City living is compact, and signs of your neighbours’ lives can sometimes be heard behind the wall. The sounds of normal living, such as using the shower and toilet, are part of living in an apartment building or terraced house. However, neighbours’ unreasonable noise or otherwise disruptive lifestyles do not have to be tolerated.
Tenants must comply with good tenancy practices and the lessor’s rules of conduct and ensure that their living behaviour does not violate the laws and regulations laid down to maintain health and order.
The sounds of the shower or toilet are mostly normal at all times, as are the sounds of children playing during waking hours and the sounds of normal movement in the apartment regardless of the time of day. Making loud noises at night must be avoided.
Typical examples of disruptive life include loud noise, quarrels and loud music, among other things.
When assessing a disturbance, the frequency and time of the disturbance are important.
A neighbour’s living behaviour is disturbing. What do I do?
- If a neighbour’s lifestyle is disruptive, it is best to first point out the matter to the person who caused the disturbance. It may be that the person does not even know that their lifestyle or behaviour is disturbing the neighbours.
- If the disturbance is very serious or the situation is threatening, report it to the police.
- If the disturbance continues frequently despite your notice, please notify your regional office using the form on our website. Complaints made over the phone or anonymously will be ignored. In the notification, please specify the nature and dates and times of the disturbances, as well as how long the disturbance has gone on for. Also state in the notification if you have pointed this out to the person causing the disturbance. In addition to your own information, the notification must include the signatures of at least two disturbed neighbours as proof of the incident.
- After the notification, the regional office will investigate the background of the case. The regional office will then contact the person who caused the disturbance and demand that they restore peace. Depending on the disturbance, the person may be issued with a notice or a written warning.
- If the disturbance persists after a written warning, file a new written notification of the disruptive lifestyle. The regional office can then take the matter to the district court for a decision to terminate the rental agreement.
Those who report the disturbance must be prepared to testify in court. Only residents who have been disturbed are eligible to testify. In court, those who reported the disturbance must explain all the aspects related to the disturbance in the same way as in the previous written notifications.
No action may be necessary taken if the disturbance is minor and short-term or if there is only one complainant.
Issuing a warning
The Heka regional office may issue a warning to a tenant about a disturbance. If the disturbance continues after the warning has been issued, Heka may, by law, terminate or cancel the rental agreement.
The main tenant bears the responsibility
It is worth remembering that the main tenant of an apartment is always responsible for the tenant obligations. The main tenant is responsible for their family members living in the apartment and any guests. Furthermore, if a subtenant causes a disturbance, for example, the warning or eviction is issued to the main tenant. The same also applies when the apartment is subleased or temporarily relinquished.