Spain Explained

Problems with noise in Spain

Last updated on February 19th, 2020 at 01:39 am.

Noisy neighbours, barking dogs, bars and restaurants playing music to the early hours. We’re often asked what can be done about noise in Spain. In this article Marina Lorente from our legal department looks at the issue and the possible actions that can be taken.

Spain is not renowned for being the most restrained of countries when it comes to making a noise. Fire crackers, fireworks and other big bangs are a feature of every fiesta and times in between too.

The warm weather means that much evening activity takes place outside and with this comes the noise of chatting, eating, drinking and scraping chairs.  Of course, this is also part of the attraction of the country. Most people would describe Spain as being ‘vibrant’. Such a label brings its own threat of noise by definition.

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However there are times when the noise becomes too much. For those living above a bar, the constant thump of music can take its toll. This is perhaps particularly the case during the summer when the volume is up, the nights are longer but people still have work to do.

The incessant barking of dogs left alone during the day and the whine of drills and tile cutters can send the most mild-mannered to the edge of distraction. Problems with noise top the list of complaints we receive in our forums and Spain Explained. So what can you do?

1.  Try talking

It can seem a little obvious but sometimes people are simply unaware of just how noisy their lifestyle is. People who are out during the day don’t hear their dog barking and late at night sound can travel more for those trying to get to sleep. It’s always best to approach the perpetrator first and in a friendly manner.

Seek solutions. If it’s building work, for example, can they avoid using tile cutters during those times most disturbing for you? Most builders will be prepared to accommodate a little for a siesta, for example. Avoid ‘giving as good as you get’ tactics. These rarely work and are more likely to lead to a long and bitter tit for tat that sees no one satisfied in the end.

2. Community of owners

If you belong to a community of owners then this can be another option for you if your first attempts at negotiation don’t work. Many people owning a property in Spain become a member of the community of owners as soon as they purchase their property.

There will be a President who is a property owner and an administrator who is employed by the community to oversee its running. If you are having a problem with noise it can be a good idea to bring this to the attention of the President. It might be that others are having similar difficulties and the issue can be raised on your behalf.

3. Taking it further

If you’ve tried these options but problems are still continuing then there may be more formal actions that could be taken. Noise regulations are generally ruled by the ‘comunidad autónoma’ and are then further developed by each town hall.

Noise pollution in Spain is called ‘contaminación acústica’ and in Valencia, for example, the law that applies is the Law 7/2002, 3 de diciembre de Protección contra la contaminación acústica.

Different levels of sound are allowed depending on the time/ hour of the day and the kind of activity or work involved. You can check on what the law is in your town and from there, if your neighbour is breaking the law then you can make a denuncia.

4. Making a denuncia

Making a denuncia involves a trip to your nearest Guardia Civil station. You will need to go equipped with a translator, if you are not fluent in Spanish and with your passport and residency certificate or NIE.

Prepare for your visit carefully ensuring that you have logged exactly what the problem is and when it occurs. The more evidence you have the better. Make sure you have some basic information about the person you are making the denuncia against. You should be able to give the police:

  • Addresses
  • Names and surnames
  • The date and time of events
  • The names and details of any witnesses

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Following your report you can expect the police to make a visit and check out the allegations you have made. They are the people in the best position to ascertain if there are any breaches of the law and if so, what can be done about it.

It is also possible to call out the police if you are experiencing significant problems with noise as it is happening. They will come and check what the situation is and take the relevant action.

Dealing with noisy neighbours can be frustrating. Keep your head, make sure you use the official channels and don’t let them spoil your time in Spain.

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Leave a comment


Melvyn Gillott

20 July, 2017 9:51 am

What action can be taken
What action can be taken against Owners who have dogs and leave them in the house alone howling and whining.

