Spain Explained

What to do about noise in Spain

Walk out into a bar or café area late at night in summer in Spain and you will be greeted by chatter. The Spanish talk, and often seem to talk loudly. Everyone seems to have a comment to make and usually at the same time.

Depending on your view point this can be a wonderful, vibrant part of life in Spain or it can be classed as noise pollution. I have been with people who have expressed both points of view. Those who want to immerse themselves in the hubbub of a Spanish evening’s entertainment and those who want to cover their ears and find somewhere where they can sit in peace.

Music bars and fiestas

Of course, in some places the decibels aren’t just down to the level of chit chat. Noisy bar areas, loud music, singing and carrying on – especially in the areas that attract holiday makers in Spain. This additional noise can take it from the slightly annoying irritant to the realms of the ‘turn that down or I’ll…’.

The Spanish summer fiestas can be a particular problem for those living in and around the centre of town. Events continue into the next morning and can bring real difficulties for those with work and other commitments. However, in most places, you can argue that it is only for short periods of time and the enjoyment from the spectacle for many overrules the nuisance for some.

Some argue that town planning in Spain is the real problem. Building residential property side by side with retail and commercial use is bound to create difficulties. There are two sides to every story.

There is no doubt that having a Status Quo Tribute Band below your balcony night after night is enough to send you to distraction. At the same time, live music in Spain can bring in much needed trade and without this, punters will go elsewhere. Finding a happy medium is very hard to do.

A silent Seville?

This begs the question, just how far should the authorities go on limiting noise pollution in Spanish towns and cities? Seville is a wonderful Spanish city that oozes atmosphere and reflects café culture at its best.

In the summer everyone it seems is outside well into the night, taking advantage of the cooler evening air. It’s not surprising that it can be a noisy place to be past some people’s bedtime.

However, the news is that this should no longer be a problem for Seville’s resident population. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that following the campaign of Sevilla Sin Ruidas Ya (Seville without noise now) the city of Seville is to have its noise-making silenced.

Some of the behaviour that is to be targeted includes:

  • Excessively loud conversations
  • Television outside on terraces
  • Bar staff dragging chairs along the pavement
  • Playing loud music whilst driving
  • Domino games played outside

The clamp down doesn’t cover religious parades and processions.

If you want to consider all the issues, you need only read the comments posted after the article, ‘Seville’s Silent Summer: Spanish city bans outdoor noise’.

With opinion spread on both sides, we can only wonder how Spanish police officers will enforce the ban consistently. At what point does talking become too loud and chair rearranging a threat to the peace? The enforcement of these kinds of rules, without that clarity, can lead to bad feeling and accusations of unfairness.

A noisy Elche?

It isn’t just in Seville where restrictions are about to bite the hostelry business. Bars and restaurants in Elche are also about to find themselves receiving visits from the local police. The number of terrace areas linked to bars and cafes has escalated since the no-smoking ban. A move that hasn’t been warmly received by everyone, according to this article in Valencia Today. As a result, like Seville, Elche is due to pass an anti-noise pollution bylaw.

It is easy to feel sorry for the poor business trying to scratch a living in the midst of the economic down turn. However, if you are kept awake night after night by the noise of bars in Spain and other people’s merriment it can become a serious issue and even a health hazard. It can also be a problem for other local bars who end up trying to compete.

Concerns are raised by some bar owners that complaints are made by rivals in a bid to win over custom. The unfairness with which rules can seem to be applied is a constant cause for complaint by those keen to make the most of the summer holiday season trade.

Opinion is divided and there will continue to be those who feel that they are unfairly targeted whilst others just want a decent sleep at night. In the meantime, what should you do if you are having problems with a noisy neighbour?

Tips for dealing with a noisy neighbour

  • Be positive – politely raise the issue and explain what the problem is for you – most issues can be resolved in this way
  • Look for a compromise:
  • Is there a cut off time for you up to which it is reasonable for the noise to be made?
  • What time is acceptable for builders to start work?
  • Are there other ways of reducing the nuisance?
  • Raise the issue with your community of owners if you belong to one – you may find that others have raised their concerns too and you can tackle it on a community basis
  • Make a denuncia – if you go to your nearest Guardia Civil station and report the noise you might be surprised at the speed of reaction – this is an increasing priority in Spain and just one denuncia can lead to a police visit

  • Approach a solicitor who will advise you of alternative means of ensuring a good night’s sleep 
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61 comments

BRENDA EVENDEN

9 October, 2014 1:04 pm

SINCE THE LONG AWAITED BAN ON
SINCE THE LONG AWAITED BAN ON SMOKING WAS ENFORCED,THIS HAS CAUSED
ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH TALKING OUTSIDE.
BUT HAS FAR AS MUSIC INSIDE BARS,A LOT OF THE PEOPLE WHO COMPLAIN,
PURCHASED THEIR PROPERTIES NEAR THESE ESTABLISHMENTS KNOWING THAT
THERE WAS ENTERTAINMENT NEARBY, MAYBE GETTING THEM AT A LOWER PRICE ?
THE SPANISH ECONOMY WILL SUFFER IF PEOPLE CANNOT SPEND MONEY ON
ENTERTAINMENT AND KEEP PEOPLE EMPLOYED.LOCAL FESTIVALS CAUSE NOISE.?

