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Old 07.04.2009, 08:40
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received a complaint about noise - any tips how to handle it?

I was wondering how serious one should take an email like this....

"please pay attention how you act in your appartment, we got complaints that you are too loud and disturb the other people in the house."


Which is utterly ridiculous because I have not once had a party or loud music - I once had a friend over and we had a wine, had background music on and yet they knocked on the door saying we were loud. This was at 22:15.

In other words, what should one do if your neighbours complaints because you do not live like a mouse? Certainly I have rights to have a TV on or music on as a background noise?

Any tip is appreciated.
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Old 07.04.2009, 08:53
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

most places (more Sw/German specific) have a no noise after 10pm limit, which normally includes no showering, bathing, music or loud TV's.
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Old 07.04.2009, 08:53
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

I had a neighbor like yours in Zurich. I started tiptoeing around my apartment just because I was tired of the constant complaints. My neighbor even banged on the walls once when I was just sitting on my sofa quietly reading!

I started telling her in advance everytime I was planning to have guests. I even invited her up once for tea and scones. The complaints became less frequent but still didn't end. She even complained the day I was moving out of my apt even though I told her in advance that I was moving. She wanted to know if I could move more quietly!
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Old 07.04.2009, 09:25
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

I had the same problem in Zurich.

I recommend you send a note to your appartment owners/housing association that you have not made any noise (in German if possible). You can ask them for specifics if you like. Keep a catalogue of where you have done nothing wrong. Possibly even counter claim if you know who sent the original complaint. They probably have nothing better to do and annoy your other neighbours too. We had that problem big time. They moved out thankfully.
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Old 07.04.2009, 09:45
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

If you aren't really causing much noise, probably with a grain of salt and as much empathy as you can muster. Sound and noise travels much better in some buildings than in others, just as some neighbors are much more prone to complain than others.

I wouldn't email back and I definitely would not alert the association, but I would call over to the neighbor (I'm assuming the email is from a neighbor? You don't say in the original post.) sometime soon and as sympathetically as you can manage, explain you got the email but that you don't make a habit of making noise, and say you had a friend over one evening and were chatting quietly. Some people just need a few minutes to air their grievances and feel they are being heard for it to get better.

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I was wondering how serious one should take an email like this....
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Old 07.04.2009, 09:55
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

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I was wondering how serious one should take an email like this....

"please pay attention how you act in your appartment, we got complaints that you are too loud and disturb the other people in the house."
We're having on-going problems with noisy neighbors ourselves (loud (make-up?) sex noises, shouting in the middle of the night, throwing stuff at eachother, slamming doors etc.) so I have some 1st hand experience how quickly even modest noise can make you go nuts if it happens frequently or if you become too sensitive.

I'm not claiming that you're noisy - if you're certain you don't cause excessive noise after 10 p.m. perhaps the neighbors have some other issues with you or each other and only use the noise "problem" as a pretext to complain. I'd ask the landlord to name the neighbors who filed the complaint and would then try to talk to them directly. Without that you'll (like us... but we're moving out in 3 months so we don't really care that much anymore) never clear things up.

Peter
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Old 07.04.2009, 10:10
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

The email is from who? The landlord? The property manager?

I would respond by asking for specific details. Like "Dear Sir, I've read your message concerning complaints about perceived noise. I must know precisely the times and the nature of the alleged noise. With this information I would then be able to determine which of my activities - if any - are disturbing my neighbours, and so rectify the situation".

If they can't say when and what the disturbance was, how can you modify your behaviour?
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Old 07.04.2009, 10:21
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

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I was wondering how serious one should take an email like this....

"please pay attention how you act in your appartment, we got complaints that you are too loud and disturb the other people in the house."


Which is utterly ridiculous because I have not once had a party or loud music - I once had a friend over and we had a wine, had background music on and yet they knocked on the door saying we were loud. This was at 22:15.

In other words, what should one do if your neighbours complaints because you do not live like a mouse? Certainly I have rights to have a TV on or music on as a background noise?

Any tip is appreciated.
I think the level of what constitute being noisy is way overblown generally in certain parts of the country. Its never a fun moment when one disturbs my peace and tranquility but certain noise are unavoidable living in an apartment building. I'll give you an incident. We live in a three storey building on the third floor. Being that I get home late all evening from work, I was getting complaints from our neighbors that I'm disturbing - emanating from stepping on the creaky stairs. I told them to go get a life, more or less, but in a gentle way unless they can show me how to walk on the stairs without the noise. Funny, the douchbag of a neighbor told me to get home early so I wouldn't disturb when they're asleep. That's when I lost it and just turn my back away without a word. The management co. sent me an email talking about it, I told them to change the stairs if its that important to them but I wasn't gonna change my routine or lifestyle to satisfy some silence fetish...

Perhaps I'm a bit confrontational in my case, but certain times, the ridiculous practices of a few can be very frustrating a bit.
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Old 07.04.2009, 10:56
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

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The email is from who? The landlord? The property manager?

I would respond by asking for specific details. Like "Dear Sir, I've read your message concerning complaints about perceived noise. I must know precisely the times and the nature of the alleged noise. With this information I would then be able to determine which of my activities - if any - are disturbing my neighbours, and so rectify the situation".

If they can't say when and what the disturbance was, how can you modify your behaviour?
good advice here. I would also add/ask to whom was the email sent? is it to you personally or to all tenants? in my experience agencies like to blanket send info/requests to all tenants so that no one has special treatment as such. if all are in the loop then they can take things further and really throw the book at you have 'already been told' if problems persist.
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Old 07.04.2009, 11:03
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

Perhaps the neighbour downstairs heard the scraping of chairs, which can sound loud and annoying from below. Do ask whoever complained to clarify exactly what sort of noise it was. 'Live and let live' sometimes is a bit difficult to achieve when the walls and floors are not thick enough. Good luck!
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Old 07.04.2009, 11:26
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Re: received a complaint about noice - any tips how to handle it?

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You can ask them for specifics if you like.
I'd also ask for the specifics: what kind of noise and when did it happen? It's easy to hide behind generalisations.
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