How much noise can really make children play, they have to respect the siesta and what is the legal situation in the ever controversial parking of strollers in hallways? Our product creates clarity.

Children's noise and the neighbors

Children run garden

Photo: © iStockphoto.com, Monkey Business Images

It is available unfortunately, really: the prototype of the grumpy caretaker who bekittelt gray running around in an apartment building and would prefer to forbid children to play completely. "Our caretaker lives right below us. He knocks constantly with a stick at the ceiling when the children him to play loud, "says Jana (36), mother of three children. "I appeal to my children at least a hundred times a day to be quieter, and still waiting quite tense on the next rap." If there is no caretaker available, often the roommates take over the complaints about noise from kids. "We have become a country where there is no more sign reading, games prohibited '. In the children's noise no reason for court judgments is "urged German President Horst Köhler in his inaugural speech in 2004. But how is the reality? What can children and what not? We found out: You may believe more than many parents.

Children can "sing, dance and jump"

Mother Jana could refer the caretaker left in his place. For what is "calling Cuckoo's out of the woods" in the song sung so cheerful, children are allowed in the apartment: "Contractual use a home also means that children play according to their play and movement drive and make noise. Even louder exhortations of parents to accept, "said the district court Oberhausen (32 C 608/00 WM 2001, 464). Also, the district court Bad Kreuznach see it that way and found that "children are as such no fault". Impairments would have to be tolerated. These included a baby's cry, children's bad habits, accidental disturbances of all kinds, but also deliberate minor disturbances such as rumble, tramp, conversation rings and Gehopse (LG Bad Kreuznach 1 S 21/01). Also Bobbycar driving on the parquet or laminate must be tolerated, "A ban on Bobbycar driving can be maintained if barely. There are also sound insulation regulations. If this were not adhered to in the construction, the main problem is more bottom than the children, "explains Ulrich Ropertz the German Tenants' Association (DMB) in Berlin. A tenant is not obliged to design a carpet here as soundproofing.

Siesta - not for toddlers

Neighbors often insist vigorously on the rest periods, please already should also comply with the youngest. but that they are wrong: "The smaller they are, the less you can require children to be at rest stop," said Ropertz from DMB. Noise from babies or small children is of 13 to 15 watch allows it also the district court Hamburg-Wandsbek summoned (712 C 175/03). But even older children do not have to be quiet as a mouse at lunchtime, even if they restrict the noise level. Thus, the district court Neuss against children generally expect an expanded tolerance: "An apartment building is not a monastery, children can not be placed as young dogs on the chain "(36 C 232/88, WM 88, 264). This opinion today join the most dishes.

Babies may cry at night

Common sense told us long ago: A baby also must comply night no rest periods. Laughing, crying and screaming of young children - even at night - must be tolerated by residents of the building as a natural behavior of the children, wisely decided also the Higher Regional Court Dusseldorf (9 U 218/96). Theoretically applies: below the parents here do not and let their baby cry for hours, one must not tolerate this. Here then is an injunction. Ropertz however: "This is in fact in court unenforceable. Who wants to demonstrate to the parents because they do not try to calm her child? "

Whether strumming or percussion - music allowed!

Also musical beginners who still strain the ears with their arts arg, may practice their instrument daily. How long this should be about the courts decide differently, and it also depends on the type of instrument. So was the Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth that drums should be played from 45 to 90 minutes every day except Sunday (13 S 5296/90). practice the piano every day is between 90 and 180 minutes depending on the court ruling (180 min: Bavarian Higher Regional Court, 2 BR Z 55/95). It is somewhat different in electronically enhanced and therefore regulated in their volume instruments (electric guitar) from: This must always be set to low volume. For them, the same provisions that generally apply to urgent out of the apartment noises access. Here, the district court of Hamburg defined "Low volume" so that even noise outside the apartment "heard" may be. but this person over "normal residential noise" not excessive (317 T 48/95). For all Instumtente applies: rest periods should be followed.

