime the hour - it's clear that lots of people must be sleeping through lots of noises. How do they do it? Earplugs are part of the solution for some people, but so is acclimation, simply getting used to whatever night sounds exist and letting your brain have time to accept those as normal.

You're right that moving house because of this would be hugely stressful and expensive, with no guarantee that the plumbing in the new place would be any quieter. So my advice is to wait three to six months - let your brain try to acclimate itself to these noises - and if it still isn't working for you, then move.

Good luck!

EDIT: just re-read the post - you have been there for almost a year and it still wakes you both up multiple times a night, is that correct?
__________________
Need help? Contact a mod.

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25.10.2016, 17:05
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 11,858
Groaned at 687 Times in 504 Posts
Thanked 15,843 Times in 6,223 Posts
Chuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond reputeChuff has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
I can sympathise, though. You are forking out a big wodge every month in rent and you don't really expect there to be a problem with the building which disturbs your sleep every night. The agency's response that it's impossible to fix is a bit of a cop out, too. More likely it's too expensive for them to fix.

They shouldn't have to move just to solve it. The costs involved in moving are astronomical.
Yes, in a perfect world they wouldn't have to move, and the agency would fix it regardless of the costs and difficulty. Are we living in a perfect world?

That was obviously a rhetorical question. At some point surely you have to engage that wee bit of grey matter inside your cranium and work out how much your sleep, health and sanity is worth to you. I'm guessing more than 5k chf.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25.10.2016, 17:14
Sandgrounder's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 13,952
Groaned at 128 Times in 119 Posts
Thanked 26,208 Times in 10,059 Posts
Sandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond reputeSandgrounder has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
Yes, in a perfect world they wouldn't have to move, and the agency would fix it regardless of the costs and difficulty. Are we living in a perfect world?
No we're not living in a perfect world which is why we have the Mieterverband.

Just because you are renting a place doesn't mean you have to roll over and accept the agency or landlord's go-to answer of "like it or lump it", does it? I would definitely keep chipping away at the agency to fix it.

I'm sure the agency would be first to chuck out a tenant that was making a constant noise every night and disturbing the rest of the building.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Sandgrounder for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 25.10.2016, 20:23
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 5,575
Groaned at 50 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 7,543 Times in 3,146 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

@Alekk
The laws governing tenancy provide some framework for fairness, in that the flat has to be live-able, useable for its primary purpose, i.e. to live and sleep there, and the tenant has to pay the rent reliably.

If a flat has an ongoing defect (for example, if the heating doesn't work, or if there is no water, or if the roof leaks or the landlord blocks the access to the rented cellar, etc.) such that the tenant is getting less than what they are paying for, then, yes, the landlord is no longer entitled to the rent, or at least not to the full rent.

Noise, or more specifically how much the noise bothers one, is one of those things that is often the subject of rental disputes.

This is why you're being advised to join the Mieterverband (the tenants' organisation) and to ask them for legal advice. Here's one of their articles, in German, about noise coming from the heating, and how to proceed. https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/poli...-rauschen.html
If you can't read German, maybe Google translate will give you the gist of the meaning.

Sometimes there is room for negotiation.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank doropfiz for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 26.10.2016, 09:55
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Zurich
Posts: 16
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Alekk has earned some respectAlekk has earned some respect
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Thank you all for your responses and advise. I hope we will somehow find agreement with agency.

Best Regards,
Alekk
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Alekk for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 26.10.2016, 12:16
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,481
Groaned at 47 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

A friend of mine bought a new apartment a few years ago. Many of the new owners complained about noise from the plumbing. After a great many written complaints the builder hired an independent contractor who measured the noise levels in about half the apartments over a 4 or 5 day period. About a week later everyone got a letter saying that the measured noise levels were within the SIA norm which the building was built to. The cost of the measurement was then paid by the owners society.

Apparently nobody complains about the noise anymore. They complain about other things, but the noisy plumbing has been laid to rest.
__________________
If everyone you know agrees with you consistently, they are either not listening, or not capable of critical thought.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank JagWaugh for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 26.10.2016, 12:27
donpiedro's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Nyon
Posts: 615
Groaned at 23 Times in 19 Posts
Thanked 849 Times in 329 Posts
donpiedro has earned the respect of manydonpiedro has earned the respect of manydonpiedro has earned the respect of many
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
Apparently nobody complains about the noise anymore. They complain about other things, but the noisy plumbing has been laid to rest.
Well, what can you do really? We live on a ground floor apartment in a 9 year old, well maintained, building. There are 5 floors above us. Every single time someone takes a shower or flushes the toilet (and yes this happens frequently at night) I wake up. It literally feels like there is no insulation whatsoever around the plumbing and especially when it is quiet, the noise is extremely disturbing. "Luckily" my wife sleeps through it, and it only wakes up the kids early in the morning, and not so much at night. If affects mainly one bedroom, which we discovered after a few weeks of living there, as my son used to wake up often during the night. We then switched bedrooms so that it would not bother our kids too much.

Of course it pisses me off that i pay over 3k / month for a flat that is so poorly insulated, also knowing that they are being sold for over 1 mio francs here.

