Noise in the condominium: what are the rules

Living in condominiums has numerous advantages, but it can be challenging when it comes to dealing with excessive noise. Excessive noise can be one of the main sources of conflicts between neighbors in shared environments, and it is essential to understand how the general noise regulations apply in these cases, as well as the rights, duties and actions to take to maintain harmony and peace in the residential environment.

In this article, we will explore issues related to noise in condominiums and how to act in accordance with current legislation.

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General Noise Regulation in Portugal

Law No. 75/2020, also known as the General Noise Regulation, establishes acceptable noise standards and limits in various situations, including exposure in the residential environment. However, in condominiums, the general noise law presents some specific nuances. It is prohibited to carry out temporary noisy activities, such as construction work, in the vicinity of residential buildings, on Saturdays, Sundays and weekdays between 8 pm and 8 am. There are some other rules that we must take into account, such as the type of zone or licenses.

Residents' rights

Residents of condominiums have the right to enjoy a peaceful environment free from excessive disturbances. This means that neighbors cannot carry out activities that disturb the peace and quiet at inappropriate times, especially during the night. The right to a quiet environment is protected by law, and condominium owners can take action when this right is violated.

Residents' duties

Likewise, condominium residents have the responsibility to avoid the emission of excessive noise. This includes holding noisy parties, playing loud music, and other behaviors that may disturb neighbors. Respecting quiet hours is a fundamental duty of all condominium owners. Additionally, proper maintenance of certain appliances, such as household appliances and heating systems, is also essential to avoid unwanted noise.

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Actions to take in case of excessive noise

 When a condominium owner encounters excessive noise coming from another apartment, it is advisable to follow the steps below:

  • Friendly dialogue: the first step is to try to resolve the issue amicably, talking to the neighbor responsible for the excessive noise. Often, the problem can be resolved with simple communication.
  • Record of incidents: if dialogue is not effective, it is advisable to keep a record of incidents, including dates, times and descriptions of the disturbing noise. This may be useful in later cases.
  • Contact the administration: if the noise persists, the condominium owner can contact the condominium administration to report the problem. They can mediate the situation and take appropriate action.
  • Report to the authorities: if all previous attempts fail and the noise continues to be excessive, the condominium owner can appeal to the competent authorities. The local police or city council can intervene to ensure that the noise law is respected. And in this case, they may demand that the noise be stopped immediately or set a deadline for this to happen.
  • Legal action: in extreme cases, when all other measures fail, it is possible to resort to legal action. However, this should be considered as a last resort as it can be a time-consuming and expensive process

Noises coming from outside the condominium

When noise in the condominium comes from external sources, such as works in neighboring buildings, intense road traffic or commercial establishments, condominium owners also have the right to request the intervention of the competent authorities, such as municipal authorities or the police, to ensure compliance with the standards established by the General Noise Regulation. In these cases, it is essential to document the disturbances and record times, so that the authorities can take action.

Conclusion

Living in condominiums requires respect for the rights and duties of all condominium owners. The general noise regulation sets clear limits to protect the right to a peaceful environment. When faced with excessive noise, residents have the right to take action to protect their well-being. However, effective communication and amicable resolution of problems should always be the first steps. This way, it is possible to maintain harmony and peace in a condominium and avoid unnecessary conflicts. It is important to remember that we should never become more aggressive when an uncomfortable situation occurs in our condominium, and, if we realize that we are not able to resolve the problem alone, we should ask the authorities for help.

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