Leonard Tomas

23 March, 2015 1:37 pm

We have a guy on the next
We have a guy on the next floor who sees himself as a flamenco singer and guitarist. He practises from 8 in the evening until three the following morning. I complained and he says, “in Spain you can make as much noise as you like on a Saturday Sunday morning and if I don’t like it go back to England”.
How true is this statement ?

Suzanne O'Connell

24 March, 2015 12:57 pm

Dear Leonard

Dear Leonard

Thank you for your question. It isn't true that you can make as much noise as you like and in fact this is something that some regions are really clamping down on. It sounds as though you have already tried resolving this through approaching your neighbour. I would then suggest that you take the next step which would be to make a denuncia at the police station. You might want to keep a record for a week or so of what the noise is and when and it might be beneficial if there are other neighbours who can also act as witnesses. You might want to read the articles by David Ruiz on our website to help you make the denuncia:

http://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain_explained/spanish-law/news/making-police-report-denuncia-in-spain

http://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain_explained/life-in-spain/news/making-denuncia-in-spain-right-way

I hope the situation is satisfactorily resolved. 

Demon Lee

24 April, 2015 7:50 pm

Since my move to Spain I have
Since my move to Spain I have noticed that 99.9% of Noise complaints in our Community and the local Town Hall is from British people, who in the main, do not understand the vibrant Spanish Culture or the fact that most bars exist to feed the Tourist Industry.

My neighbour comes to their property around 5 weeks a year, the rest of the time it is left empty and I give up with them keep composing my TV is too loud at night… Taking into account when it is on I can’t hear it in either of my bedrooms that are between my lounge and their bedrooms, I fail to see how they can hear it unless they have bugged my property… My last row with them ended with me saying, “I live and work here, you holiday here so I suggest you take your selfish attitude back home to England where it belongs, I have a life and want to live it and not one other person that adjoins my flat from above, below or to the other side can hear it or had made a complaint….

Suzanne O'Connell

28 April, 2015 11:14 am

Thanks for posting your

Thanks for posting your comment.  As you point out, it's not just about conflict between bars and their neighbours, but there can also be difficulties between residents and non-residents. It can be a frequent problem where property is rented out on short term summer lets and holiday makers have a different view of their surroundings to those who live there. 

Catherine Lees

3 May, 2015 1:34 pm

We live on an urbanization
We live on an urbanization and the owners of the property next door to us sublet their property. We have tolerated constant problems with various tenants and their dogs over the last five years, and recently the house has been let to a couple with three children , average age 18 years, who do not themselves live in the house but rent another property local and their children reside in the house next to us on their own. Recently on a couple of occasions, the house has been used to entertain a group of teenagers about twenty in total, for a party, with excessive noise until eleven to twelve o’clock at night, .they also have two dogs that are continuously using the front of the house as a toilet.What laws are in force in Spain to protect residents from this kind of behavior from neighbors.

Suzanne O'Connell

6 May, 2015 8:34 am

Hi Catherine

Hi Catherine

I am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. You might start off by trying the letting agent if there is one and you are not able to contact the owners directly. Your community of owners should also help intervene if there is one. You can always make a denuncia and I recommend you read David Ruiz's articles to help you do this: http://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain_explained/spanish-law/news/making-police-report-denuncia-in-spain and http://www.abacoadvisers.com/spain_explained/life-in-spain/news/making-denuncia-in-spain-right-way.

Jane ludlow

23 May, 2015 12:23 pm

Hello, can you advise please
Hello, can you advise please on the law regarding noise from music or conversational noise, on a residentional complex, to enable myself and retired husband to keep within the confines of the law. We have a small apartment with balcony and roof terrace. Is there a time guideline, for example 11 or 12pm. Thank you

Suzanne O'Connell

28 May, 2015 3:10 pm

Dear Jane

Dear Jane

First of all, people must obey the laws as indicated by their community of owners. You should request from your president or secretary what the expectation is in your particular community. You can also check what the legislation is for your town at the town hall. The time guideline is usually from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. During weekends and festivals the 'noisy' hours are usually from 9.30 to 12.00 pm.  

