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PROPERTY

How to deal with noisy neighbours in Norway

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?

Pictured are homes in Bergen.
This is what you can do about noisy neighbours. Pictured is a neighbourhood in Bergen. Photo by Joel Rohland on Unsplash.

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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PROPERTY

Rent prices in Norway in steep rise during second quarter

Rental prices in Norway's four largest cities rose in the second quarter of this year, with prices up 4.2 percent overall from last year, figures from Real Estate Norway show. 

Rent prices in Norway in steep rise during second quarter

A sharp rise in the cost of renting in Norway was recorded in the second quarter of 2022, the latest figures from Real Estate Norway (Eiendom Norge) show. 

“Eiendom Norge’s rental housing price statistics show that there was a historically strong rise in rental housing prices in Norway in the second quarter of 2022. Stavanger and Sandnes had the strongest growth with an increase of 5.2 per cent, followed by Oslo with 3.2 per cent and Trondheim with 2.5 per cent,” Managing Director of Eiendom Norge, Henning Lauridsen, said. 

However, the cost of renting in Bergen dropped 3.1 percent in the second quarter. Despite this, rental prices had increased sharply in Bergen and the west of Norway in general overall in the past year. 

During the last 12 months, Stavanger/Sandnes and Bergen had the largest rental price increases with rises of 10.3 and 6.6 percent. Trondheim had the third largest growth with 4.6 percent, followed by Oslo with 3.6 percent. 

“We link the strong growth in rental prices in west and south-west Norway to strong growth in the Norwegian economy as a result of increased activity in the oil industry in this region. In the student city of Bergen, prices are probably also driven up because the pandemic is over and the infection control measures have been lifted,” Lauridsen explained. 

Another thing reported by Real Estate Norway was a low supply of rental homes in Norway. 

“We have never previously registered such a low supply of homes for rent on Finn.no. While the supply is relatively stable in Bergen and Trondheim, the supply has decreased a lot in Stavanger/Sandnes and Oslo. In Oslo, the supply is at a disturbingly low level, which has matched up with reports in Media,” the managing director said. 

At the end of June this year, there were 45 percent fewer rental properties on the market compared to the year before, financial newspaper Finansavisen reported last week. 

“It is a demanding time for those entering the rental market right now. There are simply too few homes on the market,” Jørgen Hellestveit, marketplace director at Finn Eiendom, told Finansavisen.

Despite the more limited selection, rental homes are also being snapped up much quicker than last year. Last year, a home was listed on the market for 13, 13 and 12 days in May, June and July before a lease was signed. In the same months this year, properties lasted 10, eight and 11 days on the market before a tenant was found, according to Finn.no. 

READ MORE: Low number of rental properties available in Norway despite huge demand

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