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I need help.

My neighbour @kaystrasser has been using loud electric tools like saws almost every day this spring, and is starting again. It's so loud I had several meltdowns and don't know what do anymore.

I take any ideas you have - also names of good lawyers for this.

I have asked my (very nice) landlady for help. She can't kick him out during . I called the police. They asked him to stop a bit earlier, and can't do anything else.

Of course I asked him to keep it down, he says it's his right to make noise.

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I have had panic attacks due to this, sometimes burst in tears when the noise starts. There is no end in sight - he has been building for months in his 40sqm flat already, if this was about fixing something it would be over already. I can only assume he uses it as a workshop.

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I am looking for another flat but in Berlin this takes ages. (If you know of a free, affordable 2-3 rooms flat, please ping me!)

I don't know how I will get through the next months of home office.

I take any advice.

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@shiro It is always good to find a solution to solve the issue properly and permanently. I have had similar problem in the recent years which I was not able to avoid. They had entire nearby blocks demolished and rebuilt. The only solution for me was using silicone earplugs while working and sleeping.

@AliMirjamali This is not a whole block though - just one asshole who cuts a lot of wood and drills and whatever in a tiny flat with very thin walls.

@shiro Maybe you could look into city laws on urban construction hours. I am in a different continent but we have local laws to prohibit construction before 9AM and after 7PM. We could report them to municipality if they violate this timeframe which will result in heavy fines.

@AliMirjamali Already done that, police came, now he stops at 8pm but took that as a “I have the right to be an asshole during the whole day and not care about people around me” -_-

@shiro If he really uses this as a workshop, your landlady should be able to do something about it despite corona.

@shiro

1) Write a protocol about the noisy times (day + kind of noise + time noise starts + time noise stops)

2) You are entitled to reduce your rent payments. Check online for how much; AFAIK 30% reduction are appropriate.

3) Maybe noise reducing headphones can help. However, loud, high pitch noises are not entirely filtered by those.

4) Talk to other neighbours. Probably you're not the only one being disturbed by these sounds.

(1/2)

@shiro

5) In the end, there might be no alternative to moving out. But as you say, that's not an easy task in Berlin.

Good luck!

@shiro I would suggest sabotage (i.e. breaking the tools). But that is probably pretty difficult to accomplish, and it's illegal.

@Ertain I’ve had such fantasies for a while >< But that is not the solution, of course.

@khaosgrille @shiro
i guess in that case it might only be helpful if you can get other neighbors on your side and in that way put pressure on him. of course it would be possible to terminate his lease during covid, but there needs to be a fix reason for it. therefore keeping track of the noise could be helpful. you could also talk with your company, maybe it is possible to provide an office space. still i guess doing noisy hobbies in the flat (not during nighttime) should still be acceptable for people to stay sane.
@feli @shiro well i guess it can still hurt people but there might be no way to fix the problem without the other side coming towards. since the neighbour seems not to be the kind of person to give in without pressure additional pressure might help to find a compromise.

a little bit offtopic but i find it really fascinating how much weight thourough notes have in court.

@shiro It obviously doesn't solve the problem, but have you tried high quality ANC headphones?

@Leibi I’ve had that advice a few times by now, and although I appreciate it: First I don’t think that this is a proper solution, it’s just a band aid. There must be a way to protect people from assholes. Second I’ve had some ear related health issues, won’t be able to stand headphones all day. Third, we’re talking flat vibrating level of noise here, I can literally *feel* his noise sometimes.

@shiro @Leibi i would imagine german law would be better than american FREE DUMB at dealing with this, perhaps there is some regulation against disturbing neighbours, or a clause in the lease?

@shiro How about your other neighbors? I'm sure they've been rattled by him.

@Ertain That’s on the list of stuff I’ll check in the next days. I’m directly below him so it’s worse than for others, and also it looks like some are his friends. But I think I can find people who are super annoyed too.

@shiro
I'm sorry to hear this. It is something that has affected me numerous times pre-covid, I seem to attract either construction workers or just crazies. I have also been reduced to tears (especially when it was 3am disturbances).

It is important to understand that this is actually violence. I have a friend who is suffering ongoing (since march) all night drinking parties above, in a country where laws on noise nuisance such as in Germany do not exist or certainly are not respected.

@shiro Assuming diplomacy is exhausted, maybe try to get out of the home office. Unless you are particularly worried about covid, maybe set up an office situation at a local friendly hacker space and work there. Only you will know, but I would feel that the stress of being at home is possibly worse than what might happen with some minimal travel outside.

@shiro
It was/is incompetent for administrations to declare restrictions without an accompanying strategy for actually living while locked up. It is not fully the administrations fault that some people are selfish arseholes, but they are not going to deal with it either. I would for sure look to build solidarity in the building and beyond. If a large enough group of people speak to him, he may see his own selfishness. You are certainly not alone. Domestic and Community violence is a problem.

@shiro
Hi, there is an article about this in the Süddeutsche Zeitung: sueddeutsche.de/geld/mietrecht

It's behind a paywall, so I can't read it, but maybe you csn, or you know someone who can.

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