It also depends on the activity. It's not the same if it's a conversation on your balcony in comparison to a fiesta or building works.

Your best guide is to find out from either your community and/ or town hall. 

John Bollinger

15 June, 2015 8:24 pm

We have recently moved to
We have recently moved to Spain to the Alicante area.
Our problem is with noise from children from early in the morning to 2300hrs at night they play football against our house and are always shouting we have asked them to stop but all we get back is “I don’t understand!
This has gone on for 3 months and we are not getting much sleep how can we ask them to keep control of the kids

Suzanne O'Connell

17 June, 2015 8:12 am

Hi John 

Hi John 

It does sound annoying. Your best course of action should be the parents. If language is a barrier perhaps you have another neighbour who could speak to them? Perhaps there is a compromise and it's just late at night you have a problem with this. You can check to see if it's a problem for anyone else round about and you could take the issue to your community of owners if you are part of one. Many communities have established rules anyway. I would always try a softly, softly aproach first though as little problems can escalate and you don't want to get involved in a major dispute with your neighbours, particularly when you've only just settled over here. 

Frances Maclagan

3 August, 2015 7:00 pm

I live in a residential
I live in a residential community comprised of apartments and our main bedroom wall is directly adjacent to the community garage.Only when we took up residence did we find out that the electrically operated garage door generated noise sufficient to wake occupants on closing. I requested that the Property Administrators investigate the possible adjustment of this door to improve the noise level. At first the Administrators e mailed me to say that they would look into it but when I asked what the outcome had been they sent a representative who asked if I had bought off plan . On hearing that I had not but rather bought a completed apartment she was dismissive of my concern I explained that we had viewed the property briefly on two occasions but no car had entered or exited the garage during these visits and it was only when we stayed there for the first time that we became aware of the problem. She informed me that neither the Administrators nor the community were prepared to pay for the call out fee for the technician and it was up to us to pay for investigating this in spite of the fact that we pay the administrators 204 euros a quarter. What would you advise?

Suzanne O'Connell

6 October, 2015 7:32 am

Dear Frances

Dear Frances

Unfortunately, the cost of having the noise level checked will come down to you. The community would have to pay it only if it had been requested by a majority of community members. Unless it goes over maximum noise levels, which is very unlikely, there is no legal basis for requiring an adjustment or change of mechanism. However, we would recommend that you bring it up as an issue at the next ordinary meeting of the community as it could well be that the noise problems will affect more community members. 

Paul

15 December, 2015 10:21 am

I thought I’ll share some
I thought I’ll share some stuff here. I live in a apartment, where a kitchen is on the other side of my living room. Three times I have had sound proofing put up. Complained to comunidad, owner who doesn’t give a damm, because he rents out. Now I live on edge and decided to try and sell with a loss, I have tried and now I’m sick. What kind of architect designed this building and how did this get passed with the council. Hope to get out soon. The for listening. Boom Boom Boom….

Patsy Davies

19 December, 2015 12:46 pm

Advice please, we gave lived
Advice please, we gave lived on a small rbanization for over a year in all that time nearly everyday a neighbour at the back of us has been installing his own solar panels. Everyday he has been working on them even Sunday’s, banging, grinding ect. Is there anything that can be done regarding this have spoken to the administration nothing happened it gets people down
Thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

22 December, 2015 11:29 am

Hi Patsy

Hi Patsy

It does sound very annoying. It seems as though there are a few of you who are not happy with the situation. You could all try approaching the administration together if they don't seem to be acting on a single complaint. I'm assuming that you have already approached your neighbour yourself? Just agreeing times and days when it does take place might help. It would also be reasonable to expect to know when the work might be completed. 

 

Alan Dixon

7 January, 2016 4:05 pm

Hi, I have read all of the
Hi, I have read all of the comets on here. I have a neighbour that is a tenant and over the last 8 months since he has been there I have had lots of complaints from guests saying the noise is excessive. The owner has flown out there and yet he still carries on. The owner is also flying there this Monday to see him as he has ripped a security camera off my wall which was pointing to my front door and has now slashed my guests tyre because she complained about noise (although he has done it discreetly and I worry that I have no proof). I have contacted the community administrators who have informed me its an issue between him and me. I have also had a threat texted to me saying/goading me to come out there as “he has friends that can take me to a special place” I am trying to get time off of work to denounce him to the police and my guest is still in there. She has only been there 7 days and is meant to be there for 3 months. I have asked her to report the tyre to the police which she is going to do but she is there on a 3 month break she doesn’t need this.