Suzanne O'Connell

26 July, 2017 7:46 am

Hi Melvyn

Hi Melvyn

If you have a reasonable relationships with the owners then you could try raising it directly with them. They might not be aware of the disturbance it causes to others when they're out. If you are part of a community of owners you could try raising the issue with your president. If you suspect that it is a case of animal cruelty then you could try reporting it to the police by making a denuncia against the owners.


5 February, 2018 9:48 am

Is there much recourse for
Is there much recourse for noise in the day? Our neighbours have a macaw (or some other such bird) and for about an hour a day (usually in the mornings) minimum it squawks. My phone tells me its about 100db.

It’s in their front garden so i can hear it throughout my house ( i work from home as well, so i have to go into the back room to make skype calls). Honestly it sounds like a car alarm.

We did have words and they stopped leaving it uncovered on sunday mornings.

Honestly, it’s driving me crazy

Suzanne O'Connell

5 February, 2018 8:50 pm

Hi Ewan

Hi Ewan

I would suggest that you approach your community president, if you have one, first. Alternatively if you have explored all other options then you could try making a denuncia and the police will judge whether it is something that is covered by local laws. 


18 March, 2019 3:03 pm

If neighbor children kick
If neighbor children kick ball to your door and kitchen wall in the afternoon almost every day. Their parents knew it’s disturbing us, they saw me angry, and they still let their children do it again as they wanted. What can I do? Can I record videos and show to the police?

Suzanne O'Connell

20 March, 2019 10:07 am



It's best if you can to talk to the parents first and explain why you are getting annoyed about this. If this doesn't work you can try approaching your community of owners if you have one. You can make a denuncia too and it will be then up to the police whether they take any action. 

James Kelly

26 July, 2019 11:02 am

I rented out an appartment in
I rented out an appartment in tenirieffe Las Americas and there is serious noise pollution going on around the house every morning at 9.30 there is banging and people using angledrinders outside right next to the house what can I doo about this .

Suzanne O'Connell

2 August, 2019 5:55 am

The first thing you should

The first thing you should attempt is speaking to your neighbours about this. Perhaps you can agree a time when it is less disruptive if they are having alterations done to their property. However, they probably feel that 9.30 is a reasonable time to begin, particularly in the summer when it is too hot later in the day. Hopefully whatever they are having done will not continue for too long. 

Collette Fahy

2 August, 2019 6:23 am

We have neighbours that have
We have neighbours that have dogs barking restlessly from 9pm to 1am. We raised this with the Administrators who said they spoke to the Owners but it wasn’t their dog, it was the dogs downstairs. We can never get hold of the President, we do not have a Vice President, the Administrators are now just ignoring a stream of emails from us. Are the Administrators not obliged to deal with this matter as we are paying for their services via our community fees?

Suzanne O'Connell

7 August, 2019 3:50 pm

Dear Collette

Dear Collette

You should take an interpreter with you and report it to the Guardia Civil. 

david arkley

5 August, 2019 8:53 am

How much dose it cost for a
How much dose it cost for a denuncia

Suzanne O'Connell

8 August, 2019 7:00 pm

Hi David

Hi David

Reporting something at the police station is always free. However, you will probably have to pay for a translator if you need one. Sometimes the service is provided but you can't be sure. 

W Wearn

26 April, 2020 7:19 pm

I have neighbours from HELL
I am a pensioner my Spanish neighbours are young with children.
N cat door the man plays base guitar for hours once until two in the morning , this happens every day .
He puts a speaker outside facing me full blast. They also sit outside in groups , their children’s scooters and bikes blocking my garage.
They don’t like that I am English and my Spanish is not good.
I am taunted , kept awake with one neighbour who bangs on the wall
Shouts my name as he kicks a football.
I called the Police and the neighbours tried to block them coming in .
The Police said “ move it’s not safe here for you “
I have at times anything from 8 adults 9 children to masses.
Today children out they have been outside sitting in the road kids riding bikes on scooters football.
Just carried off where lockdown started .
I have been so ill
I did speak to them and they laughed

Oscar Paoli

28 April, 2020 11:32 pm

Really sorry to hear about your situation. We would still recommend you make a formal complaint at the local police or Guardia Civil.
Wishing you all the best.
Best regards,
Ábaco Advisers


21 May, 2020 11:03 pm

An action when we have some teenagers playing loud music in their car in the middle of night, after trying to convince by talking?

