I have extremely loud neighbors, who are disruptive to me and other neighbors, and who have done the following:

  1. Regularly drive their car slowly by my house while their music is blasting--and these are the type of people who buy a sound system for their car before getting a babyseat for their newborn.
  2. They, and their kids, will literally scream at the top of their lungs; or pretend to cry (knowing that when they pretend to cry, I am not going to ask them to keep quiet).
  3. Their parents (or guardians, or whoever is with them) will shout half-heartedly a few times, then, without anything changing, the so-called guardians will just go back inside their house.
  4. Their kids have banged on my windows, with the excuse that they "want to see the dog".
  5. Their kids have also destroyed property on my neighbors lawn: including their flowers and some pottery.
  6. Their kids have gone into private property (my garage and my neighbors backyard--which sits behind a gate).

I have attempted to "reason" with them, several times, to no avail. Their general excuses are:

  1. The curfew on sound starts at 10pm, so as long as it is before 10pm, they are free to be as loud as they want to be.
  2. Their kids are "just kids" and not only can they "play outside" but they need to do so directly outside my house because that is a "public street" (mind you, I live in a small German village, where the "public street" is extremely narrow and is not even a through street).

This has bothered me for the following reasons:

  1. Disrupted my work.
  2. Disrupted my baby daughter's sleep.

What can I do about this?

Whenever I tell them that I am not against their kids playing outside, I would just prefer they did not do it directly outside my house when my daughter is trying to sleep, I am either ignored or told that "they will talk to their kids" (which results in nothing).

There is literally a beautiful, public, free to access park (Sportplatz) right down the street, where I walk my dog daily: it has soccer fields, basketball courts, and several hiking and biking paths, but when I raise this as a suggestion, they say that their kids can play on the "public street", meaning directly outside my house, where they scream, shout, pretend to cry, and "play outside".

  • The only illegal thing is allegation 4 - 6- Trespass.
    – Trish
    Jul 6, 2022 at 6:45
  • @Trish, depends on the age of the child. And damages owed are somewhat disconnected from illegality.
    – o.m.
    Jul 6, 2022 at 10:15
  • Do you have a dog? Maybe get a bigger dog?
    – Stuart F
    Jul 7, 2022 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


In Germany, the noise of playing children is defined as not noise according to §22 BImSchG. Normal industrial/commercial limits do not apply. This aims mostly at playgrounds, kindergartens, etc.

The noise of cars, stereos, etc. is not unlimited even before 22:00, but it is considerably harder to get the police to intervene during daytime. You might consult with a lawyer to find out if they are unreasonably noisy, you are unreasonably thin-skinned, or both. Similarly, the driving you describe may be violating traffic regulations, but proving that will be difficult.

As to actual damages to your premises, what happens depends on the age of the children and if they had proper supervision by their guardians. Proper supervision does not require the guardians to stand next to the children around the clock. If you have a specific case, and if the "perpetrator" was over 7 years old, you can ask for repayment and then sue if they refuse. This is most likely more hassle than the damage is worth, even if you do get a judgement against a minor, but it could change the tone of the relationship with your neighbours. They would have to explain in court what they did to supervise their children ...

  • Well then, I guess my only response is to buy a decent sound system, program it to play very heavy metal, interspersed with "easy street" from 6am to 10pm.
    – Matt
    Jul 6, 2022 at 8:10
  • 2
    @Matt, see my second paragraph. 2200 is when you can (sometimes) get the police to take immediate action, e.g. to confiscate their sound system. Before 2200 is when you can try and go to court and get a judgement against them. What you suggest would allow them to do that. Talk to a lawyer to explain the precedents; children are very privileged, but even adults can practice a musical instrument several hours per day. But there have been court cases over cockerels in the morning ... start a written log about times and durations to prepare for the queries.
    – o.m.
    Jul 6, 2022 at 10:15
  • @Matt No. "Wie du mir, so ich dir" is not going to help at all. It will just worsen the situation.
    – PMF
    Jul 6, 2022 at 11:21
  • @o.m. I read your entire response carefully, not only the second paragraph, it was very helpful (big thanks), but it seemed like you hinted that proving that their sound system is too loud is too difficult and not worth the effort, at least that was my reading of it. At this point, I am hoping that a strongly worded letter from a lawyer is sufficient, especially since they are still under the impression that anything before 10pm is fair game.
    – Matt
    Jul 6, 2022 at 17:18
  • @PMF, you're definitely right (du hast recht), may cooler nerves prevail, provided I have any left when I have to spend 2-3 hours trying to get my daughter to sleep again, all because of some unnecessary screaming or music that could have taken place anywhere else and at any other time for all I care.
    – Matt
    Jul 6, 2022 at 17:31

Move house

Nothing that you have described appears to be against the law.

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