Suzanne O'Connell

13 January, 2016 12:52 pm

Hi Alan

Hi Alan

On the positive side at least the owner of the property does seem to be trying to sort out the difficulties and could be a good contact for you in addressing the problems with this tenant. You are right to pursue the idea of making a denuncia. Do make sure you take everything you need with you and that you are clear about your evidence and what you are going to say. We have published advice about this that you might find useful: Making a police report

 

Paula

23 April, 2016 12:12 pm

We moved to Spain in May 2015
We moved to Spain in May 2015. One of our neighbour’s is very inconsiderate, she plays loud music at all times of the day and evening. Our villa is in a small hamlet in Almeria. I am aware that another neighbour has made repeated requests for her to turn her music down, and this resulted in her denouncing the neighbour. On one occasion we had visitors, one of which has MS and at ten to eight in the morning she put her music on so loud that everybody was disturbed.

On a more recent occasion, we and friends and neighbour’s were outside when she put her music on so loud we couldn’t hear our visitors. Our villa wall was vibrating. My husband told her to turn the music down. After twenty minutes she turned it down, got into her vehicle and parked outside our house sounding her horn, while giving a one finger salute towards us for about 5 minutes. What is the best way to get a solution,

Suzanne O'Connell

4 May, 2016 11:01 am

Dear Paula

Dear Paula

This does sound very difficult for you. The best way is to make a denuncia yourselves. There are articles about how to do this on this website by David Ruiz: Making a denuncia in Spain the right way to do it and Making a police report in Spain. David Ruiz gives advice about collecting as much information as you can before you go including information from witnesses. Perhaps you could also make a recording of the noise. You could also keep a diary and, if it's bothering a few of you, encourage other neighbours to report the problem too. 

Mandy

19 June, 2016 1:27 pm

I moved to Spain 5 months ago
I moved to Spain 5 months ago ,it my own property ,my president came to me this morning complaining that my musc was to loud on Friday I had friends round for dinner and we were outside enjoying our self I did have music on but it was off by 10 o clock she also said there was bad language I live next door to a bar and she said they complained.she said there was 19 complaints I asked her for a list of complaints which she refused I’m guessing she has made this up.she also said that tables and chair were put in the pool which was nothing to do with me can you give me advice on how to deal with this matter?

Suzanne O'Connell

21 June, 2016 8:55 am

Hi Mandy

Hi Mandy

Thanks for your enquiry.  It does seem a little unusual that the people in the bar were complaining. It's usually the other way round. It might be worthwhile checking what the rules are in your community and finding out a bit more about how the community of owners operates. You could perhaps try speaking to the president about this now things have cooled down a little to establish what is accepted and what isn't. You are quite new to the urbanisation and it can take a little while to get a feel for how things are run. If you have a neighbour you can talk to, they might be able to give you some advice and help you be clear about how you can avoid a similar situation happening. 

Barbara

14 July, 2016 7:55 am

Dear Suzanne,
Dear Suzanne,

I am hoping you are able to advise me. We live in a complex in the Canaries and we constantly have different problems with neighbours making all sorts of noise, either very early mornings or late at night. I would like to know what the time frames are for starting building work/refurbishing in the mornings, and having music on/partying/speaking very loudly at nights (out on the terrace)?

Thank you very much in advance.

Suzanne O'Connell

19 July, 2016 11:22 am

Dear Barbara

Dear Barbara

Thanks for your question. It is quite a common problem as the number of posts accompanying this article show. It is difficult to give specific times and you would be best to contact your local town hall as restrictions vary across communities. However, in the meantime you can make a denuncia which will then involve your local police making a judgement about whether your neighbours are breaking any bylaws or not. It is worthwhile keeping a record of when the disturbances are and their duration. You will need to provide clear evidence about the extent of the problem. 

Jean Rickerby

28 July, 2016 2:44 pm

What is the law regarding
What is the law regarding noisy renovations on a new house that has been standing empty since completion eight years ago.Is it allowed during the month of August.The constant drilling is deafening and the banging shakes my property although the it is detached and is constant from early morning to late night.Help

Suzanne O'Connell

2 August, 2016 10:32 am

Dear Jean

Dear Jean

It does sound like the last thing you want in the month of August. I don't believe there are any specific stipulations in relation to different months. However, laws do vary according to where your property is located and it is best to contact your local town hall to check and/ or register your complaint. 

Jack Waterman

7 September, 2016 8:29 am

Hello,
Hello,

We live in a house in Valldoreix. The neighbor is a lady with 7 or 8 dogs, who bark pretty much all day and a great part of the night. It’s not unusual for us to be woken at 2 or 3 AM from their barking. We are going totally crazy at this point and besides moving, don’t know what other resolution we have. Please advise??

