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Warning for disturbance of the peace

A barking dog, loud music at night or the spinning of the washing machine: there are many noises that neighbors find annoying. Find out here which noises are considered noise and when landlords are obliged to issue a warning for disturbance of the peace.

When is it advisable to issue a warning for disturbance of the peace?

The apartment rental agreement or the house rules regulate exactly which rest periods apply to all tenants in an apartment building. Although there is no nationwide regulation on rest times, there is night rest and rest on Sundays and public holidays. Most federal states provide for this nocturnal rest period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In addition, many rental contracts contain regulations on a midday break (daily e.g. from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). The noise level should not be higher than 30 decibels at night and not higher than 40 decibels during the day - a disturbance of the peace is also possible below this value. If a tenant violates the rest periods several times, a landlord is not only entitled to warn him for the behavior. He is even obliged to do so towards his other tenants. Because with the warning, the landlord asks his tenant to refrain from negative behavior in the future.

A warning about disturbance of the peace is recommended, for example, if the tenant constantly:

    • running a noisy washing machine
    • hammers, saws or drills in his apartment
    • Mows the lawn in the garden of the apartment building or runs another noisy garden tool

However, tenants have to endure these noises:

    • Disturbance from crying babies
    • Noise from children playing loudly in the yard or in their children's room
    • Neighbour's barking dogs (up to 30 minutes per day)
    • Loud music-making (up to 120 minutes a day)

As the landlord, speak to the noisy tenant before you warn him in writing. Perhaps he is not even aware that other residents feel disturbed by his behavior and he changes his behavior directly. Ideally, the affected neighbors will even speak to the tenant themselves before calling you on.

How does a landlord warn the tenant?

Landlords have the option of issuing a warning for disturbance of the peace verbally (in front of a witness) or in writing. In the event that a court hearing occurs, it is generally advisable to use the written form.

These points belong in the warning:

    • Name and address of the landlord
    • Name and address of all tenants named in the rental agreement
    • Description of the warning reason: What breach of duty is there? (If possible, mentioning the date, time or credible testimony from witnesses; it is imperative to mention the word "warning")
    • Reference to violation of the provisions in the rental agreement
    • Request that the landlord change his behavior (with notice)
    • Clarification of legal consequences or threats to terminate the tenancy if the behavior does not change

Homeday is hiring landlords free and legally secure sample document available for warnings due to disturbance of the peace.

The landlord seals the warning with his signature. If there are several landlords (e.g. spouses or a community of heirs) they are all required to sign. Alternatively, the other co-owners declare the sole signatory to be an authorized representative with a power of attorney. This should be attached to the warning for disturbance of the peace in this case.
At the same time, the landlord must address the warning to all persons who have rented the apartment according to the rental agreement. It is not enough just to warn the supposed troublemaker.

Good to know: Tenants who feel permanently disturbed in their peace and quiet by a resident of the house have, according to § 536 BGB, by him Material defect the right to reduce the rent. In order to avoid this financial loss and the process of claiming damages, landlords should react in good time with a warning about disturbance of the peace. In addition, tenants are also authorized to sue their landlord if he does nothing against the disruptive tenant.

What happens after the warning?

In the best case, the tenant changes his behavior so that he does not face any consequences beyond the warning about disturbance of the peace. However, if he continues to disturb the peace and quiet in the house, landlords are entitled to terminate the tenancy by giving notice after receiving a warning.

Since it is not uncommon for courts to decide on the legal termination of a tenancy at the end of the day, it is advisable for landlords to draw up a noise log or have it drawn up. In the document, the tenants concerned specify when the disturbance occurred, how long it lasted, which noise disturbed the peace and how loud the noise was to be heard.

Our documents have been carefully prepared. Please understand that due to the constant changes and developments in case law and the law in the field of tenancy law, we cannot accept any liability for the legal existence of the provisions of these documents and their use.

Warning for disturbance of the peace - FAQs

What can landlords do if tenants disturb the peace?

If a tenant violates the applicable rest periods several times, the landlord can issue a warning. As a rule, the night is quiet from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the rest on Sundays and public holidays. If a tenant repeatedly fails to adhere to these rest periods, the landlord asks him with a warning to refrain from the disruptive behavior. If the tenant continues to be noisy, he may even be given notice. We have summarized for you what you should pay attention to when issuing a warning about disturbance of the peace.

When should the landlord issue a warning for disturbance of the peace?

Before the landlord issues a written warning, he should seek a conversation with the tenant. It is possible that he was not even aware of his disturbing behavior. However, if the tenant repeatedly stands out for disturbing the peace, the landlord will warn him. He is even legally obliged to do so towards his other tenants. You can find out which other rules on disturbance of the peace are important here.

Which noise counts as disturbance of the peace?

Although people perceive different noises as annoying, tenants and landlords have to tolerate some: Noise from children, occasional dog barking and footsteps when walking during the rest period do not justify a warning. However, if the tenant is noticed during the rest periods through parties, constant vacuuming or manual work, the landlord can issue a warning.

What belongs in the warning for disturbance of the peace?

In the warning, the landlord describes the reason for the warning to his tenant. He should record the tenant's misconduct as precisely as possible: This is best done with the date and time or even possible witnesses. With reference to the applicable rules and a deadline, he then requests the tenant in the letter to change his behavior. The applicable rules and a free sample document can be found here.

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