I did not even bother to complain about it but just learned to live with it. If it would bother me that much I would look for another place to live, and that would for sure not be a ground floor apartment anymore
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 26.10.2016, 12:49
JagWaugh's Avatar
RIP
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Eglisau
Posts: 7,481
Groaned at 47 Times in 46 Posts
Thanked 14,131 Times in 5,506 Posts
JagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond reputeJagWaugh has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
Well, what can you do really? We live on a ground floor apartment in a 9 year old, well maintained, building. There are 5 floors above us. Every single time someone takes a shower or flushes the toilet (and yes this happens frequently at night) I wake up. It literally feels like there is no insulation whatsoever around the plumbing and especially when it is quiet, the noise is extremely disturbing. "Luckily" my wife sleeps through it, and it only wakes up the kids early in the morning, and not so much at night. If affects mainly one bedroom, which we discovered after a few weeks of living there, as my son used to wake up often during the night. We then switched bedrooms so that it would not bother our kids too much.

Of course it pisses me off that i pay over 3k / month for a flat that is so poorly insulated, also knowing that they are being sold for over 1 mio francs here.

I did not even bother to complain about it but just learned to live with it. If it would bother me that much I would look for another place to live, and that would for sure not be a ground floor apartment anymore
There isn't really a lot you can do about it remedially. You could try filling the "Steigzone" with foam or blow in insulation, but if the problem is the was the pipes are hung, or that pipes touch, or the hanger distance and volume of the space just happens to work out at a harmonic you don't know for certain that the filling of the void will actually work.

In the friends case, part of the problem was that she was leaving the door open (ensuite B/R).

Interestingly, when the firm came to do the measurements they insisted that any towel racks had to have towels hanging on them. Given that most Bathrooms are tiled they aren't exactly anechoic chambers to start with. When I first moved into my own place there was an annoying echo in the main hallway - this went away as soon as I hung some winter coats in the (open) coatrack.

If you are a very light sleeper even a minimal noise can be really annoying.
__________________
If everyone you know agrees with you consistently, they are either not listening, or not capable of critical thought.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 26.10.2016, 14:06
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 5,575
Groaned at 50 Times in 39 Posts
Thanked 7,543 Times in 3,146 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
There isn't really a lot you can do about it remedially.
...
When I first moved into my own place there was an annoying echo in the main hallway - this went away as soon as I hung some winter coats in the (open) coatrack.
Such decor remedial measures can help, sometimes because they actually do dampen a small part of the noise (have just moved the open coatrack, for other considerations, and it has made the hallway quieter) but sometimes because they change the atmosphere. If a room feels cosy, or if it feels well-cared for, or calm and soothing, or somehow psychologically nourishing, or is decorated to give a sense of "my home and my castle", (which can be all different types of decor according to one's personal taste) that can sometimes help one to relax enough for the real noise (which may, objectively, remain at nearly the same level) not to bother one quite as much.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank doropfiz for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 26.10.2016, 14:29
MusicChick's Avatar
modified, reprogrammed and doctored
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: La Cote
Posts: 13,309
Groaned at 199 Times in 156 Posts
Thanked 15,607 Times in 7,950 Posts
MusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond reputeMusicChick has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Noise in walls doesn't allow to sleep

Quote:
View Post
Such decor remedial measures can help, sometimes because they actually do dampen a small part of the noise (have just moved the open coatrack, for other considerations, and it has made the hallway quieter) but sometimes because they change the atmosphere. If a room feels cosy, or if it feels well-cared for, or calm and soothing, or somehow psychologically nourishing, or is decorated to give a sense of "my home and my castle", (which can be all different types of decor according to one's personal taste) that can sometimes help one to relax enough for the real noise (which may, objectively, remain at nearly the same level) not to bother one quite as much.
This is probably true. But that could be valid for any adjustment. And adjusting or creating psychological wellbeing is so individual.

"I can't feel at home in my noisy apartment because it doesn't offer somethig I need the most there: zen and peace".
"Well, it won't untill you feel at home there. The minute you feel at home, zen will arrive and you won't notice the noise".
Catch 22.

Adjustment works if it doesn't mean we have to accept a complete deal breaker, me thinks. For OP it is a quiet night. I know a lot of people who have moved to look for quieter places, be it a building, an apartment or a whole street, or a quarter. We live in a super noisy spot, no possibility to move, really - so one gets used to it. But it seems that if I move, the priority of quiet and peace will be higher than ten years ago, because of this experience.

OP - let us know how it goes with your mission.
__________________
"L'homme ne peut pas remplacer son coeur avec sa tete, ni sa tete avec ses mains." J.H.Pestalozzi
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank MusicChick for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Neuchâtel will vote to allow foreigners to stand in cantonal elections. Belgianmum Swiss politics/news 20 20.08.2016 14:33
Road noise and the church bell- can you sleep? Huba Daily life 6 19.08.2012 13:38
initiative to allow motorbikes to filter in traffic rob1 Transportation/driving 191 25.05.2012 12:11
enough net income to allow family to live in Zurich? Marco_T Daily life 32 01.07.2010 00:13


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:16.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0