The stroller in the hallway

A particularly popular bone of contention in the apartment house: The Strollers. Can we park the vehicle hall? Here give house rules or rental information. If there otherwise noted, the stroller can be turned off. But even bans are ineffective if there is no other possibility to park the car (AG Braunschweig, 121 C 128/00). Even the Federal Court recently clear: A tenant is entitled to park a pram in the hall when he is then instructed and the size of the entrance the parking permits (BGH V ZR 46/06). Dependent is a mother as if she had to drag several times a day four stories high without lift the car otherwise, as the district court recognized Winsen (16 C 602/99, World Cup 1999). Other tenants are allowed while walking through the hall but not forced to slalom and escape routes not be adjusted.

Lawn enter - usually not prohibited

Children can play around the house

"Willste über'n run lawn, you had to buy a piece of land," complained 30 years ago a child in the theme song of the show "Rappelkiste". Quite so, it is no longer: children can play around the house. , The House Rules specific play areas specially from, they have to stick to it. If there are no such areas, the lawn may only be used to play - if it is suitable (ornamental gardens or planted and flower beds are off limits). A possible ban must have a good reason. As if too many children would regularly play on a too small lawn, she would therefore suffer. Even older, in need of rest tenants in the residential complex can justify a restriction on playing out in some areas.

Often, there is no green space at the house. Then gambling is allowed on garages and backyards, especially when there is no playground nearby. "The dangerous trend of road traffic forcing homeowners to release backyards for children's games", The Berlin Regional Court decided in 1985 (61 sec 288/1985).

Tricky is when a user of the outer surfaces is in the lease expressly prohibited. Even if the courts sometimes still decide here in favor of children, dodging can be smarter on a playground.

Happy families to their homes, a garden belongs or where the use of the external surfaces is expressly permitted in the lease. For here parents sandboxes, a swing, slide and a wading pool may set up, which does not need to be specifically mentioned in the lease. "However, the swing should not be placed just under the window of an elderly lady," said spokesman Ropertz from DMB.

Whether indoors or outdoors: Even friends may of course be brought to play, because no child can be forced to play alone, the courts. Such a ban in the house rules is ineffective.

Siesta does not mean house arrest

Children may make noise outside and can also at lunchtime and in the evening play outside. Mainly by school children but most courts already expect to play 13 to 15 indicator quieter. For small children, this is not yet. Even a Sunday game ban in the house rules is invalid. By the way: If in the vicinity, a public playground, children must there also during the lunch time play (Administrative Court of Braunschweig, 9 A 9014/91).

Garage court should be to the football field

The permitted play on the garage yard also includes the football game. The resulting noise is reasonable for the neighbors (Munich District Court, 1 T 14 129/88). The game of football on the grass is not always feasible, because there may be a wear of the lawn here. If the ball flies in the neighbor's garden, should it take back the young though. "Children can not prohibit chasing the ball, even if he has landed in the front yard neighbor", The Munich Regional Court was II (5 O 5454/03). However, the young kicker should first ring the neighbors. This is obliged to return the ball if he does not want the children to do this yourself.

The caretaker has nothing to say children!

What many do not know: The caretaker has nothing to say children. "He is responsible for repairs and for lawn mowing. He has "nothing to do with children's noise, emphasizes Ulrich Ropertz from the tenants' association. The caretaker must be no instructions and they do not berate or admonish children so. he wants to complain, he must contact the parents.

"Parents are responsible for their children" - often does not match

Many Garagenvorplätze adorns the sign "Parents are responsible for their children." This is not quite true: Depending on age, children tend to stick even children under seven years remain completely left out if I break something while playing.. The older they are, the more likely they are to be held liable. That one may not playing with fire, even a nine-year-old needs to know and the 14-year-olds give to the courts to see graffiti on the wall as criminal damage. Parents only have to pay if they have breached their duty of supervision. This obligation is seen more relaxed, the older a child is. So parents must not stand by when her 13-year-old son plays football outside. Since children tend to stick itself, parents should consider taking out a private child-liability insurance into consideration.

What children are not allowed

Even if the courts decide now mostly friendly, there are some things in which they usually can not be argued with:

  • break rest periods
  • The disclosures in the house rules rest periods, usually 13 to 15 am and 22-7 pm need, including children meet (quieter play). By law, only the night's rest 22-6 PM. However, rest periods do not apply to infants, but only for children who can understand a reminder and compliance.

