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View Poll Results: What would you do?
Call the cops! How dare they utter anything above a whisper?! 2 16.67%
You're crazy, go pop a sleeping pill 10 83.33%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 23.06.2020, 06:46
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Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Hi folks -

I live in an apartment block in a generally quiet neighborhood in Geneva - the place is dead silent after 9PM. We tend to sleep with our windows open, given how hot it's been getting and the ban on air condition in French-speaking Switzerland. Our windows - including the bedroom ones - face another apartment block across the street about 10 meters away.

Yesterday, the neighbors in that apartment block decided to have an - admittedly low-key - house party (we're talking three people) which lasted well into 2AM. While no music was played and I honestly wouldn't say they were crazy-loud, it basically involved three people congregating and talking around the window that faces right into our bedroom - so it was literally like having someone talking right outside your bedroom non-stop.

What are my rights? I was tempted to call the police, but, in fairness to the neighbors, they were just talking, rather than playing loud music or doing anything that would be commonly considered as excessive noise (washing machines, loud laughter or music, etc). I also understand, given how hot it's been getting, why they don't want to close their kitchen window.

On the other hand, for much the same reason, I don't think I should be obliged to close my bedroom window at night either; fundamentally, it should be on them to avoid making noise and accept the discomfort that comes with doing so, rather than on me to find ways to cope with it.

Note that they as the neighbors in question don't live in the same apartment block as me, this isn't as easy as just knocking on their door and asking them to keep it down.
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Old 23.06.2020, 06:57
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Call the police. You either put a stop to this now or it will continue.
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Old 23.06.2020, 07:37
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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Hi folks -

I live in an apartment block in a generally quiet neighborhood in Geneva - the place is dead silent after 9PM. We tend to sleep with our windows open, given how hot it's been getting and the ban on air condition in French-speaking Switzerland. Our windows - including the bedroom ones - face another apartment block across the street about 10 meters away.

Yesterday, the neighbors in that apartment block decided to have an - admittedly low-key - house party (we're talking three people) which lasted well into 2AM. While no music was played and I honestly wouldn't say they were crazy-loud, it basically involved three people congregating and talking around the window that faces right into our bedroom - so it was literally like having someone talking right outside your bedroom non-stop.

What are my rights? I was tempted to call the police, but, in fairness to the neighbors, they were just talking, rather than playing loud music or doing anything that would be commonly considered as excessive noise (washing machines, loud laughter or music, etc). I also understand, given how hot it's been getting, why they don't want to close their kitchen window.

On the other hand, for much the same reason, I don't think I should be obliged to close my bedroom window at night either; fundamentally, it should be on them to avoid making noise and accept the discomfort that comes with doing so, rather than on me to find ways to cope with it.

Note that they as the neighbors in question don't live in the same apartment block as me, this isn't as easy as just knocking on their door and asking them to keep it down.
Call the police!! Are you crazy?

Last edited by omtatsat; 23.06.2020 at 07:49.
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:08
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Open your window and ask them to close theirs, as you are trying to sleep.
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:45
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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Open your window and ask them to close theirs, as you are trying to sleep.
Way too dangerous, apparently.
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Old 23.06.2020, 08:47
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Perhaps you could turn on a fan. It creates white noise and cools the room a bit. It's what I do.
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Old 23.06.2020, 09:34
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Was this a once off or a nightly event?
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Old 23.06.2020, 09:43
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Next time, stick your head out the window and politely ask that they go somewhere else in the apartment as you are sleeping and can hear them.

Do not call the police for 3 people talking, ridiculous.
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:04
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

My bedroom, in my small but lovely flat, is positioned right next to the main house door. Fortunately there are are only four families (including myself) in the block so it's pretty peaceful.
Except that the family above has two young daughters who act like magnets for the boys. So at weekends I am often awoken by those sounds which I can only decently describe as 'kissing and cuddling', just 150 centimetres from my open window.
If only they'd speak a bit louder!
The other problem is that when people come home late in the rain I get woken up by umbrellas being whipped in the open and close manner. I am also the saviour of all these companies who deliver stuff when the whole block is at work - a sort of delivery agent who accepts all sorts of stuff ordered online.
I'm not complaining, it's sort of cosy, I feel I belong.
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:07
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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Was this a once off or a nightly event?
This was a one-off - so far - and the neighbor has been pretty decent otherwise up until now, which is why I'm letting yesterday go.
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:08
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Do your neighbours smoke? I understand the way to do things here is to light up cigarettes and have the smoke flow into their apartment forcing them to close it Just be ready for the response thread on EF though!
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:18
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

The criteria for noise pollution from road or rail traffic is 50 dB measured in your room with the window slightly opened. Some scientists say 40 dB is the max for healthy sleep.