Oscar Paoli

22 May, 2020 6:50 am

Hello there,
We would recommend contacting your local police and report it.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


20 July, 2020 10:49 am

We live in a semi-rural location, and our Belgian neighbours have just obtained a cockerel to go with their existing chickens. It starts crowing at 2am and continues on and off the rest of the night until about 7 am, every night. Our bedroom is a bout 40 metres from it and in the country sound really carries. We have tried taking to her, and all she says is there is nothing she can do and we should get ear plugs! They are running an illegal hotel near Orihuela city (bed & breakfast) cash only no cards, no IVA or tax, they employ at least 2 staff but again cash only no contracts or other employer contributions. The reason I say this is because they are not poor Spanish locals who may rely upon chickens for food etc – that’s not the case. We can no longer have our bedroom window open at night, we already wear earplugs but it still wakes us as it’s so close and loud. We have nightly disturbed/lack of sleep which is beginning to take its till. We have suggested to her that she could have a coop built and put the thing away at night, move location to another part of the garden away from our bedroom, find a new home or destroy it, but she wont compromise in the slightest. I know some people will say well you’re living in the country, what so you expect! whist we appreciate that sentiment, surely we should still have some legal right to rest and a decent night’s sleep where ever you live! Can you give any advice specifically on the law in Spain and what, if any recourse we might have. Thank you

Oscar Paoli

23 July, 2020 9:22 pm

Really sorry to read about your situation, if the issue can not be dealt with between the two of you we would recommend contacting the local authorities and/or contact your local Town Hall to inform you of the current regulation in your home town.
Sorry for not being able to give you any specific answer.
Best regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Martyn Yorke

23 July, 2020 10:29 am

Are you still responding to comments left here?

Oscar Paoli

23 July, 2020 9:15 pm

Hi Martyn,
Yes we try our best to answer all possible queries, is there any that we have missed? If so please let us know.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


10 August, 2020 9:51 pm

I have a barn on my land adjacent to my house, it was sold with the understanding it would be used to grow vegetables. However, we have had numerous people living in it even though there is no habitation license, now they play music until 2 or 3 in the morning, groups of people gather there and bring their dogs. They also have two dogs in the barn which bark constantly. The neighbour then goes out about 2 or 3 and the dogs then bark until he returns. It is not the owners of the barn there. I have tried speaking to them and I have gotten no where. I live in a very remote area with no other neighbours. What can I do?

Oscar Paoli

11 August, 2020 10:32 am

Hi Debbie,
Sorry to read about your situation, we would recommend speaking to the Police in this case and place a formal complaint.
With best of luck,
Ábaco Advisers

Sandra KNOTT

11 August, 2020 10:08 am

Is there a leaflet information on NOISE POLLUTION IN ROJALE AREA.

Oscar Paoli

11 August, 2020 10:31 am

Hi Sandra,
Sorry, nothing that we have access to but would recommend to get in contact with the Local Town Hall in Rojales.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Christine Chiarello

16 August, 2020 6:29 pm

we bought a nice house in a quiet residential area for our retirements. Recently, our neighbours have started to rent their house to holidaymakers. Mostly they are ok, but lately we have had problems with music playing , playing in the pool, making noise and drinking until 3am. Is there anything we can do about this.? I have spoken to the owner direct and the response I had was “tough” I need to rent to keep it going.
This really has been the summer from hell. Please help.

