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HomeGerman HousingYou love playing loud music? Cool. Not all your neighbors love it!

You love playing loud music? Cool. Not all your neighbors love it!

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It is simpler to pick out all the intricacies when music is played loudly. And hearing all of a song’s varied components typically means the music sounds better. Read what to do when your neighbors don’t love loud music.

“How loud can you listen to music?” Many annoyed neighbors ask themselves. And when is there noise from neighbors or their music? The following guide deals with these and other questions.

FAQ: Noise pollution from music

Which rest times have to be observed?

The rest periods usually result from the house rules. You can read here which periods are usually set.

What should musicians pay attention to?

Hobby musicians should also show consideration for their neighbors in order to avoid anger due to possible noise pollution. So, it is important to keep the rest times. In addition, it can be useful to communicate with the neighbors and, if necessary, set fixed times for practicing together.

What can I do if I am annoyed by music?

As a tenant, you can contact your landlord in such a case. In the event of an unreasonable disturbance of the peace, the law provides, among other things, the possibility of a rent reduction. For this, however, a noise log usually has to be drawn up in advance.

Music is like medicine for the ears. It has a relaxing effect. But sometimes their influence is rather annoying. If the neighbor listens to loud music, it can be very stressful in the long run, as can the disturbance of the peace from the bass.

Noise disturbing the quiet often leads to disputes between the neighbors due to loud music, which sometimes even take place in court.

A certain level of noise cannot be avoided where several people live together in a confined space. To a certain extent, this background noise must also be accepted. Because a noiseless use of your own four walls is hardly possible.

House rules & disturbance of the peace by music

Unavoidable noise and noises of normal life are to be accepted, nevertheless:

says Ulrich Ropertz from the German Tenants’ Association (DMB). For this reason, tenants and neighbors are obliged to show mutual consideration.

To protect against noise, landlords usually stipulate certain quiet times in their house rules. The following rest periods are common:

  • Quiet from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am
  • Midday rest from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • All-day rest on Sundays and public holidays

During these times, noises are only allowed at room volume, because tenants have a particular need to be quiet during this time.

The lessor is responsible for setting these times. The house rules are usually handed over when the contract is concluded and even form part of the contract. Tenants who do not adhere to the rest periods specified in the house rules are acting contrary to the contract.

But tenants also have to show consideration for each other outside of these times. It is true that every television, stereo system and similar sound equipment can in principle use around the clock.

There is no time limit on when the neighbor can listen to music. However, he must always keep the room volume.

This means that noises from stereo systems, televisions and similar sound reproduction devices must not be heard or only insignificantly from the neighbors. As a result, loud music from the neighbors was a disturbance of the peace even during the day.

Loud music as a disturbance of the peace & pollution control

Most of the pollution control laws in the individual federal states also protect against this type of noise. Usually these laws contain the following provisions:

  • Protection of the night’s rest from 10:00 pm
  • All-day protection of sundays and public holidays
  • Use of sound reproduction devices and musical instruments, provided that neighbors and residents are not significantly disturbed by them

Party noise and too loud music

Time and again, tenants claim that they have the right to party loudly once a year or monthly. This myth persists. However, it lacks any legal basis. Even at celebrations and parties, tenants must show consideration for their neighbors and generally keep quiet after 10 p.m.

The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court even expressly ruled that there is no right to ignore the night’s rest once a month.

Rather, the disturbance of the night’s sleep during a party even justifies the imposition of a fine (OLG Düsseldorf, decision of January 15, 1990, Az. 5 Ss (OWi) 475/89 – (OWi) 197/89 I).

Disturbing the peace of the neighbor through music during a party and other associated noise nuisance constitute an administrative offense.

In the case that had to be decided by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, the noisy and partying neighbor violated the night’s sleep prescribed in Section 9 (1) of the State Immission Control Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (LImschG NRW).

Disturbance from drums

Hobby musicians also have to show consideration for their neighbors and, above all, observe the rest times. The Munich Regional Court ruled as follows on the issue of disturbing the peace caused by drums (LG Munich I, judgment of November 13, 2014, Az. 15 S 7629/13):

Basically, making music is part of the exercise of general personal rights. This is constitutionally protected. For this reason, making music cannot be completely prohibited, even if it is associated with disturbances of the peace.

That is why it is socially customary beyond the room volume and therefore permissible if music is played outside of the rest times.

On the other hand, the need of other tenants for rest and relaxation is fundamentally protected.

Because the room volume is significantly exceeded with a drum kit, a narrow time frame has to be set here.

Musicians are therefore only allowed to play outside of the rest times and only for a maximum of 30 minutes a day.

Neighbor listens to loud music: tenant’s rights

The unreasonable disturbance of the peace by neighbors and their music is considered a lack of rent. Neighbors can contact the landlord in the event of noise pollution and in particular make the following rights and claims:

  • Rent reduction
  • The right to the landlord ensuring that the noise pollution comes to an end
  • The tenant may terminate the apartment without notice if the strong noise pollution from the neighbors threatens the health of the tenant, Section 569 (1) of the German Civil Code (BGB).

Tenants who want to take action against noise nuisance usually have to prove it. It is therefore advisable to keep a noise log. This should contain the following information:

  • Date and time (start and end of the noise)
  • Description of the disturbance of the peace (type, description of the sound, e.g. shrill, howling, bass)
  • Volume (audibility in the apartment, need to close the windows)
  • Effects of noise (e.g. trouble sleeping, waking up, difficulty concentrating while reading and working)
  • Possible witnesses

The person causing the noise, on the other hand, must expect a warning from the landlord and possibly also a termination.

When examining and enforcing your claims, you can ask a tenancy lawyer for can help.


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Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.
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