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Old 05.10.2021, 19:46
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Living above dance studio

Hi all.

I am seeking a second opinion on my situation.

We leave in a huge building in a flat on the first floor. Ground floor is used for commercial space. They are all very quiet, except for the newest tenant that moved in just under our apartment. Previously this space was used by a store and we didn't hear a sound, now it's a dance studio and we cannot bear it's music.

They moved in at the end of March and soon started with their lessons, three or four days per week in the late afternoon. They installed strong sound system and use very loud music during their lessons, accompanied with yelling (as expected with every hiphop/street dance lessons). We are forced to listen to this every time they use the studio. To illustrate very clearly - if I am watching TV in my apartment with normal sound level and they start their lesson, I hear their music more than my own TV.

The problem is also in the lack of sound isolation. They have exposed-concrete ceiling, which does not give any sound isolation at all. I am sure improvements could be reached, if wanted.

I talked to the tenant mid April to express my concern. They seemed to understand the issue and promised to work on volume and isolation. Nothing changed, we talked again in May and there were still no improvements. I talked to them again in June and gave them a heads-up I will officially complain to the landlord.

The landlord also seemed to understand the situation and said other neighbors are complaining. They asked for more time to install new isolation. Nothing happened until September, when I asked the landlord when can I expect improvement, where he promised sound isolation is coming in two weeks. It's four weeks now and still nothing.

Does anybody know any law firm that deals with this kind of topics and I could contact for initial consultation?

Do you think I have any legal grounds for any kind of compensation (like reduced rent)? We are now thinking of moving anyway, as we cannot live here anymore. Could landlord be forced to cover my moving costs or something in this direction?
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Old 05.10.2021, 20:24
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Re: Living above dance studio

Taken from ch.ch

What can you do in the event of recurring noise or odour nuisance caused by neighbours in an apartment building?
If direct talks with the neighbours do not bring about any improvement, you should request the landlord in writing to remove the disturbance within a reasonable period of time. At the same time, you can mention that - if there is no improvement within the time limit - you will no longer transfer the rent due in the future but will deposit it. You can demand a rent reduction for the duration of the disturbance.

If the tenant continues to show no consideration for the other tenants despite a written reminder from the landlord, the landlord can set a shortened notice period of 30 days to the end of a month.
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Old 05.10.2021, 20:30
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Re: Living above dance studio

I do believe you have a right and a very good reason.
Switzerland is a quiet country where peaceful silence is valued.
My guess is that the real estate agency will take appropriate measures.

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Old 05.10.2021, 20:36
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Re: Living above dance studio

It is commercial space, they are allowed to make noise during business hours.

Tom
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Old 05.10.2021, 20:39
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Re: Living above dance studio

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It is commercial space, they are allowed to make noise during business hours.

Tom
Not unbearable noise. I'd withhold the rent until either you decide to move out or the noise has decreased.
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Old 05.10.2021, 21:09
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Re: Living above dance studio

A bit more info.

a) All the communication with the landlord has to be in written form. Emails or much better registered post. That way you can prove you notified them about the problem X on day Y. Very important because all these problems are expected to solve by a certain deadline and only way to prove is written messages.

b) I'm not sure, but unilaterally withholding the rent is not that smart. There's the Mietgericht und Schlichtungsbehörde (cantonal tenancy court and arbitration authority) https://www.gerichte-zh.ch/organisat...sbehoerde.html Don't have the personal experience, but other people have commented that you talk to this arbitration authority, if they consider the case is relevant, you pay the rent to them (so you show you're willing to pay the rent). If the landlord wants the money, he has to demonstrate the problem has been solved. Once again, no experience, but at least now you know this arbitration system exists.

c) As always, talk to the mieterverband (renter's association) and you may get better advice than here on EF talking with the mieterverband is the equivalent of talking to a lawyer and less expensive https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv-zh/h...achleuten.html

Finally, I'm sure there had the windows open during the courses until now. Cooler days are arriving and the noise may reduce a bit during the autumn and winter. So less noise now, but coming back next spring. Consider this in case the landlord pretends to have solved the issue, but it's only closed windows.
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Old 05.10.2021, 21:22
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Re: Living above dance studio

That's extremely inconsiderate of your landlord to allow a loud dance studio to open up beneath his tenants' apartment(s). I'm willing to bet that he or she wouldn't enjoy living above such a place either.

Perhaps this page regarding noise laws in CH could provide some helpful information (it contains some links to various organizations, laws, etc.):
https://www.ch.ch/en/noise-disturban...ms-neighbours/

You may at least be able to get a rent reduction until the problem is remedied. In all honesty, though, I'm not sure how much sound-proofing will really be able to help... and particularly not unless the dance studio is willing to lower their noise / music levels significantly.

Good luck!
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Old 05.10.2021, 21:33
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Re: Living above dance studio

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Perhaps this page regarding noise laws in CH could provide some helpful information (it contains some links to various organizations, laws, etc.):
https://www.ch.ch/en/noise-disturban...ms-neighbours/
I translated the above link in my first post.
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Old 06.10.2021, 08:58
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Re: Living above dance studio

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c) As always, talk to the mieterverband (renter's association) and you may get better advice than here on EF talking with the mieterverband is the equivalent of talking to a lawyer and less expensive https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv-zh/h...achleuten.html
Seconding Axa's comment to join and then talk to the Mietverband. They will be able to tell you exactly what your rights are in this situation and what steps you need to take to achieve your rights. It only costs 100 ChF to join and you'll get expert advice (as Axa said) for much less than a lawyer costs.
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Old 06.10.2021, 09:34
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Re: Living above dance studio

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Not unbearable noise. I'd withhold the rent until either you decide to move out or the noise has decreased.

Withholding rent is a surefire way of getting klicked out very quickly.


You could considre paying into an escrow account but there is a proper way of doing this and you need to follow it to the letter.


Ask the renters' association ASLOCA in Romandie
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Old 06.10.2021, 13:16
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Re: Living above dance studio

I used to live next to a gym years ago. They also had group classes in the evening and in the summer with the windows open it was very loud. After everything else failing one of my neighbours finally went to complain at the Gemeinde.

This worked wonders. To this day the gym (even with new owners) are not allowed to play loud music in the evenings.
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Old 06.10.2021, 17:49
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Re: Living above dance studio

Good sound insulation is expensive.

They are probably still haggling over who should pay how much - and maybe trying to haggle down the contractor, who himself is trying to actually get hold of various materials, all the while the world is hoarding everything like there's no tomorrow....

The short-term solution for the studio would be to hand out wireless ear-phones to the participants of the classes (if they don't want to Bring Their Own...) - and stop the shouting.
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Old 06.10.2021, 18:55
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Re: Living above dance studio

Move??
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Old 06.10.2021, 19:01
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Re: Living above dance studio

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Move??
Makes me laugh when I see someone saying this. If a dance studio moved in below me and started making crazy noise all day, especially as working from home is now established, then I would go nuts. I love my apartment, moving is highly stressful, and there is no way in hell I would leave a place that I really liked living in before having exhausted my options to get the dance studio to reduce the levels of noise.

Contact ASLOCA, write letters and complain to the landlord, complain to the Gemeinde, whatever it takes until you know you have no other option.
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