The Netherlands is famous for the signature architectural style in which many of its residential areas are constructed. These unique buildings and designs, however, tend to lead to some problems for the people who inhabit them, noisy neighbors being of particular concern.
You may be one of those many residents who live incredibly close to your neighbors. You might also be renting an older place with paper-thin walls. Both these issues amplify any problems noisy neighbors in the Netherlands might cause. This makes dealing with the louder inhabitants of your block or housing complex a critical aspect of your living, and could affect the quality of your life. It might be young people blasting music through the walls. If might be folks smoking on their balconies while the odor is wafting around. It might be loudly misbehaving children. But whatever it is, it should be dealt with, for your own sake.
Sure, you want to be courteous and not generate any conflicts yourself. But you also want to get a good night’s sleep, and you have the right to live somewhere where that’s possible. In this article, we will walk you through the steps of achieving this by looking at what the Dutch authorities suggest you do about noisy neighbors. If you follow these pieces of advice, you can hopefully stay friends with your neighbors while living undisturbed.
1. Openly Discuss Your Complaints With Your Neighbors
Being straight and honest are the first steps in maintaining any good relationship. That also applies to neighborly ties. If something someone next door is doing bothers you, telling them is vital. They might not have realized there was a problem, and raising their attention to it might be the solution.
During these interactions with your noisy neighbors, you should be courteous but assured. Point out that a calm living environment is in everybody’s interest, as everyone has the right to quiet. Be specific on the issues that bother you and invite them to help you find the solution.
2. Keep a List of Nuisances That Bother You
If talking to your neighbors doesn’t help, and they keep making your life harder, it’s time to start a log. This will show the extent of the problem to them and third parties that might get involved.
In the log, you should put down the exact date and time of the disturbances, as well as its nature. It is also important to note any particular circumstances. These could be times they woke you up or times they disturbed you while you were doing important work.
3. Involve Your landlord or Owners’ Association (VVE)
If you can’t get on the same page with your noisy neighbors, it’s time to ask for some help. The very first person to think of is your landlord. His or her word carries weight in any issue around your livelihood and can help you with the mediation.
If you own the apartment and are a member of a VVE, you can refer the case to them. They tend to have set rules against such nuisances and might impose a fine.
4. Notify Regulators in Your Residential Area
If there’s a housekeeper or a city watch responsible for your residential complex, involving them should be your next step. They can take reports on cases like this from people living in the apartments they are responsible for.
They may also take steps to discourage residents from misbehaving again. Maybe if your neighbors don’t listen to you, they listen to them.
5. Seek Out a Neighborhood Mediation Service
A neighborhood mediator is an individual who is highly trained in solving cases such as yours. Some municipalities offer their services to residents, some don’t. But if neighborhood mediation is not an option where you live, you still have choices.
For example, why not consider hiring an individual mediator? This will cost a bit more, but their experience and training might be what you need.
6. Report the Issue to Your Municipality
Now we’re getting very official. If your problem does not go away after following the previous steps, it’s time to involve the authorities. Municipalities tend to have official channels where you can report neighborhood troubles.
They can also send out investigators to assess the situation on the spot. What’s more, if the nuisances are especially severe or occur regularly, municipality mayors have the right to impose further sanctions. Especially egregious conduct might be construction work in the middle of the night, or noises of physical aggression going on.
7. Contact the Police
It varies from municipality to municipality, but in a lot of them, seriously disturbing your neighbors is a legal offense. Even if that’s not the case, calling the police is a useful measure of next-to-last resorts. If everything else has failed, your pesky noisy neighbors might learn their lesson if someone in a uniform teaches them.
8. If Everything Else Fails, It’s Time to Sue
Are you at the absolute end of your patience? Has literally everything else failed to stop your loud neighbors? Do you feel like you are living in hell? If that’s the case, it is time to take the most drastic measure and bring your pains to court.
In such severe cases, when the nuisances caused by your noisy neighbors is unlawful, it’s time to lawyer up. If enough evidence is gathered and you make a good case, judges can issue official orders and solve your case. Keep in mind that this is an uncertain method since they will have to measure your interest against your neighbors’. Your landlord might also be responsible in cases like these, and you might receive a court-ordered rent reduction.