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Seven ways you will accidentally annoy your Norwegian neighbours

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Seven ways you will accidentally annoy your Norwegian neighbours
There are a number of ways in which you may end up upsetting your neighbours in Norway. Pictured are apartment blocks in Oslo. Photo by Transly Translation Agency on Unsplash

Getting along with your neighbours can help make life in Norway much easier. However, there are a few things you should be aware of if you want to endear yourself to them.


Living in Norway comes with plenty of societal rules and social norms. Unfortunately, most of them are unwritten, so adapting to what's considered right and proper can involve learning on the job. 

When it comes to being a good neighbour, there's plenty to consider to ensure you don't upset others.

There are several ways to annoy your neighbours. But if you avoid some common pitfalls, a relatively easy home life should come easily. 

Skipping dugnad 

Dugnad, in this scenario, can best be described as unpaid voluntary work for the good of the community. Unfortunately, the voluntary aspect of the work isn't so voluntary. 

For foreigners living in homes and apartments in Norway, it means a day of manual labour every three months with the rest of your block or neighbourhood. 

Dugnads are typically held with the changing of the sessions to organise communal areas such as gardens by prepping them for the upcoming season. 

Even if you just rent and don't own, you may attract some unwelcome glances for not getting stuck in with everyone else. 

READ ALSO: Why you should get involved with 'dugnad' instead of skiving off

Small talk 

What's a bit of small talk between two neighbours? Well, while you may enjoy a bit of chitchat with others – small talk in Norway can be considered rude. 

Norwegians place a heavy emphasis on respect and privacy. Small talk can be seen as a way of invading this privacy. 

However, there are plenty of instances when small talk is fine. Neighbours are friendlier in the summer if you share a communal garden. And if you take our advice and show up to dugnad, it could be an excellent time to get to know your neighbours. 

READ MORE: When can you talk to a stranger in Norway without annoying them?


Mowing the lawn on certain days

Catching up on some of your chores when you get some time off can be invaluable. But there are some social rules to when you can mow your own lawn. 

Some might be left annoyed if you decide to mow your lawn on a Sunday or public holiday. Any kind of DIY on a public holiday may be considered rude. 

Even if you have a detached house, some neighbours may take issue with you mowing your lawn.


Hoovering, too, might incur the wrath of your neighbours. Generally, hoovering after 9pm on weekdays or before 10am on a weekend may be considered poor form from you. 

Unlike some of the other entries on the list, this is a written rule rather than one for you to figure out on your own. 


All housing associations will have noise rules that govern when you can work on your home, hoover, run noisy appliances and more. 

Laundry slots 

Many apartment blocks across Norway will have laundry rooms where the residents can wash and dry their clothes. 

Even if they have their own machines, many use these facilities as they can get more done and save on energy. 

When using the laundry room, brush up on what's considered courteous. Over-running is obviously a no-no. 

Then there's booking a slot and not using it. Somehow, some way your neighbours will find out that you didn't use that slot, and they will be annoyed. 

For many, this can be worse than overrunning as they can only imagine all the laundry they could've done with the time you didn't use. 



You are allowed to have parties in Norway, but you should give your neighbours proper notice. Most blocks and neighbourhoods in Norway typically have a communal group on social media. 

When having a party, you should let your neighbours know when it begins and ends (generally, it'll need to end at around 11pm before you head out somewhere else). 

Normally, when given notice, neighbours are quite tolerant. However, you could risk getting on their bad side if you don't give a polite heads-up. 

Stealing parking spots/ bike racks 

If you live in an apartment in the city, your block will likely have a bike rack. But don't just think you can put your bike anywhere. 

Even if there is enough room for everyone, your neighbours will annoyed if you leave your bike in their spot. 

Country dwellers are faced with the same problem in a different package, and that is parking spots. Parking in someone else's spot, even if they have more than one place to park, will annoy your neighbours to a great extent. 



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