Thanks! We are desperate.

Suzanne O'Connell

7 September, 2016 10:16 am

Hi Jack

Hi Jack

As you will see from previous comments, you are not on your own. I am supposing that you have already discussed the problem with the lady concerned? She may not be aware of how much of a nuisance it is creating for other people if the barking takes place when she is not there. 

If you live in a community then you should approach the community of owners. It is likely that others are suffering from the noise too. If you don't belong to a community then your best course of action is to make a denuncia at the police station. Before you go, try noting down the frequency of the disturbance and be clear exactly what it is you are complaining about. Is there any concern about neglect of the animals? If there is then this should also be reported and will give weight to your denuncia. 

Ray Glenn

11 September, 2016 4:58 pm

What is the legal obligation
What is the legal obligation of holiday letting companies who place noisy holiday makers in homes within urbanisations?

What is the legal obligation on owners of homes who let their properties to noisy people?

Taking into account there is the offence of impacting adversely of a loss of a amenities I.e a person cannot use their garden due to noise. They have to close Windows and doors. They have to leave their home to get away from the noise at all times of the day and night

Amy suggestions would be welcome.

Suzanne O'Connell

15 September, 2016 9:38 am

Hi Ray

Hi Ray

It does sound annoying and is one of the draw backs of having property in a country where people come for their holidays. Presumably the letting company will have some rules and guidance that they issue to people who they let property to. You could try contacting them if there are particularly noisy occupants. They might not be so bothered about the noise but they might be more interested if they thought there was a chance that the holiday makers were not taking care of the property. If you are able, this is also an issue that you might refer to your community of owners. 

Jacqui Robertson

20 September, 2016 1:22 pm

We have recently retired to
We have recently retired to Villamartin area, new residential apartments with big front facing terrace, for outdoor living, we are directly across from Dialprix supermarket we have an accordion player in the car park playing and shouting for 10 hours everyday, no let up, the whine of a few chords is driving the residents mad, very debilitating. Our president and individual residents have spoken to the supermarket management ( they maintain it is not their car park) and we have spoken to the accordion player requesting he quieten down, but to no avail. We appreciate the man is earning his living but people using the supermarket and supporting him only hear it for 10 seconds. Any suggestions, is a denunciation our next course of action.

Suzanne O'Connell

21 September, 2016 7:35 am

Dear Jacqui

Dear Jacqui

It does seem as though you have tried most reasonable routes to getting your problem solved. The denuncia is the usual way in which people can complain if they feel the law is being broken. You might find our article 'Making a police report (denuncia) in Spain' useful. The police will look into it and if there is a local law that he is breaking then they will do something about it. If not, then you may be left with little more to do than hope he finds another patch for his business. 

Rachael Burns

18 October, 2016 9:00 pm

We moved to Spain a few
We moved to Spain a few months ago. So far we haven’t had any real problems but just lately our neighbour has started hammering / banging at 22.30 / 23.00 Are there any noise laws in Spain regarding this kind of noise. Thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

25 October, 2016 9:02 am

Hi Rachel

Hi Rachel

The noise regulations are generally ruled by the autonomous community in which you live and are further developed by your local town hall. It is the town hall who can give you the best information about what is and isn't allowed in your area. Different levels of sound will be allowed depending on the time/ hour of day and the kind of activity it is. If the noise generated exceeds that allowed by the town hall then you can denounce them at the police station and the report will be investigated. 

John

31 October, 2016 4:58 pm

I moved to an atico last
I moved to an atico last month in Seville. I signed a one year lease thinking it would be a silent place. At that time landlord told me that, there would not be street noise from the street (which I asked specifically) due to elevation and the terrace use for other tenants are only for drying laundry. At the time of viewing, before signing the lease little did I know that she also owns whole building and runs a restaurant in ground floor. The ventilating system is on top of my living room and has a banging noise (as if your washing machine cycles) and constant loud hum from 8am until 23:00 every day including Sundays now and holidays. I can hear it and feel the banging/vibration from all rooms in the flat. I asked her BF to check it out and he says he can’t hear anything and I am too sensitive which is a lie because my friends also confirmed the disturbing noise. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to move out again and burn my 550€ deposit. Is there an authority/association I can ask for help?

Suzanne O'Connell

2 November, 2016 11:08 am

Hi John

Hi John

It does seem to be a difficult situation to be in. Perhaps your best immediate alternative would be to try and get your landlord to come and hear it for herself. It might also be useful if you had someone else there at the same time to witness her reaction. As mentioned in answer to previous posts, if it can be proved that the noise is breaking town hall legislation then you can make a denuncia. However, this might not be the case here.  