  • can shake the house with "House"
  • Some speaker has a wattage, cheering teenagers, can skyrocket the adrenaline levels of the neighbors, however. Even outside the rest periods applies: Reckless noise is prohibited (Administrative Violations). After the Immissionsschutzgesetzen radio, CD player and Co may daytime only be operated in a volume that "does not significantly disturbed bystanders". The night's rest 22-6 watch is specially protected. Here outside the apartment no music can be heard.

  • explain the staircase to the half-pipe
  • In the stairwell, storage, lift and basement corridor must not roller-skate to, skateboarding or biking. Because it can easily get there in an accident, and there is unnecessary noise. Also fun rides the elevator considered by the courts not allowed because it blocked by and energy is wasted.

  • "Flatten" tender plants
  • Situated on the house ornamental gardens are not meant to play, a prohibition is therefore legal. The areas are too small, the plants can be damaged, so the courts. (LG Heidelberg World Cup 1997, 38; LG WM Berlin 1987, 212).

Conversation took neighborhood War

In disputes over children's noise it does not have the same cause hard fronts. "For example, parents could in the apartment of a neighbor even once hear the games their children sounds through the wall or ceiling. Some noise is after all preventable, such as long jump exercises of children, "said Ropertz. "And vice versa: If you feel disturbed, should times - hand on heart - superior as in their own (perhaps now adult) children or even in their own childhood was," he suggests.

It is even better to prevent. Here, the direct conversation is the ne plus ultra. The less people know each other, the lower the threshold, the back to complain or around the landlord to rush even in court. When greeting the stairwell parents can ask if they noticed much of the noise from kids their roommate easy. One can then show understanding and promise to take into consideration. Often see neighbors over minor annoyances then willing away. Also a common cup of coffee prevented some dispute: Because with whom you already peacefully sat together, who finds it psychologically very much harder to go later on the warpath.

To arbitrator instead of a judge

And if it's too bad crashes in the rafters of the apartment building? "Trial for children noise are much rarer than most people anticipate," says Ulrich Ropertz. In addition, the way in court has become more difficult. Because in 2000 the "Law for the Promotion of alternative dispute resolution" was adopted, which is been implemented in 12 provinces. It states: first, it must be an out of court settlement be attempted with the arbitrator (mediation). Only if that does not work, going to court is free. A conciliation procedure is 20 to 40 EUR (Saxony-Anhalt: 100 EUR) cheaper than a trial. And the result of arbitration is legally as binding as a court judgment. Mediators are usually notaries and lawyers.

Will they still complained just going to the lawyer remains. Names and addresses call the regional bar associations. Anyone who has a low income can apply for legal aid through a lawyer in court.

Children Noise: judgments are always based on individual cases

For all disputes around the issue of child noise applies: court decisions have no generality, but refer to the individual case. Another court has therefore not legally bound, a similar case to decide the same. However, the case law is increasingly in the direction that suits against the noise of children playing are rejected.

Why is actually not regulated by law, when and how should play loud children? Reason is that you can not with children's noise - would equate construction noise - for example. There is therefore no legal limits or guidelines for children's noise or kindergartens, such as for machines.

Whereas then sue the neighbors who feel disturbed? is being sued for an injunction mostly of tranquility and adherence to house rules as part of the lease. For adhering to the "contractual use" see some injured in wild breeze of the apartment, is disputed. In addition, actions occur for violating the Immissionsschutzgesetze of countries (sleep) Noise protection regulations of the local authorities or against the Code of Administrative Offenses (reckless noise). Depending on the case while tenants against tenants complain (eg an injunction) or tenant against the landlord (on rent reduction due to noise), and in turn against the noisy tenants (for example, for non-contractual use of the apartment).

Further information

  • Munich Children Commissioner Jana Frädrich has compiled information for parents (as PDF files for download). can also be obtained by mail behavior tips, talking points and matching court decisions on request. Contact: kinderbeauftragte.soz@muenchen.de, Internet: www.muenchen.de/kinderbeauftragte
  • The German Children's Fund has created a kid-political map. In counseling centers in different regions of Germany are listed. In some cases, the Child Protection Agency, as well Tenants and tenants associations helps.
  • Addresses of mediators called the Bundesverband Mediation in Kassel. Contact: info@bmev.de, Internet: www.bmev.de.
  • the local district court or the legal or regulatory agency of the municipality shall provide information on the competent arbitrator.