The legal situation is in itself very simple: between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. is rest time. You must not make any noise that could disturb other people or even prevent them from sleeping. During this time, room volume is the order of the day – so you must not make any noise that can still be clearly heard outside your own apartment. The room volume is 30 to 40 dB. On Sundays and public holidays, comparable rest values usually apply throughout the day.
Noise: Please do not exaggerate!
Between 6 and 22 o’clock, however, this does not apply. You are allowed to celebrate, listen to music, hammer and drill. But also here applies: One should not exaggerate it. Every person has a different tolerance level for noise. While one person only feels disturbed at a very high volume, the other is very sensitive to noise and already feels disturbed in the low dB range. And don’t forget: music that sounds wonderful to your ears can be torture for your neighbors. Headphones can work wonders!
Additional restrictions are possible
In addition, especially in apartment buildings, there are often stricter noise protection regulations that you have accepted as a tenant by signing the lease agreement and the house rules. Also the individual communities often have additional quiet times, such as bspw. a midday rest from 12 to 15 o’clock.
In most communities, quiet hours generally apply from 1 to 3 p.m. and 8 to 7 p.m. on weekdays; on Sundays and holidays, they generally apply all day long.
Special regulations also apply to very noisy equipment (leaf blowers, etc.), these may be used mostly only between 9 and 13 o’clock and from 15 to 17 o’clock.
With music, films in the home cinema system and the like, you always have the opportunity to test how loud you can be without disturbing anyone else. But when you have to hammer and drill, noise can hardly be avoided. Here it is important to respect the rest periods.
To agree with the neighbors
Before making noise, always check with neighbors. Most people will certainly understand if you want to party longer than 10 p.m. on your birthday – or on other joyous occasions. Those who are prepared for noise usually react more calmly than those who are surprised or even awakened by it. If children and/or elderly people live in the house, special consideration should apply. If manual work is pending, it is also advisable to announce this beforehand.
And when you feel yourself disturbed, for example, by too loud music? Perhaps the person causing it is not even aware that it is too loud. The friendly request to behave a little quieter usually helps. If nothing helps, you can call the police. Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor. The first time a warning is usually given, in repeated cases a fine can be imposed.
For tenants, the following also applies: permanent sources of noise, especially during quiet times, entitle the tenant to a reduction in rent. However, this must be announced in advance and the landlord must be given the chance to remove the source of the noise.