Marije

3 January, 2017 7:43 pm

Hi, I
Hi, I
have lived in Spain for 12 years now and have recently bought a property just outside the town centre in a lovely quiet but central street. Next door however an 18 year old girl has recently moved in with her grandmother. The girl has 3 babies under 3 years old and all day long she yells at her grandma and vice versa. Very rough family members visit and they play loud music with massive deep bass all day long, not to mention the screaming of 3 over stimulated and over tired little ones.
They have the habit of sitting on my doorstep as opposed to their own in such a way that I can’t comfortably leave or enter my own home and make so much noise that it sounds like they’re in my living room.
A lot of the neighbours experience disturbance from these people too as the rest of the street is quiet and the people are normal, but because they are quite rough I think people are maybe a bit scared to get on their wrong side. The only blessing is they are tenants but the grandma has lived there 3 years and is apparently quite pally with the landlord.
Do you have any suggestions what we could do? I find it hard to denounce someone for being rough and uneducated but that is essentially what it comes down to…

Suzanne O'Connell

4 January, 2017 10:56 am

Dear Marije

Dear Marije

What a shame that your peace has been shattered. If you don't want to resort to an official complaint, and that could be difficult to evidence anyway, then perhaps your best resort are your neighbours and the landlord. Your community of owners might be approached, particularly in relation to the loud music. The shouting and noise of children is very difficult to appeal against but if there is prolonged loud music and if this is at anti-social times then there could be a case for approaching the community over this. Alternatively the landlord may be friends with the grandmother but might not be too impressed with the visitors. In the end, it is quite possible that it is the grandma herself who has enough of the situation. If there are constant arguments, as you suggest, then it might not be too long before she is looking for another home for her granddaughter and her children. 

Richard Carter

15 January, 2017 10:45 pm

12 months ago i purchased an
12 months ago i purchased an apartment in Spain – its since come to light that the guy on the floor below is either Alcohol or Drug dependant and most evenings arrives home “under the influence” and is shouting, being violent, threatening to set fire to the block, urinating in the stair well and breaking furniture in his house.
Its a small block, with only 4 apartments, one on top of the other. I”m on the top floor. Its becoming more and more concerning, and I fear reporting it to the police will potentially provoke him.
It’s a real worry and I’m already considering selling up.
Any ideas?
Thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

19 January, 2017 8:29 am

Hi Richard

Hi Richard

It does sounds as though you're in a difficult position and I can understand your concerns. You could make a denuncia but I understand why you are a little reluctant to do this. If there are others in your block who are similarly effective there could be safety in numbers. However, it sounds like he has got major issues and needs help. It is unlikely that threats will make any difference. Do you know if he has any family? Also if he is a tenant there could be an issue with him breaking furniture. Is the landlord aware? Threatening to set fire to the block is a particular worry and perhaps if you did report it then the police might be able to engage with social services. 

Mark

24 February, 2017 6:19 pm

I live on an urbanizacion and
I live on an urbanizacion and recently (around 3-4 months ago) a bar not far from where i live has taken to playing drums loudly, for periods of upto 3 hours on almost a nightly basis. They are so loud and echo for miles. There must be something we can do to put a stop to this as it so constant and loud it has gone far beyond reasonable levels of noise pollution (even for spain)

Suzanne O'Connell

1 March, 2017 8:22 am

Dear Mark

Dear Mark

There will be noise restrictions set by your local town hall. Try talking to the bar owners first but depending on their reaction you could make a denuncia. If you are a member of a community of owners you could approach them. If the noise is so bad then it is likely that others are complaining too. 

Rachael

6 March, 2017 9:21 pm

Hi,
Hi,

We have an empty property adjoining ours, it’s been empty and abandoned for 12 years since they were built. On of the windows is missing from the front and when it’s windy there is an internal door banging all night long. Is there anything I can do? Is there any way to find out who owns the property to put in a complaint?

Some builders appeared last summer to renovate the house but weren’t too happy when they saw the state of it and we haven’t seen them since. They gave me the phone number of the apparent owner but he isn’t replying.

I have babies trying to sleep though none stop banging all night as I don’t think there are any handles or locks on the doors.

Many thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

9 March, 2017 10:11 am

Hi Rachael

Hi Rachael

You could try the urbanismo department belonging to the town hall where you live. They are responsible for planning permission, opening licenses etc. Your town hall should have a website and you can find out from there where the department is based. You might like to take some photos with you to show the condition that the building is in and make sure you take someone with you who is fluent in Spanish if you are not. 

Rachael Cartmell

9 March, 2017 8:29 pm

Thank you very much
Thank you very much

Jennifer

4 April, 2017 5:43 am

I live in a small village in
I live in a small village in Spain called Alhaurin de la Torre.