Oscar Paoli

17 August, 2020 2:01 pm

Hi Christine,
You can contact the Police or Guardia Civil and process a noise complaint via them, you can also contact the administrator of your community to have them check into the matter as well.
Hope this can be of help to you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Chris Brand

21 August, 2020 9:14 am

There is a small supermarket about 100metrets from my apartment block. At least 3 times week they have 06:30 am – 07:00 am deliveries. The lorries use their tailgates to place the pallets of goods onto the ground. A hand-held pallet truck is then pushed underneath (scrapping along the concrete) to lift the pallets. the noise sounds like a digger bucket scrapping along the road…………no exaggeration
I emailed the firm about 2 weeks ago, to ask if the early morning deliveries could be undertake at at more sociable time of the day, just like their other couple of deliveries are., which are no problem. The reply was that they would contact the persons concerned regarding the issue. Up to this moment there is no change.

Oscar Paoli

21 August, 2020 9:44 am

Sorry to read about the situation, you can always try speaking directly to the manager on-site, if this and the email contact does not go anywhere you can process a claim at your local police or Guardia Civil.
Wishing you best of luck.

Mrs Norann Williams

2 October, 2020 12:34 am

Our neighbour and us live off the grid .he puts his generator on in the early hours of the morning and starts welding work on cars.zthis goes on for 3/4 hours we can’t sleep.
He says he needs the generator on to charge his batteries for lights etc in his house.
We also have a generator which is half the noise of his and it does come on somethings in the night but rarely..
He has different people at his house all repairing cars all day.
We are an elderly couple and this guy is ruining our lives.
He says as we live in the countryside he can make as much noise as he likes.
We are desperate.

Oscar Paoli

2 October, 2020 7:18 am

So sorry to read, we can recommend you prepare a complaint to the local authorities and hope that your neighbours can reduce the noice generated daily.
With best of luck.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Linda Pearcy

18 October, 2020 11:21 am

Our opposite neighbours have a sound studio in their garage , apparently play at large festivals in Tenerife. They have a full sound studio in there. They play fro around mid day until 5pm approx. Problem is they have it so loud and the bass very high. Sitting in our garden we hear constantly the thud and boom of the bass. They tell us they are allowed to play until 10 pm if they wish. It’s pretty loud but we can cope with that it just the boom boom which thuds in your head? What is the law on this please?

Oscar Paoli

19 October, 2020 8:15 am

Hi Linda,

Sorry to read about your situation.

Every Town has its different regulations, so I would recommend visiting the police or local town hall for assistance in information and to try to solve the matter.

Best of luck.

Kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


5 November, 2020 12:57 pm

I own a villa in Lanzarote which is next door to a hotel which is making our lives a misery with the volume of their evening entertainment. Following numerous complaints to the Guardia Civil they have been visited and the entertainment either turned down or even off but then the same problem starts the next night Eventually our community served a denuncia and the hotel, in common with a lot of bars in the area, have allegedly been fitted with a decibel reader and a noise limiter yet the decibel readings from our patio in the evening regularly exceed the permitted level. Our villa is in a row of 4 properties affected the worst by this hotel but the rest of the community are further away and now seem reluctant to continue to complain about the hotel. Given their lack of support what can we do next to try to resolve this issue?

Oscar Paoli

10 November, 2020 5:21 pm

Hi Carol,
Sorry to read about your situation.
We would recommend to visit your Local Town Hall and place a complaint with them directly.
Wishing you best of luck.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


22 June, 2021 10:51 am

Hello, I live in an apartment in barcelona. 16 out of the 50 apartments in the building are owned by a rental company. The apartment below me, the apartment above me, the apartment next door to me and the one above that is also rented out to short term people. I moved here in late 2019 and now post Covid, with everything starting to open up the place is becoming like a zoo. there have been people partying until 6am, people climbing over the terrace into the apartment below, furniture movements all the night and loud phone calls into the early hours. I have called the police on one occasion but shortly after the music stopped so I said it’s ok, I have been woken up several times of the night; 2am, 3:30am, 5:30am. I have sent a couple of emails to the rental apartment company and to my landlord but the problem still persists. it is a shame how many of the building apartments have permits to be rented out. Every night it is noisy with people screaming, shouting, slamming doors. I have been late for work, missed morning meetings completely and have been feeling overly tired during the day, it is impacting my lifestyle & health. May you kindly advise me on what action I should take next? Thanks a lot.

Oscar Paoli

25 June, 2021 2:23 pm

Really sorry to read about your situation.
We would recommend contacting the administrator of the community of owners for assistance or otherwise place a denuncia at the local Guardia Civil.
Sorry for not being able to give you any more possibilities.
With best of luck.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


1 August, 2021 7:51 pm

Renters are one of the biggest problems, they just don’t care

Louise Strachan

30 September, 2021 9:59 pm

Hi we have neighbours in Murcia who phone the police on all of the surrounding neighbours for the slightest of noise – we have tried speaking to them and they end up using vile and disgusting language towards us all. They must have phoned the police about 50 times in total on separate neighbours and ourselves. They now have their house up for sale – do they have to declare in Spain that they have telephoned the police when selling a property to someone?

Oscar Paoli

1 October, 2021 3:23 pm

Unfortunately they do not need to inform that they have telephoned the policen when selling the property.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Gary Noon

20 December, 2021 5:35 pm

Our next door neighbour took on a dog during lock down, at first it would bark when left alone. They bought a collar that gives the dog an electric shock when it barks. This stopped the barking but the dog now cries and whimpers when left. Although annoying it is more acceptable than the barking. Our neighbour has gone to the UK for two weeks leaving the dog in the care of a neighbour 3 doors away. Last night the dog was crying loudly at 3 am. I spoke to this neighbour (Spanish so some communication problems), he denied it was the dog. It was the dog as it’s cry is easily recognisable and our neighbour on the other side also heard it. If the noise continues what are our options? Should the neighbour have put the dog in kennels as I would consider this normal.

Oscar Paoli

28 December, 2021 9:11 am

Hi Gary,
Our recommendation is to report this issue to the local Guardia Civil who will be able to deal with the matter.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Roger Gibbs

13 April, 2022 2:55 pm

What action can be taken with a Private infant school that is teaching Primary age children without a licence? The noise from the school is making our lives hell. The school is open 12 hours a day from Monday until Friday and only closes for August. Many hours a day the children are outside opposite our house and its impossible to have a conversation or even sit in our garden due to the noise. We are a retired couple as many people are,. The school is on a residential Urbanization.

There’s is more to this story.
Thanks Roger

Oscar Paoli

13 April, 2022 2:59 pm

Hi Roger,
Sorry to read about your situation, you must report it to the Guardia Civil or local authorities for them to check if they do have or not a licence to carry on with this private practice.
With best of luck,
Ábaco Advisers


7 May, 2022 6:08 pm

2 lads with scramble bikes in there back garden on a track they have made 7 .o’clock at night 20 meters from my house very noisy what can I do already had a word but no good

Oscar Paoli

9 May, 2022 10:48 am

Hi Michael,
You have to report it to the Guardia Civil or Local Police unfortunately.
With best regards,
Ábaco Advisers


10 August, 2022 6:30 pm

Can you cut hedges in the Evening about 7 pm

Oscar Paoli

11 August, 2022 3:07 pm

This will depend on the ruling of your Town Hall, you may check directly with your local Town Hall to get confirmation on this.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers


6 January, 2023 1:33 am

01.32 am. Sickening thumping loud music. So inconsiderate and selfish 😒 Visiting Barcelona just became a nightmare for us!


24 June, 2023 5:22 pm

Hi we have had our family house in Javea for over 50 years, next to us there has been a restaurant that has lain empty for nearly 30 years. The owner has recently rented it out to a Charity that run a social club and the noise is now intolerable, constant live music , Bouncy castles with children screaming, right next to my house . It is a residential area . What can I do ?

