Noisy neighbours in Spain, What can you do?

Ok so had a question about what can you do if you have noisy neighbors here.

As most of you know i am building my new house here now and the main reason i moved out of my old place that we were very happy with  was the noisy neighbors.

After living in several different houses  here about 6 years ago i sold my house and moved in with my then spanish girlfriend who had a nice 3 bed apartment. We always intended to one day buy a house together but were very comfortable in her apartment. We lived there 5 years then the community started letting people rent out their apartments and we had all sorts of people come and go and these people did not abide to the community rules or pay the bills so we had a constant stream of new neighbors in the last 2 years.

These were the problems we had.

There was a nice community pool that was very well looked after and we all paid monthly for the upkeep. Many of the renters did not pay and that meant the rest had to pay more but these renters still used the pool and grounds. The community started legal proceedings against these renters but that takes months and they move out.

Below my lovely old community building.

Also one guy had a big dog that he put out on the terrace when he went to work each day and the dog barked all day. Then we had a signal woman and a young child next door and the young girl had behavior problems and made a lot of noise at night.

So what can you do?

On a community you have to go to the community president  and he or she then takes action by first speaking to the person then other measures if needed. Our building president was useless and after time my Wife put her name in the hat and was voted the president of the community. We thought this would help us get things done as my wife works for the government here and is very resourceful.

First off we got a night guard who made sure that the pool was not used after hours so people could sleep. great now no noise at nights. Then the community backed her idea of having passes and a key to use the pool only if residents had paid the community charges. Thats fair No? all good so far.

Then the guy with the dog.

After talking to him he was not prepared to do anything so we called the police. They have no power at all unless the noise is after 12pm then you can call them and they will come out. that didnt help as the dog was only on the terrace in the day times. There is nothing that you can do . We found out that you can make a civil noise complaint in the town hall but that takes time and costs money and they have very little power to do anything.

Our screaming child.

After talking to the woman next door about her screaming child at night the woman said that the child had problems and she could not stop it. about 3 times a week the young girl would bang on the thin walls and scream. I feel sorry for the woman and appreciate her problems but we could not sleep in our own beds in our own house. When you have to get up for work each day and you have not had a good nights sleep it starts to get you down. In the end we were forced to call the police several times in the middle of the night and they came out and spoke to the woman but nothing could be done. This went on for months.

There are official complaints that you can make and a  “Denuncia” this is a formal complaint that you make at the police station that then goes to court. We didnt want to do this but it was just getting worse each week. We did in the end do this and About a week before we were due to go to court the woman moved out so we canceled the denuncia.

The walls in the apartment buildings here in Spain are very thin and badly constructed as most building companies did not have to do anything about noise reduction but that has now changed on new builds here. Not much help if you are buying an older property.

Even being president of the community gives you little power if all the residents dont back you and this is hard as many are now renting out and dont even live in the buildings or nearby. They just want the rent money so not bothered about who is in there as long as they get the rents.

This is a big problem all over Spain and if you live in a community apartment block you will have these sorts of problems unless you are very lucky. Neighbors change in time so you are living in hope all the time that you get good neighbors.

In the end we decided to look for another place to live and then decided to build new.

I know not everyone can move out when they want so you need to be very careful when you choose your apartment. There are now many places that have very strict rules and some only rent or let you buy if you follow these strict rules.

Having a lovely place with beautiful pool and grounds can come with its problems so just be carful when buying thats why i always say rent there first to get to know the place. If you have bad neighbors there is very little that you can do about if here.

Have you had problems like this here? What did you do?

Remember there are some new laws that came out this year 2021 that give animals more rights and so the police have more powers over dogs barking and problems you may have with treatment of animals in Spain.. see these new laws here.

6 comments

  1. Another excellent, comprehensive reply. I believe the issues you have alluded to here are very important and have some experience of same. After buying an apartment in 2007, I’ve seen more downs than ups. Another subject I would like your views on would be ‘Squatting’ – I have been renting since early October because my Moroccan tenant refuses to move out. Eventually I had to go down the Legal Route after he led me a merry dance. 12 months before the Eviction Order is executed is not unrealistic, or more. Meanwhile I am Not permitted to stop paying for his utilities! Incredible I know, so my monthly spend is over €1200 for mortgage & rent & HE will take me to court if I cut the Electricity or Water off, while he pays Zero, He was a good tenant when I lived in the UK, for 4 years exactly. I’m expecting him to have a new ‘Wife & child’ on Eviction day – that will be another Story completely !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I rented out a house here for 6 months and there are now new rules that you can pay the deposits at the local council offices and if there is a problem they are supposed to put it right faster. the family i rented to seem ok but on the last day of the six months they just left the house and called me to say they had gone and to keep the last months deposit. i went to the house expecting to see a mess but was lucky they had not done anything just left some furniture they didnt want. there is good money to be made here renting but i personally would not do it again but a small basic apartment with low costs would be they way to go.

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  2. I live on Sierra Golf (code 30592) the people “attached” to the rear of my home (1) thrown my belongings around on my property
    (2) threatened me shaking fists (3) stand and peer at me, my grandchildren & into my property (4) painted something on one of my walls I been to the police and made a denuncia on the throwing issue but nothing since can any one help me please I have tried neighbourhood Watch (no joy)

    I live all alone and aged 68

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  3. Hello and I hope that you can help, because I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of my Neighbours. And I say neighbour(s) because I have the misfortune of being in the middle of two Neighbours, bad and disrespectful for different reasons.

    The first family rent from the owner. They have been here almost 18 months and my life changed the day they moved in. We each have a four bedroom property over three floors. I own my property and the only money I had, I purchased my ‘forever home’ in the Canary Islands.