The neighbours over the road allow their dog to bark ALL night. And I mean all night.. It barks all day, which isn’t so bad. But all night is now too much.

It will bark every 20mins from 9pm to 7am. It is kept on their terrace outside. At 12am . 1am, 2am. 3am.4am. Etc.

I can’t take anymore. I can’t sleep.. I’m suffering with hidious migraines due to lack of sleep. I also have epilepsy , and lack is sleep is a major trigger for fits.

I’m at my wits end.

Suzanne O'Connell

4 April, 2017 10:29 am

Dear Jennifer

Dear Jennifer

I'm not surprised you are at your wits end. I presume you have already approached the owners with the problem. You might also try your community of owners and could try making a denuncia, particularly if you feel there is evidence of animal neglect too. 

Jennifer

18 April, 2017 5:18 pm

We moved to Spain last year.
We moved to Spain last year. Our neighbour below us has a old HVAC (25 years old) installed in the basement of our building. The building was built around 1984, it has no sound insulation at all. They let it on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as long as the room temperature is below 22 , their HVAC compressor starts to heat. We complained to our community , The neighbour then insulated the wall of the basement where their old HVAC compressor is. The noise degree reduced, but the low frequency noise still escapes to the floor , the walls of our bedroom, it makes HUM noise day and night. I tried different way to deal with the noise ( ex. white noise, noise, cancelling headphone). However, I still get woken up with my speedy heart beating in the midnight by HUM noise, feel depressed in the daytime. My question is, does Spain have noise regulation for low frequency noise? The low frequency noise can not be measured in db. I am hesitated to go to police.

Suzanne O'Connell

19 April, 2017 9:06 am

Dear Jennifer

Dear Jennifer

It does sound annoying and I can understand how difficult it must be living with the constant noise. Different towns tend to have different local regulations so it might be worth enquiring at your local town hall as to what the restrictions are. You could also try taking it back to the community. 

Maud

26 June, 2017 2:27 pm

I live in Tenerife and I’m
I live in Tenerife and I’m dreading my English neighbour who comes on holiday for a month in July arriving. She puts her air con on at bedtime and it runs all night till morning. Recently a workman who visited our appt reiterated what we thought, that it was far too near our app and should be checked.She also holiday lets although its residential, but denies it, saying its friends.Some of them have gone out and left it running and we feel, she has actually encouraged them to do so,as the problem escalated after we broke relations with her, because of it. We were good to her and looked after her appt and we felt used when her holiday letting escalated. The President has been informed and has done nothing. My husband got on the wrong side of him as he questioned him about minutes of an AGM.that hadn’t been attended to. He doesn’t like being questioned. And although the administrator seems as if he sympathises, he does as he’s told. Believe me, I have this on good authority from a solicitor. The President has a monthly meeting and prints it online with the residents names and complaints for everyone to see and puts his own slant on the complaints, and his opinion of the people who make them.He minimised the air con complaint as nothing,although he and his wife have complained about things, with real ridicule and contemptable language towards the people concerned. We know about EGM and there are quite a few in this complex who would love to see him out, but unfortunately he gets in by proxy votes. He recently wrote online after someone also complained about the escalation in holiday rentals,that us as owners, should approach people at the pool we suspect as llegal and ask which appt they were in. He doesn’t want to do this himself.We did try to deal by complaining to the renters when they disturbed us, at 2 and 3 am sometimes, but because of my husband and the presidents wording of things online, these people came forward and accused us of harassing them!! We had never complained to any of them ever in 10 yrs, only the people they put in their appt. We feel this man has only inflamed the situation.Its obvious he won’t help and we find ourselves having to spend money to get away from it for weeks. He told me that we had every right to speak to people who disturbed us, then turned against us and listened to one whom he once discredited when his friend was on the receiving end. I read that there’s a head administrator in Santa Cruz that you can ask for help if AGM minutes and votes aren’t being carried out ?? because going to the administrator about holiday lets and air con is impossible now. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Suzanne O'Connell

29 June, 2017 10:01 am

Dear Maud

Dear Maud

There are a lot of issues here. I don't think there is probably much you can do about the air conditioner. The best course is to try and maintain good relations with your neighbours and the community and find some compromises. Again, holiday lets are something that those living permanently can find difficult. Your president should be alert to this and it sounds as though you are not the only ones raising the issue. If others bring it to his attention too then it will be more difficult to turn a blind eye. 

