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How to deal with noisy neighbours in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How to deal with noisy neighbours in Norway
This is what you can do about noisy neighbours. Pictured is a neighbourhood in Bergen. Photo by Joel Rohland on Unsplash.

Whether it's loud music, construction work or a dog barking constantly, it's never nice to deal with noisy neighbours. But what are the rules, and what are your rights if next door can't keep it down?

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Your home should be the place where you are able to relax, unwind and enjoy some peace. However, if you have loud and disruptive neighbours, this may not be the case. 

Therefore, it's handy to know your rights and what you can do when things go awry with your neighbours. 

Before we dive into what you should do if your neighbours are being excessively noisy, we should perhaps quickly go over what's considered acceptable. 

Generally speaking, hammering, drilling, and other construction work should end by 9pm at the latest on weekdays and shouldn't take place on Sundays or public holidays. 

Residents are also asked to avoid excessive and unnecessary noise between 10pm, and 7am. Speakers outside can also not be played between 8pm, and 7am. On the topic of the garden, lawn mowers are also a no-no on Sundays and public holidays and later in the evenings. 


If you plan to have a party or have work done on your home, giving your neighbours a heads up (nabovarsel) is also considered the proper and courteous thing to do. 

Housing association blocks will have specific rules on what is and isn't acceptable, but most of the above will be included.

READ ALSO: Why do Norwegians fall out with their neighbours?

What does the law say? 

Rules over what neighbours can do fall under the Neighbourhood Act Section 2. Unfortunately, the law isn't very specific regarding disruption from neighbours. 

The law states that "no one must have, do, or initiate anything that is unreasonable or unnecessary to the detriment or inconvenience of the neighbour's property." 

The issue is that determining what is considered unreasonable can be quite tricky. However, the general rules outlined above are a decent guide to what is and isn't reasonable. 

The rules are a bit more strict when it comes to public holidays. 

"On public holidays from 00 to 24 o'clock as well as Easter, Pentecost and Christmas Eve after 4 pm, there shall be public holidays that no one anywhere must disturb with undue noise," the Neighbourhood Act states. 

To make up for the law itself being vague, most municipalities have their own rules on noise. Generally, these fall under the guidelines listed above. However, there is no decibel limit to speak of it, making it hard to specify how loud "too loud" is.

What can you do about noisy neighbours?

The first step to any dispute or conflict about noise with your neighbour should be approaching them to talk about the issue in a polite way. However, this doesn't always work, so you'll want to know your next steps if the noise continues after this. 

If you live in a housing association or block, you can submit a complaint to the board. You will generally need to outline how long the problem has been going on, how often, and what time of day. It may also help to record the noise. 

You can also contact the police if the noise is excessively loud or particularly disruptive. In addition, the police can intervene in instances where noise disturbs public peace and order. Please note that you should call 02800, rather than 112, as the second number is for emergencies only. 


If the problems persist and you cannot come to a solution by speaking to the neighbour or informing the police, you can choose to contact a lawyer for further guidance. 

As legal action and advice can be costly, this should be considered the last resort. An alternative to legal action could be a mediation service, such as the National Mediation Service, which deals with issues between neighbours in Norway. 

Mediation services can help neighbours who don't see eye to eye find common ground and come to an agreement. These services could be more beneficial than legal action, given the vague nature of the law when it comes to noise complaints. 

READ ALSO: How to resolve disputes with your landlord


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