    This family of four adults never go out. The only one that works away from home is the father who leaves the property every day at 4pm and returns at midnight. Their two sons stay in all day, every day, gaming or sitting at their computers. One 19 year old, sits from 12 until past midnight with his headphones on, talking loudly, often shouting, often laughing incessantly on the top floor, with his window and door open. The noise travels down and across my dwelling. It is incessant. Because he is on headphones, he has no idea how loud he is and his mother simile doesn’t care. I asked her politely three times in the space of 18 months for him to turn his volume down, which she apologized for, but he doesn’t change. It is constant. In my living room I can hear him. In my bedroom, my top bedroom, my balcony, my garden, no matter where, I can hear him, I purchased a water feature to try and drown out the noise, but I can still hear him over that.

    The whole family do not wake until very late morning, often midday, so until then it’s all perfect. Except the cat pee smell that hits you as soon as I step outside or the view of their very messy garden. For me to explain it, I’d really difficult. But they have five cats and three dogs ,all what seems in bad health because they are never allowed out. They gave barricaded the cats in with mesh, wood, cardboard, ply board, anything they can get their hands on and attach it the railings of the property, around the balcony, down the stairs. It’s stinks some days and the flies are really bad especially when they don’t pick up the cat/dog poo. They let all of the animals pee on the gravel like a giant cat tray and it’s disgusting. I have two dogs, so I love animals, but I walk my dogs and pick up their poo, these dogs on the other hand and cats NEVER go out. In fact I am not sure if they have a weird obsession with the animals as they are just not allowed to get out. The young cats of around 18 months (they came when the cat was pregnant), do not seem in good health. They lie down all day and when they do walk, it’s slow and almost arthritic looking. But it’s the smell and the general outlook of the garden. If I want to sell my property, this will have an adverse affect on its sake I’m certain. If I could include a photo, I would, but seeing it with your own eyes is the only way you could understand.

    Then if it isn’t the noise of the don, it is the dogs. If it isn’t the dogs, it is the mother shouting. If ot isn’t the mother shouting, then she plays her music on full blast that you would think it was me that was playing the music. I have a piano… and i never play it because I wouldn’t them using that against me, if I complain about them.

    So I wrote to the president of the community. The Vice President came to visit me and agreed that the cat pee smell was bad. She told me to write to the administration.

    I wrote at length to the administration, and their reply was ‘they would write to the owner if the property to ask them to be a little more quiet and to keep the garden quiet. Well it’s as if I have added fuel to the fire, as the noise has got far worse and the garden is now even more revolting. So I cry most days and I just don’t know what to do. I live on my own and work from home too, so there is no switching off from it.

    And if that wasn’t bad, my other neighbour had now become a huge problem. We were good friends (or acquaintances) and I would put up with her loud voice wishing me a good morning or when friends visited. I would accept her renovations, lasting weeks at a time because I thought this will be the last one. Like most Spanish houses, the walls are think and the outside space is open to everything.

    So in September she started drilling, but the noise was horrific. Worst then in June when she used an angle grinder for weeks removing metal dado rail and a second plaster board skin (which was a sound barrier downstairs) and rehoused all her electrical sockets. Worse than the noise of her using the angle grinder to chop into a marble sink housing unit and the brick work that supported it and took two weeks to retile.

    This time the noise seemed to be coming from everywhere. No matter where I went in the house, the vuvration and noise was horrific. Even a Saturday morning at 8am she started with which I screamed in tears, but you couldn’t hear my cries icee the noise.

    It last for a month, an hour here, an hour there. Then two weeks ago a cheery picker arrived and with its engine running write outside my office, it’s beeps as it worked for two days, I realised what all the noise was about. Without permission and on a shared roof, she had installed enormous solar panels.

    The panels have completely destroyed the aesthetics of the property. Each property are terraced properties in groups of six. Six properties share the same roof. So she had the ordacity to install these panels, angle grinding into concrete beams that were part of my roof; workmen standing on my roof (I have photos) and without the community permission, went ahead installing these metal/ glass units on pretty terracota pitched roof tiles.

    Immediately I contacted the ex president who informed the Administration. I sent photos along with the recordings of the noise I had endured and suffered during these installations. One of the recordings, you could hear my tears. No exaggeration.

    She was ordered to remove the panels within ten days of receiving the letter. And 21 days on after receiving the letter, the panels are still there. Again affecting my property if I wish to sell .

    She shouts, (again I gave recordings) and now it seems she has befriended the slobs next door because she knows it is me who has complained about the panels.

    So in all of this, I am feeling very low and sad and I seriously do not know what to do.

    I’d I could move out tomorrow I would , but how the hell will I find a buyer with the skanks next door and a possible court case coming up against a neighbour who I am adjoined to.

    As I write, I can hear the song of my neighbour talking louder than my water feature. I’m in the living room with my patio door open, far from his bedroom, but I can still hear his voice. Surely for 12 hours a day every day this is not normal and completely unfair?

    Any advice would be totally appreciated.

    Thank you

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    1. Samantha
      Ido understand as I also moved a few years ago because of a problem with a Nieghbor from hell.
      There are a few things you can do.
      Personally talking to them will not help. I have tried this many times.
      Go to your local police and file a denuncia. It’s an official complaint that the police have to follow up on and have a record of it. Also wait a week and file another for the smell or other reasons so there is 2 complaints.
      Then look up animal protection and complain to them. They have to investigate and if it’s bad they will take action. Then go to your local planning office , your council will tell you where that is. At the planning office complain that there has been ilegal works done without permission. They have to investigate. If they have no permission they will have to take it all down. Your community president has to take action and you must push them to or refuse to pay your community charges as others have broken the rules.
      Find out from your community president who is the administrator of your community, they hold the money. Go to them and complain as they have power over community. Hope this helps, if you need to chat pm me and I give you my number.

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