Wilcol

8 July, 2017 3:36 pm

I live in what was a very
I live in what was a very quiet part of the countryside in the Mar Menor area. It is not a community or residential area. Behind my house is a derelict building which has been empty for many years. Some people have started using the building but I do not know what they are doing in there, as they keep the door chained up and a dog to stop anyone from coming close. They do not live there as it is not habitable and they come and go at strange hours. They have recently started using a generator to make electricity. The generator is very loud and the sound carries over the wall and is so loud that I cannot use my terrace or sit outside. Sometimes the generator starts early in the morning and continues all day. Other times the generator starts in the evening and continues through the night. It is so loud that I cannot sleep. I have neighbours with young children who are also disturbed by the noise. There is no other sound in our area so the generator has changed all the peace and tranquillity. We have spoken to the man, and left a note on his car to ask him to make a cover for the generator to make it quieter but he does not care. He is not disturbed by the noise as he is inside the derelict building and the generator is outside. Sometimes he is not present at the building and the generator is running by itself. Is there anything that I can do? The noise is so bad. Please help.

Suzanne O'Connell

11 July, 2017 7:20 am

Hi

Hi

It all sounds very suspicious! You could make a denuncia at the police station – the police might be interested in what is going on in there. 

John senior

4 January, 2020 10:01 am

Hi I found your article very interesting , can you advise what the permitted decibel level is for live music and if a bar exceeds this what steps can be taken to get the bar to comply and who is responsible for doing this.

Oscar Paoli

7 January, 2020 1:27 pm

Hi John,
The permitted decibel level will depend on the town you live in. Our recommendation would be to check directly to your Town Hall. If you want to arrange a claim you can do so at the Local Police or at your Town Hall office.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Les Graves

7 March, 2020 5:30 pm

In front of our apartment block has been installed some skate board ramps. These ramps were initially in front of apartments in another location. After a period of a over a year the residents finally had them moved because of the continuous noise generated.
The noise is normally caused by banging and jumping on the metal ramps. It is not just skate boards, there are scooters and bicycles and are occasions motor scooters and even supermarket trollies! The ramps have been installed at the side of a hardcore football pitch. The noise of children enjoying a game was never a problem. They were closely relegated. The surrounding walls have been now covered by graffiti. The facilities for the sports complex have been completely vandalised, the toilets and showers were demolished. Also there have been fires and more than likely when groups sit around at night could be taking drugs!. The president and administrator have been advised by the residents but seem unable the do anything. One of the residents involved is an ex mayor of an opposing political party, is this a reason for the location, I don’t know? The noise is seven days a week, early morning and even into darkness. It is impossible to sit outside and enjoy a quiet time in this wonderful climate. People have been put off purchasing in the block and those residents that use as a second home for holidays are not visiting. Is there anything by law that can be done?

Oscar Paoli

9 March, 2020 1:19 pm

Hi Les,
You will have to go to your Local Town Hall to make a complaint. If it it the entire commnunity that takes the matter together you will be more likely to succeed.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Nim

5 May, 2020 9:41 pm

We live in a small village (400 people). We have on our road in the last 4 weeks 3 houses doing construction. They drink alcohol and use machinery (the health system does not need extra patients right now), they block the small streets with cars, make a lot of mess and dust (no washing possible) but this is all manageable.

It’s the noise that isn’t. It’s all day and deafining. Our baby cannot sleep, our eldest cannot study and my work from home due to COVID is made even more difficult. We have tried to ask they don’t work over siesta, or take similar hours off etc, literally begged the town hall for help including asking for the local version of the noise law (hours) for Valencia “contaminación acústica” for 7/2002, de 3 de diciembre.

One of the building companies who has family in the village were incredibly rude. Please advise.

Oscar Paoli

7 May, 2020 10:58 pm

So sorry to hear about it. Your best bet if all of the above has not worked is to make a denuncia – if you go to your nearest Guardia Civil station and report the noise you might be surprised at the speed of reaction – this is an increasing priority in Spain and just one denuncia can lead to a police visit. If this would not work approach a local solicitor who will advise you of alternative actions.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Ian spence

11 July, 2020 7:26 pm

My wife and I are in our middle 70s and we love the village we decided to retire in, unfortunately We don’t look forward to immediate neighbours having their loud parties at the weekends
Our health is being affected and the stress caused by those people is so selfish
We think this commenced with our new car being damaged by their building works and complained about not asking us to relocate our car resulting in our car being respirated (we were not asking for any monies) they hope to make our lives not nice and we would love someone to advise us without causing trouble as we have made friends with so many Spanish people

Oscar Paoli

12 July, 2020 10:33 pm

Hi Ian,
Sorry to read about your situation. We would recommend speaking with your neighbours directly first to see if you can make the situation better, secondly speak with the police and making an official anonymus complaint, and lastly speak with a local lawyer who may assist you in the matter.
Best of luck.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers