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24 April 2023

Tired of your neighbors in Cyprus - where to complain?

According to Eurostat, approximately 17% of the inhabitants of the Island of Aphrodite suffer from noisy neighbors.

The number is impressive, but not the highest compared to other European countries.

With the start of the summer season, the issue becomes more relevant. Entertainment venues become more active, but household chores and repairs are more comfortable to do in the warm months. Let's try to understand what is considered the norm of life in Cyprus, and what actions go beyond the law and are defined as noise. In any case, it is better to resolve such conflicts through negotiations, which also requires a special skill. It is better to be kinder to neighbors, isn't it? Ideally, it is best to know your neighbors as well as possible and even exchange personal phone numbers with them. Then you won't have to deal with guys under the hood, get involved in scandals, and so on. We hope that after reading the blog, the problem will be solved before calling the police. To begin with, it is worth understanding the laws. As a rule, these are either separate acts or part of a larger directive. Noise in Cyprus is divided into categories. For example, loud music and engine noise fall under different criteria, as does industrial noise.

What laws do we have in Cyprus?

Rural residents rarely complain about such inconveniences, but for residents of multi-story buildings, it is practically unavoidable. Spontaneous repairs, hard home parties, parties, barking dogs, and scandalous scenes - they rarely happen, but they do happen. But what if it becomes impossible to stay in your apartment?

The Civil Wrongs Law, Cap.148 can be used if a person's peace is disturbed while they are in their own home.

It sounds something like this: every individual has the right to reasonable use of real estate, and illegal interference with a peaceful life is considered a violation. The catch is that you will need to somehow prove that the neighbors really caused a disturbance and that these actions caused serious damage to the applicant. When it is difficult to be in your own living space, it is worth turning to competent judicial authorities.

The 1996 Law on occupational safety and health regulates situations related to industrial noise. According to it, the concept of noise is defined as a sound that can cause health problems, impair hearing, or be otherwise dangerous. 

Laws on the assessment and regulation of environmental noise have been balanced by the EU's setting of standards for this category of environmental noise. According to this directive, environmental noise is any inappropriate sound that arises from human activities, including noise from transportation and technical processes.

There is also a separate Law on Recreation Areas on the island.

As in most developed countries, a license for acceptable noise levels in a residential area can be obtained after a corresponding sound study. The permissible decibels are calculated by a special research group.

In general, in Cyprus, the concept of discomfort and inconvenience is determined by the common sense of an average person. Despite the existence of modern methods to measure the acceptable frequency of sound using instruments, in conflict situations, the judges themselves decide how to deal with disturbers of peace in each specific case.

Quiet hours in Cyprus

The law on the island of Aphrodite protects the rights of the population to rest. During the winter season from October 1 to March 31, public quiet time is from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm during the day and from 10:00 pm to 7:30 am at night. During the summer season (April 1 to September 30), public quiet time is from 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm during the day and from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am at night. However, there are sources of loud noise to which the ban does not apply, such as airplanes, various church ceremonies, activities of government and police services (provided that they have taken all appropriate measures to eliminate noise), and loud construction work (provided that they have taken all appropriate measures to eliminate noise).

Where to call?

The police in Cyprus are responsible for maintaining order and tranquility. It is best to call the emergency hotline at 1460 or 112 immediately if there is a disturbance. The police should come and document the offense. If the complaint is confirmed, the offenders will be fined. However, if you want to file a complaint later, you need to go to the police station.

Consequences of violating the peace and quiet law

If the violation is proven, the police can fine the offenders or even imprison them for up to 3 months.

Which ear is buzzing?

Is the noise coming from above, below, or through the wall? Or perhaps it's even coming from the neighboring building? Before expressing your dissatisfaction to your neighbors, identify the source of the noise. It is quite possible that due to the peculiarities of the building's construction, you are hearing not from the neighbor you intend to approach with complaints. Relationships are built over years, don't ruin them. Cypriots are a friendly people. They start any business with a smile and a couple of questions about life.

How to approach a noisy neighbor?

After a friendly greeting, clearly state your wishes. If you are having trouble expressing yourself, write everything down on paper in advance. You can hand over a written complaint. At the end, be sure to add that if the disturbance of the peace continues, you will contact the police or court.

Record another person on video?

In Cyprus, it is illegal to film other people without their consent, and this law is even more powerful than the noise prohibition. There is not much point in filming on video - it will only lead to disputes about who is right and who is wrong, and ordinary witnesses will be more effective. So, it's better to bring a friend for moral support and approach noisy neighbors in person.

Interested in real estate on the island? Check out the #1 real estate agency in Cyprus - DOM! The agency's website features the largest database of properties in the country - over 30,000 residential and commercial properties throughout the island. Choose and contact professional brokers who will help you make the right choice!

Also, read:

  1. 10 skyscrapers that will adorn Limassol in the coming years
  2. Two floors, a terrace and a magnificent sea view: new buildings in Cyprus with exclusive apartments
  3. Monagri and Doros: picturesque villages in the suburbs of Limassol
Source: DOM
Photos: DOM, Pixabay
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Майя П 06.05.2023 in 16:43
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