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Old 29.04.2021, 16:34
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Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

Hello all,

I was wondering if anyone could offer thoughts on how landlords must (or ought to) warn or assist with big construction noise planned?

Our landlords posted in the newspaper an announcement that the unit directly underneath us will have a major reconstruction. It will be transformed from an open plan business to multi-room apartment. The newspaper posting was required because the outside of the protect building will be altered (A door to the outside will be turned into a window). Also, bathrooms will be removed, walls put up, inside will be completely gutted and rebuilt anew. All the corresponding cellar units will be rebuilt.

Due to Covid times, we are required to work from home, holding online meetings, etc and since it will still be a while until we are fully vaccinated and we are high risk, we'd prefer to avoid renting a shared co-working space or impeding on friends in the upcoming months.

We've tried to appeal to the compassion of our landlord and politely ask ..... "we won't hold you specifically to anything, but can you just very roughly tell us when you generally are hoping to start the bulk of this work?"

Their reply was a curt, "no, we haven't made the plans yet" and then two days later workers showed up to start some initial pieces of the work such as ripping out a toilet and some work on cellars.

We asked "Could you then just tell us your policy on how far in advance you might give us notice of impending big construction so that we have some time to move our home offices somewhere else that is safe considering our situation?" ..... and once again got a curt "no, we can't answer any of your questions".

Any thoughts?

Already just the drilling noise from the toilet removal in the room directly beneath one home office desk made it impossible to continue an online meeting.

It would really help us if we had some advance warning of when roughly the noise will begin so we can have some time to find some temp solutions solutions for that period.

Do they legally have to tell us X many days in advance (or at all?) if they are doing a major reconstruction?

Are there other ways they are required (or is simply considered good custom) to handle this situation?

Any other thoughts or advice on how to work with this situation?

Yes .... I know .... I will contact the various housing associations but I like hearing ideas from EF first to help my thinking along.

Thanks for any thoughts,

MakeABigWish
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Old 29.04.2021, 16:38
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

I am no expert, but I feel that you are in a pretty good position to be able to negotiate a rent reduction. It doesn't seem normal that they could do such large works without the consideration of the tenants.


As you already identified, I would reach out to the mietverband and not try to deal directly with the landlord.
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Old 29.04.2021, 17:42
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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I am no expert, but I feel that you are in a pretty good position to be able to negotiate a rent reduction. It doesn't seem normal that they could do such large works without the consideration of the tenants.


As you already identified, I would reach out to the mietverband and not try to deal directly with the landlord.
Agreed and that might even mean going to mediation. If it comes to that you might have to pay your rent into an escrow account pending an agreement. It is amazing how that tends to get landlord to focus....
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Old 29.04.2021, 18:22
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

I have a similar situation , maybe even worse. I moved to a new place last November and realized there is serious construction work going on in the building. The agency did not mention this fact prior to signing the contract, not a single word. The construction is still going on as I am typing this message.
Fortunately I have been able to find a new place and I am moving in June. Now trying to make the case with my agency that the apartment was leased by witholding important information about the rent conditions.
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Old 29.04.2021, 18:41
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

Thanks all for your supportive thoughts.

The problem is it is directly beneath us and, with the one item so far, the sound reverberates through the pipes and bricks.

You can't even hear yourself think.
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Old 29.04.2021, 19:31
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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Thanks all for your supportive thoughts.

The problem is it is directly beneath us and, with the one item so far, the sound reverberates through the pipes and bricks.

You can't even hear yourself think.
I have a large building site right next to my house, they are building a 5-storey residential block. Started in late February, end date is some time in 2023. I received a letter from SBB, who is the owner of the land and the building that was on it before, with a detailed list of what would be done when over the first 5 weeks, and which weeks were likely to be the noisiest. It won't bother me at all once I'm back in the office, but it's certainly challenging for home office (noise + vibrations).

Got absolutely no info from the landlord.
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Old 29.04.2021, 21:50
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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I have a large building site ....

Thanks for adding your experience.

I am mesmerized by the fact that you have 1400 posts and only one groan.

How does one pull that off? I'm impressed.

My mind is imagining all kinds of scenarios that landed you with that single groan.



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Old 29.04.2021, 23:08
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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Thanks for adding your experience.

I am mesmerized by the fact that you have 1400 posts and only one groan.

How does one pull that off?
Probably by being boring and uncontroversial... :-)
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Old 30.04.2021, 06:45
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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Probably by being boring and uncontroversial... :-)

Ditto! I also feel that the majority of my groans are unfounded!
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Old 30.04.2021, 08:13
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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Ditto! I also feel that the majority of my groans are unfounded!
I think mine was deserved, but it was in a whole series of posts that got deleted so I can't prove it ;-)
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Old 30.04.2021, 08:18
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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I think mine was deserved, but it was in a whole series of posts that got deleted so I can't prove it ;-)

I just noticed that our stats are almost identical!
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Old 30.04.2021, 09:09
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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I think mine was deserved, but it was in a whole series of posts that got deleted so I can't prove it ;-)

It must have been a really great comment, well worth it.
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Old 30.04.2021, 13:43
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

OP, can't help you with answers but our next door apartment was fully renovated before the pandemic hit. It was a full 3 months and the landlord did notify us a few months in advance, but as at the time we generally worked from the office (I worked from home once a week), it wasn't a problem. But the day I did work from home, the drilling was SO loud (I live in an altbau so way more noise than a modern building), that I could never have held work calls... Our dog totally freaked out of the noise, so my boyfriend took him to the office on those days, even when I was home.

So....I just wanted to say, I totally feel for you!!
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Old 30.04.2021, 13:47
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Re: Must Landlord Warn in Advance of Big Reconstruction Noise?

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So....I just wanted to say, I totally feel for you!!
Wow ... compassion on EF. I'm overstating ... there is lots of compassion on EF ..... However, how wonderful. Thanks for your nice thoughts. Feels nice to have someone sympathize.
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