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"Communal Awareness"

"Komsomolskaya Pravda" together with specialists from the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services continues to tell in simple words about various aspects of public services. What is maintenance? When are the major repairs to be carried out? Who is responsible for replacing the bulbs in the entrance? Now we will talk about how to deal with noisy neighbors and what you can do when, in the middle of the night, your neighbor switches on loud music?

Those who shatter other people’s peace and quiet, cause disturbances should be calmed down by the Housing and Communal Service.

People living in towns and cities and who don’t live in private houses most likely have to suffer from time to time because of their noisy neighbors. Some people prefer to listen to loud music or singing, others are in the habit of arranging celebrations and parties on Friday and Saturday nights. You may be dissatisfied with your neighbor for some other reasons. After all, in a multi storey building you are not alone. Whatever it was, but in a multi-apartment building you live not alone. From time to time you have to talk about it with your neighbors. But what should you do if you cannot reach any agreement with them?

“Actually, today it is the task of the employees of the Housing and Communal Service to quiet the noisy” Nikolai MARUK, Head of the Legal Department of the Housing Maintenance and Communal Service-2 of Frunzensky District, tells “KP”.

 Today, quite a lot of people make complaints related to violation of the rules of residence in apartments. And the cause for complaints is not necessarily noise, although such facts dominate. The reason for complaints may be an unpleasant smell coming from the neighboring flat. For instance, there was a case when a woman kept about 30 cats in her apartment. Or one apartment owner organized some production in his flat making his neighbors suffer from the noise, dust, smell, etc. he produced. Analysis of complaints shows that in every 7 cases out of 10 people complain about loud noise, music at night. Since the housing service does not work at night, the police have to deal with such cases.

Of course, cases, when those who violate the rules of residence are called to court or fined, are rather rare. And there are many reasons for that: there can be cases when this or that witness doesn’t want to sign some papers because he or she doesn’t want to have problems with quarrelsome neighbors. Some witnesses don’t want to go around the courts …

- As a rule, when an employee from the Housing and Communal Service come and starts collecting documents, interviewing offenders and witnesses, it has a sobering effect. The percentage of reconciliation between neighbors is quite large. The problem is that, instead of dealing with the problems related to the maintenance of the house, employees of the Housing and Communal Service have to run around with these papers and, in fact, solve human conflicts that arise, including those that are based on personal dislike.

Today, the duty to take proper measures to noisy and negligent neighbors is legally assigned to Housing and Communal Services.  Most often the neighbors are complaining about mothers on the decree and pensioners

Most often complaints are made by mothers who are on maternity leave and by pensioners.

This is quite understandable: both mummies and retired people spend most of their time at home.

“Of course, among people who make complaints there are also “professionals”. It is not at all easy to deal with such people,” Nikolai Anatoliyevich says. “At present we are dealing with a case when a woman made a written complaint about a neighbor who had allegedly poured a bucket of urine onto her balcony. There is also a complaint from a woman who complaints that her neighbor sweeps the garbage under her rug. It is clear that we are obliged to consider such complaints, which makes us just waste time.

 There can also be cases that nobody and nothing can stop a complainer. Here's the case. One woman, a pensioner, wrote one complaint after another about her neighbors from the top asserting that someone was in the habit of stomping around the apartment all day long, someone was listening to loud music or slamming the door. The woman haunted the threshold not only of the Housing and Communal Service, but also of the district administration, the Minsk City Executive Committee and even the Administration of the President. Despite the fact that she had no witnesses, the case was sent to court. At the meeting tenants showed various papers confirming at that time adults were at work, their children were at school and no one could physically make a noise! The woman lost all her cases in court but she frayed the nerves of her neighbors, who finally decided to move away.

What can you complain of your neighbors for?

If their apartment is not used as a place of habitation but for some other purpose.   

An apartment should be used as a place for habitation but not for organizing some production or business, etc. Removal of an apartment from the housing stock in uninhabited one is possible if it is located on the ground floor and if it is equipped with a separate entrance.

Noise day and night 

From 11 pm to 7 am there should be no noise or vibration. That is, if the work of your washing machine is heard by your neighbors at one o'clock in the morning, they can complain about you. Redevelopment can be made from 9 am to 7 pm, and only on weekdays. People rarely complain of the noise made in the day time because most residents are at work. During the day, noise rarely complains - mostly at work.

Garbage can only be disposed of in a garbage disposal or container

Some people are in the habit of taking out a package with garbage in the evening and put it at the door, and in the morning, on the way to work, throw it into the container. This is a violation. It is difficult to prove it if there is no video recording. After all, a package with waste could be planted to you by a neighbor. It is also difficult to prove the discharge of garbage through the balcony, the window, including cigarette butts.

Smoking in the entrance and on the common balcony

You can smoke only in your apartment and on your private balcony, or outside. If you share a balcony with a neighbor, then you cannot smoke on it. To punish a neighbor-smoker, the Housing and Communal Service experts will have to collect evidence (photo, video, etc.). But if a neighbor smokes on the balcony or in the toilet, and the smell comes to your apartment, alas, you can do nothing - except to apply to the Housing and Communal Service and indicate that the ventilation in the house is working poorly. By the way, police have the right to bring smokers to justice for their smoking in public places.

To litter the common areas and put the wrong door

This all applies to fire regulations. For example, if your front door opens in the wrong direction, your neighbor can complain of it. You cannot keep your shoes, boxes with potatoes, or bicycles with baby carriages in the tambours. It is forbidden to store flammable liquids (petrol, for example), explosives. Your own balcony should be kept in order, it is forbidden to dry laundry in public places (in a vestibule or on a common balcony.).

Do not leave litter about you and make inscriptions on the walls

Your housing must be kept clean and tidy. If you throw paper on the landing or if you make any inscriptions on the walls, it may the reason for your neighbors to complain about you. You can be punished for unsanitary conditions in your apartment, which causes bad smell to your neighbors.

Keep an eye on pets

In one apartment there can be no more than two pets (two dogs or two cats, or a cat and a dog). If the apartment is owned by several people, there can be only one pet for each family (three cats allowed for three families, etc.), but with mutual consent. The pet must be registered and tax is levied on it together with the communal tax. Also, the dog should be muzzled and leashed and should not knock down or scare your neighbors.


In what way can you complain of your neighbors?

If the neighbors pester you with loud music, unpleasant smells coming from their apartment, night parties, you need to act like this:

If this happens at night, call the police. Although the police have no right to take any action in this case, they must come, file an application and hand the case over to the Housing and Communal Service. And then, as usual: questioning of witnesses, preparation of records of evidence, taking the documents into court, etc. From the moment of complaint to the sitting of the Court, it may take 3 - 4 months.

If the offense occurs at night, you can put in an application to the Housing and Communal Service the next day. As a rule, after receiving your application employees of the Housing and Communal Service react to this in two ways: they either take some preventive measures against the offenders or prepare documents that will be taken into court.

To increase the chance of bringing the perpetrator to justice, you must clearly state in the application:

- the time and place of the violation, if possible - the person who violates the rules of residence;

- witnesses who can confirm your words.

You can also attach audio and video recordings confirming the violation. After that an employee of the Housing and Communal Service visits you, draws up a statement of the offence, interrogates the neighbors (there must be at least two witnesses) and the offender and then the documents are taken into court.


If you have any questions, send them to:

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