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Neighbour disputes : how to react to that noise and smell ?

noise is the main source of conflict between neighbours. Odor, ranking just behind. The important thing before taking action : analyze the source of the problem

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Neighbour disputes : how to react to that noise and smell ?

noise is the main source of conflict between neighbours. Odor, ranking just behind. The important thing before taking action : analyze the source of the problem to find the right solution. Our advice.

In urban areas as in the countryside, the complaints most prevalent in the neighborhood conflicts relate to the noise and the smell. The television of the elderly on the third floor screams, the young people of the fifth transform their home in a night-club, the smells of barbecue in the neighbor to invade your home, the ventilation of the restaurant in the ground floor bothers you The sources of litigation are not lacking.

1 - The puzzle of the noise

In cities of over 50 000 inhabitants, more of a focus on two states suffer from noise pollution, according to the Insee. However, any person who, in a public or private place, is at the origin of noise of a nature to compromise the tranquillity of the neighbourhood or to the health of man is liable to punishment.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to distinguish the noise during the day, which would be tolerated, that night, that would be wrong. We rather need to differentiate between nuisance home and one that is linked to a professional activity, cultural, sporting, or leisure.

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According to a circular of 27 February 1996 (official Journal of April 7, 1996, p. 5474), are domestic noise from including : animal sounds (barking, mostly), television, or musical instruments, tools, diy, or gardening, home appliances, games, family celebrations,...

Are of a professional nature that from a nightclub, a bar, a restaurant, a shop, a workshop, a cinema or any other activity (sports association, gym, yard work).

According to the category that bothers you, your action will not be the same.

But, in both cases, in default of agreement, you need to be more threatening. Nuisance servants are punished criminally by a fine of 450 euros (article 131-13 of the criminal Code). If you involve the police, it may require the immediate payment of a fine of 68 euros by the offender, that it will renew if you are applying again.

at the same time, you claim damages before the civil courts. You have interest to provide a record of the bailiff, or written testimonies, the latter being essential in front of the judges when the noise is intermittent, like the clack of heels or the trépignement of the children of the above.

As for the noise professionals, it is necessary to first enter your city, or in Paris, the prefecture de police (bureau des actions against nuisances). It is, in fact, obligatory to measure the strength of the noise in decibels. The author is not at fault if the noise level is less than 25 decibels inside or 30 to the outside (article R 1334-32 of the Code of public health), even if the criteria of duration and the repetition are completed.

But if there was offence, penal sanctions are more important than for an individual : 1 500 euros for a natural person and 7,500 € for a legal person. In addition, administrative action may be taken : formal notice with a penalty in financial, temporary suspension of the activity

Despite this arsenal at your disposal, you won't always win.

If, despite the intervention repeated to the police and your trustee, your neighbors are partying several times by week or let their dog bark all day long, the court will award damages.

on The contrary, if your neighbour is very elderly, deaf and insomnia, screaming his tv in the night, it will be more effective to claim that it has a headphone rather than ask for a compensation. The judge will be more lenient due to the age of the lady.

On the other hand, in the face of professionals, you can stay firm. Thus, even if the operator of a bar meets the legal requirements of sound insulation, you will get the work as soon as its clients in alcohol and worn on the drunken songs prevent you from sleeping.

2 - The outrage of the sense of smell

Any neighbour can take legal action against the responsible nuisance exceeding the normal inconveniences of neighbourhood. The major problem is to determine when the situation is abnormal because, unlike noise, there is no quantifiable measurement of the disorder olfactory. In the city, there are two major nuisances : the bbq special and the restaurants. Before resorting to public authorities or to a bailiff and to engage a procedure, keep in mind some principles.

The use of a barbecue is not a disorder abnormal neighbourhood when it is occasional.

If your neighbor loves the chipolatas charred the smell of which invades your garden during the summer weekends, it is not necessarily wrong. The judges felt that the nuisances (fumes, odors) are episodic and depend on weather conditions. But the neighbor should not be abused. If their device is positioned so as to evacuate the smell of cooking in your garden, if the smoke or the ash blacken your face or your terrace, or if a co-ownership regulations in the subdivision in frames and usage, and that it fails to comply, you will win the case.

Conversely, the judges are very pointilleux when your appendix nasal is a victim of the attacks smell of the restaurant located on the ground floor of your building. The odour perceptible in the floors due to the poor planning of the local (default evacuation, filters, insufficient or poorly maintained, ventilation is incorrectly installed) will result in a virtually systematic sentencing of the conservator (including Court of civil appeals, June 11, 1997, no. 95-10152).

Often, judges go so far as to impose heavy work and prohibit access to the kitchen as these are not completed and that the problem is not permanently resolved.

It was not only in the city that the nuisance can spoil you the life.

many urban improvising neo-rural are discovering with horror that they are not getting up in the morning with the nostrils titillées by the delicious fragrance of the flowers, but irritated by the manure of the pig farm located at 500 meters of their house of charm. The farms are often the source of smells. As soon as they have been authorized by the Administration, you will never get closed down by the judicial judge.

In addition, if you have moved then that the farm was already exploited and if developments comply with the conditions for the exercise initial defined by the departmental directorate of agriculture, for example, of 60 cows, the herd goes to 200, the harm suffered does not give right to compensation (article L 112-16 of the Code of construction and housing). The judge can only order the work, and, if necessary, a temporary cessation of the activity. It is not necessary to expect miracles. For example, it will move 100 or 200 meters of the pit of liquid manure, which is adjacent to your property.

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But you will be able to claim damages, interest and claim of the work if the barn is close to your country house grows suddenly of a twenty pigs to several hundred, requiring new constructions and leading to deep transformations in your environment (Court of cassation, 2nd civil chamber), 7 November 1990, no. 89-16.241). Anyway, the life in the countryside requires that you accept certain disadvantages olfactory agricultural in nature !

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