Do you know if you are allowed to mow the lawn on Sundays? Or blow away the annoying leaves? May the landlord forbid you to bathe in the evening? We explain the difference between disturbance of the peace and everyday noise.
The child is drumming happily on cooking pots. Of course this does not please every neighbor. Children’s noise is to be evaluated as everyday noise not as disturbance of the peace. Therefore it is advisable that all neighbors involved show a little consideration and willingness to compromise.
Disturbance of the peace and everyday noise: What is the difference??
It is 9 p.m. and the neighbors next door are having a party. Laughter, loud voices and music boom through the walls. Your quiet evening is over. "Already the third party this month since they moved in. ", you get annoyed. You pick up the phone and want to call the police. But stop! Is it a disturbance at all? And is this the right thing to do to have peace and quiet again?
The law defines Disturbance of the peace As causing noise that is likely to significantly annoy the general public or the neighborhood or harm the health of another and without just cause or to an unacceptable or avoidable extent.
Everyday noise does not count as disturbing the peace: loud babies and toddlers, the spinning of a washing machine or shower noises can be expected in a neighborhood and must therefore be tolerated. In extreme cases, such as deep in the night and repeatedly for weeks, but even everyday noise can be considered a disturbance of the peace. This is the case if the noise nuisance reaches health-damaging proportions.
Disturbance of the peace: At what time is the rest period valid?
There is no uniform federal law for quiet hours. Instead, several regulations at the EU, federal, and state level determine the times at which we must avoid noise.
The most important sets of rules for you as a tenant are Lease agreement and House rules. Here Quiet hours are obligatory set. Constant Disturbing the peace are therefore serious violations that can even be punished with a Notice by the landlord can be punished.
Beyond that Municipalities about which quiet times are to be observed.
In most cases, ordinances are in force that stipulate a general Night rest from 22 – 06 clock set. During this time, noise in apartments and houses must be reduced to room volume. In some ordinances, leases and house rules, moreover, a noon rest from 12 – 15 o’clock set. A general duty of quiet applies on Sunday and on Holidays – namely all day. This must also be observed by garden friends.
You should avoid doing this during quiet times
During quiet hours you must avoid noisy activities. This includes, in particular, gardening with machinery such as lawn mowers or Leaf blowers. But also Musicians or newly in love couples must pay attention to the welfare of their neighbors.
At leaf blowers and to avoid other noisy House and garden equipment the municipalities define clear time limits. In the city of Munich, it is about Monday to Saturday, from 15 – 17 o’clock allowed, Use leaf blowers Check with your municipality to find out the times that are relevant to you.
In the Quiet hours applies: Everything about Room volume goes too far and should be avoided. This also applies, for example, to vacuum cleaners and other household appliances, the use of which can also take place outside of quiet times. If your apartment is particularly noisy, you must pay particular attention to your neighbors. This means that you should only use the vacuum cleaner, the drill and other loud devices outside of quiet times.
What to do in case of a one-time disturbance of the peace by neighbors?
Before you pick up the phone to call the police, try to talk directly to your neighbors. Ring his doorbell and ask him to turn down the music.
Do not threaten your neighbor with the police (yet), but point out the late hour. Be friendly but firm. This ensures neighborly peace and signals a willingness to compromise. You, too, are likely to make noise at some point, perhaps inviting guests over yourself or losing track of time while doing handicrafts. It is more important to maintain a good relationship among neighbors. The parties involved will then be more likely to show understanding and turn the music down to room volume.
However, if the situation does not improve, you may consider calling the police after a further conversation with reference to the applicable quiet hours and the police to Report disturbance of the peace. If you do, the next thing you know, police officers will be ringing your neighbors’ doorbells. They will ask to reduce the noise level and probably explain what will happen if it escalates.
If it remains noisy, you can call the police again – this time the officers will confiscate the source of the noise, such as the stereo, to ensure silence. This type of escalation should be the last resort for you to demand quiet hours.
Correctly reporting disturbance of the peace in the case of permanent noise nuisance
In case of long lasting disturbances you should Noise diary lead. Enter the following information for each incident:
- Date + time of the offence
- Description of the type of noise and its intensity
- in the best case: name, address and signature of witnesses
- Documentation time at least 14 days
With this noise diary you can file a complaint with the public order office. Officials will send the noise maker a hearing sheet if the report is correct, giving him a chance to explain himself. From this point on, a fine can be imposed. As an alternative to the police or the public order office, you can also contact the landlord. The latter has the responsibility to make sure that his tenants keep to the quiet hours. Again, you should have documented the incidents with witness statements so that the landlord can take immediate action.
Disturbing the peace is a part of life and sometimes unavoidable: as in the case of the partying neighbors mentioned at the beginning of this article. This is usually not a disturbance of the peace, as the generally valid rest period of 22 o’clock to 06 o’clock is still observed. Therefore, show your neighbors good will and willingness to compromise as the first thing: This will take you further than you think. However, if you don’t get peace of mind then, you can provide peace of mind with the steps mentioned in the article. Keep in mind the long-term coexistence and always weigh how often and when a disturbance of the peace takes place. This is the only way to maintain peace among neighbors and to avoid noise in the long term.