Oscar Paoli

28 June, 2023 8:32 pm

Sorry for the issues with the new neighbours, our recommendation is to inform the authorities and place a noise complaint.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Adviser


4 July, 2023 11:15 am

our neighbour has workers outside his apartment banging old tiles of before 7.30am I think this is not respectful we wouldn’t start any work before 10am

Oscar Paoli

5 July, 2023 4:47 pm

We recommend checking with your local town hall the times works can be carried out, in most cases works can be carried out from 08:00 to 20:00 but will depend on each town hall.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Adviser

Geoff Hirons

9 July, 2023 12:00 pm

Good afternoon.
We are in a situation with a very noisy Spanish neighbour.
We live in the campo and have to put up with excessively loud ‘music’ every day.
It starts early and ends late at night.
The noise is so loud that the speakers rattle.
We are prisoners in our own home.We cannot plan anything outside.We can’t even open our windows. Fortunately with the house ‘shut up’we can’t here the noise.
The man is a bully and we have had problems with him since we moved here permanently in 2017.
We live in Competa in the campo.
Geoff. Hirons.

Oscar Paoli

11 July, 2023 4:20 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the difficult situation you’re facing with your noisy Spanish neighbor. It can be extremely frustrating to have to deal with excessive noise disturbances, especially when it affects your daily life and well-being.

Living in a peaceful and quiet environment is essential for one’s comfort and enjoyment of their home. It’s unfortunate that the noise issue has persisted for such a long time, making you feel like prisoners in your own home and limiting your ability to plan activities or even open windows.

Dealing with a neighbor who is acting in a disruptive and inconsiderate manner can be challenging. It may be worth considering different approaches to address the problem. One option is to try engaging in a calm and respectful conversation with your neighbor, expressing how their noise is affecting your quality of life. If this doesn’t lead to any resolution, you could also consider reaching out to local authorities or the community association, if applicable, to seek assistance in resolving the issue.

We hope that you are able to find a resolution that brings back peace and tranquility to your living environment.

Best regards,

Abaco Advisers


3 October, 2023 6:29 pm

Hi, what can I do about a beggar who sits on the esplanade wall outside my apartment 3timrs per week, plays a guitar through an amplifier,sings badly, and goes on for 3 hours please?

Oscar Paoli

15 October, 2023 7:44 am

You may call the local authorities or local shelter to see if they can assist the person in need with shelter, food or other requirements.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Adviser


26 May, 2024 11:47 am

Hi, I live in a flat. Last week the road was closed for a street party, notices saying it was official but not what it was. Saturday a music platform was put in position which blared music or had a rock band for !2 hours. One speaker was 2 metres from my window. I asked them to turn it down but they refused. Police were called but said nothing they could do as they had permission. The noise in my flat was an estimated 110dbs. By the afternoon I was physically sick and had to leave the premises. It is recognised that this level is injurious to health. What can I do to stop it next year?

Oscar Paoli

27 May, 2024 3:23 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the disturbance you experienced during the street party. To address this issue and prevent it from happening again next year, you can take the following steps:

File a Formal Complaint: Contact your local council to file a formal complaint about the noise level and the impact it had on your health. Provide detailed information, including the date, duration, and estimated noise level (110dB).

Consult with Environmental Health: Reach out to the environmental health department of your local council. They can investigate the noise levels and determine if any regulations were violated. Excessive noise, especially at harmful levels, can be addressed under local noise control laws.

Gather Support: Speak with your neighbors to see if they were similarly affected. Having multiple complaints can strengthen your case when addressing the issue with the authorities.

Request Future Notification: Ask the council or event organizers to provide detailed notifications for future events, including the type of event, duration, and expected noise levels. This will allow you to prepare or voice objections in advance.

Explore Legal Options: If the issue persists and significantly impacts your health and well-being, you may want to consult a lawyer to explore potential legal actions against the organizers or the council for not adequately managing the noise levels.

Petition for Change: Consider starting a petition among residents to request stricter noise control measures for future events. This can be presented to the local council as part of your formal complaint.

I hope these steps help you address the issue.