What is your country's least preferred neighbor

The most important rules and duties

What times are the rest periods?

The rest periods in a residential building are regulated in the house rules. Usually, however, there is a quiet time between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., while it is quiet from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This is required by law. This means that between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. all activities that could disturb the night's sleep are prohibited.

What noise can be considered a disturbance of the peace?

Noise such as:

  • Machine noise,
  • noise generated by vehicles of all kinds,
  • Shouting,
  • noise made by animals,
  • loud music.

However, not all noise is necessarily a disturbance of the peace. Of course, it is important to know at what time the noise occurred and, on the other hand, whether it can be avoided at all.

What do I do if the neighbor does not adhere to the rest times?

If the neighbor does not adhere to the rest periods, there are several ways to counteract this. Among others the following:

  • Draw up a noise report: You make a note of the exact times and dates when you felt disturbed by the neighbor and what the cause was. The noise log serves as evidence in a legal dispute and is given special weight if entries are confirmed by witnesses. These witnesses could be other neighbors, family members, or even the police, for example.
  • Request a rent reduction: A landlord must always ensure that the neighbor behaves properly. However, if the customer does not respond to reminders, tenants who feel disturbed by others can, under certain circumstances, obtain a rent reduction.

Where are the boundaries to the neighboring property?

Although garden fences to the neighboring property are not mandatory, most people prefer them. The following applies here: If the fence and hedge are exactly on the property line, they belong to both parties and must be paid for and looked after by both. However, something else can also be agreed in state law. For example, in Berlin and Brandenburg, the owner on the right-hand side (as seen from the entrance) is responsible for the purchase and maintenance. It can of course also be the case that an easement (such as a right of way) is entered in the land register. In this case, of course, other rules apply.

Which smells are reasonable in the neighborhood?

Especially now that summer is just around the corner, many neighborhoods have barbecues almost every weekend. Barbecuing is also generally allowed, but smoke and smells are prohibited. There is no uniform law. In Brandenburg, for example, it is stipulated that barbecuing is only allowed if the smoke cannot pass through the neighbors' windows. Some dishes consider five summer barbecues acceptable, but others allow a little more. It is best to simply inform your neighbors in good time and not have a barbecue party every weekend. As for other smells: Anything that smells should be kept away from the border with the neighbor. This could be, for example, compost heaps or the smell of cigarettes.

What are the guidelines for plants in the neighborhood?

Basically everyone can design their garden with flowers, trees and bushes the way they want. However, there are a few rules to be observed:

  • No poisonous shrubs may be planted near playgrounds and pastures.
  • When planting hedges and trees, all neighbors must adhere to the distances stipulated in the state regulations. In the case of hedges, the height is decisive: If they are up to two meters high, the border distance must be at least half a meter. If they are even higher, it must be a third of the height.
  • Overhanging branches must be shortened, unwanted roots cut off. However, only outside the growing season, i.e. from October to the end of February.
  • Leaves, needles and flowers flying over the fence must be accepted.
  • If trees threaten to topple over, the neighbor must be asked to secure the tree.
  • You can collect the fruit from the neighbor's garden when it falls on your own property or the branches protrude.
  • The leaf blower is only allowed to blow leaves out of the way between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Do I have to accept shade from my neighbor's trees?

It depends on. The most important thing is how old the trees are and how far they are from the property line. The distances between trees, bushes and hedges are regulated in most of the neighborhood laws of the federal states.

What are pets allowed in the neighborhood?

As a rule, pets should be kept in such a way that no one can be bothered by noises or smells. This means that parrots, for example, are only allowed to be put outside for a few hours a day, as their noise would otherwise exceed the limits of what is reasonable. If cats from the neighborhood run into your garden, however, you have to tolerate this. But a lot also depends on whether you live in a more rural or urban residential area. The storage of horse manure should temporarily not bother a neighbor in a rural area too much, while this is of course unreasonable in an urban neighborhood.