Not the most precise tool, but you may download a noise measuring app to your phone. If you have more than 40dB in your bedroom with a window open at the minimum when your neighbors talk inside their apartment, you may have a point asking them to lower their voices. If the noise level is lower and you cannot sleep, it's a sleep disorder, get help.
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Old 23.06.2020, 10:37
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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This was a one-off - so far - and the neighbor has been pretty decent otherwise up until now, which is why I'm letting yesterday go.

Imagine you would have friends over. It's a nice evening and you're chatting outside on a normal volume until late night. Then all of a sudden, your Swiss neighbor calls the police because of excessive noise.


Questions:

1) Would this be appropriate and acceptable for you?
2) What would you think of that neighbor?
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Old 23.06.2020, 11:27
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

I would prefer the neighbor in question spoke to me first before calling the police - but I would think that their point was valid.
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Old 23.06.2020, 12:04
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Oh no, people in town are talking normally...

If you can't handle this you should move to a nice forest cottage.
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Old 23.06.2020, 12:10
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

I'm sorry, three people talking in normal-ish voices, indoors, next to an open window but still 10 meters away from your open window? You haven't got a leg to stand on.

I get that it's annoying and that sound carries at night, but you really can't dictate other people's behavior to that extent, it isn't reasonable.
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Old 23.06.2020, 12:12
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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Next time, stick your head out the window and politely ask that they go somewhere else in the apartment as you are sleeping and can hear them.

Do not call the police for 3 people talking, ridiculous.
So OP was actually only dreaming.

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Oh no, people in town are talking normally...

If you can't handle this you should move to a nice forest cottage.
Naa, there are owls out there. I hear they're a nuisance.
There are still planets without life though.

Last edited by curley; 23.06.2020 at 13:10.
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Old 23.06.2020, 16:44
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

I'm a very light sleeper and also one of those people who have a very hard time falling asleep if I hear anyone talking or the television, etc. I have found that the noise of a fan can really help drown out unwanted noise, and a white noise machine can also help.

But the BEST 100 bucks that I have ever spent is for a pair of custom-made earplugs. They're made of soft, rubbery silicon and fit perfectly into your ear (made from a mold of the inside of your ear), so they're really comfortable, and I can barely hear a thing when I wear them. I can wake up to an alarm clock with them in, no problem, but for example, I can barely hear the fan in my room when I wear them or anyone talking elsewhere in the apartment. They also work wonders for drowning out my husband's awful snoring. One of these mornings, I'm going to see feathers sticking out of his nose and realize that he had finally inhaled the duvet.

Glad you didn't call the cops... Hopefully this won't become a recurring problem. But if you can afford them, maybe those custom earplugs would help.
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Old 23.06.2020, 18:15
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

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... the ban on air condition in French-speaking Switzerland.
What ban? I know people in Vaud who have aircon units in their apartment - not permanent fixtures of course.

You tell them that it's really late, you're trying to sleep and have to get up in the morning. This is what my daughter has done a few times (she speaks fluent Swiss German) when our neighbours (more like 20m away) are chatting into the wee hours, and they've always been good about it. Another time, some young men (at least one of them a neighbour) were chatting in the street. My daughter asked them nicely to be quiet but they just laughed. So she threatened to call the police and they disbursed.

It's all perfectly normal and in the area I live in, culturally acceptable and understood. Night is time to be quiet and not cause disturbance to people who want to sleep.

If you can't handle this you should move to a nice forest cottage.
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Old 23.06.2020, 18:15
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Re: Neighbors talking by the window at 2AM - excessive noise?

Why not join the conversation? That would get the message across.
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