Noise nuisance at home
There’s no denying that the comforts of home are essential for our well-being, providing a place where we can relax, unwind, and recharge. What no one wants is noise nuisance. What’s allowed and what’s not? And how to deal with it?
Whether it’s the blaring music from your next-door neighbor’s spontaneous party or the constant hum of traffic or maintenance outside your window, dealing with noise nuisance can be a challenge. We’ll walk you through some effective strategies to help you regain your harmonious living environment.
It's normal to hear some sounds from your neighbors, especially when you live in a large building with many people around you. Neighbors should accept normal living sounds from each other. This includes, for example, sounds of children playing, coughing, vacuuming during the day, and slamming doors. Let's talk about the four steps you can take when you suffer from noise.
The first step in addressing noise issues is often the simplest: communication. Approach your neighbors or the source of the noise with an open and friendly attitude. They might not even be aware that their actions are causing a disturbance. A polite conversation can go a long way in finding an agreeable solution. Listen to what your neighbors tell you, sometimes you will gain more understanding this way and the nuisance will be less disruptive. Share your concerns and suggest compromises that could help reduce the noise impact.
- Check (local) noise regulations
Familiarize yourself with the (local) noise regulations, which often outline acceptable noise levels during different times of the day. Besides that, there are house rules that you and your neighbors need to follow. These house rules include rules about preventing noise nuisance for others. For example, Holland2Stay tenants are not allowed to make music or produce other kinds of hard noise between 20:00 and 8:00, as well as on Sundays and public holidays. Next to that, every tenant must ensure peace and quiet in the building and must refrain from making excessive noise. You can find the house rules in your Holland2Stay account.
- Contact Holland2Stay
Do you still experience noise nuisance after communication with your neighbor(s)? Report this in writing to Holland2Stay if it affects your daily rental experience. We'll discuss the nuisance with you, provide you with some tips and advise you on the next step to take.
- Notify the authorities or the police
If your neighbors or surroundings consistently violate the rules, you can report the issue to the local authorities. Keep detailed records of the noise disturbances, including dates, times, and descriptions. Many municipalities have a nuisance hotline or contact form. After reporting, a deputy may come by to inspect the situation and issue a fine, for example.
Do you think that someone is committing a criminal offense or disrupting public order? Then, call the police (only via the general number: 0900 8844). The police can make an official report or confiscate the radio, speakers, or musical instruments that produce the nuisance.
Noise that doesn’t come from your neighbors, such as road work, construction work, or events must abide by certain rules. There are different rules for construction work. In the Netherlands, construction companies are allowed to make noise from Monday to Saturday, between 07:00 and 19:00. However, there is a maximum number of days per noise level. For example, construction work may exceed 60 dB(A) for a maximum of 50 days and exceed 75 dB(A) only for a maximum of 5 days. The noise may not exceed 80 dB(A).
With an exemption, construction and demolition work can take place in the evening, at night, and on Sundays. Read more about the rules regarding noise from construction and demolition activities here (only in Dutch). Sometimes it is possible that (construction) companies deviate from noise standards. For example, if a road must be widened. In most cases, the municipality decides on this. The municipality can issue customized noise regulations for companies. Depending on the situation, this can set higher noise standards, for example for pouring concrete at night to work efficiently.
Does the noise nuisance involve construction work? You can report this via VerbeterDeBouw (only in Dutch). You can provide feedback to its contractor, so they can implement improvements and use your tip to lift the project to another level. Is the noise nuisance too extreme or doesn’t it stop? Then you can report this to the municipality or police (only via the general number: 0900 88 44).
At many events, such as concerts, there will be noise levels that can cause noise nuisance. There are also rules regarding noise for events. For example, the maximum noise level may be 50 dB(A) during the day, 45 dB(A) in the evening, and 40 dB(A) at night. Event organizers may apply for exemption at the municipality. Then, the music may be louder.
Do you live near a road? Then you may be bothered by noise from cars or other vehicles. There are also noise standards for traffic noise. These standards differ per road. If you’re bothered by traffic noise, you can contact the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (for national roads) or the municipality (for other roads).
Easy ways to reduce noise
Although complete noise elimination might not always be possible, you can significantly reduce noise and create a more peaceful environment by yourself. It's worth trying!
- Soundproofing solutions
If communication and local regulations fail to bring relief, consider implementing soundproofing measures in your own space. Soundproofing materials, such as acoustic panels, weatherstripping, and heavy curtains, can significantly reduce the transmission of noise. Strategically arrange furniture or bookshelves along the walls that face the noisy area. This can help block out some sound, creating a buffer zone within your space. While not a complete solution, soundproofing can make a noticeable difference in reducing the impact of outside noise.
- Noise-canceling technology
Investing in noise-canceling headphones or earbuds can provide instant relief when dealing with intermittent noise nuisances. These devices use advanced technology to counteract and neutralize external sounds, allowing you to focus on your tasks or enjoy your free time undisturbed.
Finding a solution to noise nuisance requires patience and persistence. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore different strategies until you find what works best for your situation. By taking proactive steps to address noise issues, you can transform your home into the peaceful haven you deserve.