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House rules Two-thirds of Swiss find their neighbours annoying

Swiss flats

Cigarette smoke emanating from balconies and use of common areas are frequent sources of strife among neighbours


Noise, cigarette smoke and disputes over shared laundry facilities are among the most common complaints Swiss have about their neighbours, a new survey shows. More than one in 10 even have several arguments a year.

Overall, 64% of respondents to the survey by comparison site comparis.chexternal link say they are bothered by something about their neighbours. Close to one-third cited noise (28%) from sources such as conversations, the sound of steps, children, loud music and parties as the main problem. Other top complaints include neighbour antipathy (16%), cigarette smoke in staircases and on balconies (14%), and nosy neighbours (12%).

What bothers Swiss most about neighbours

What bothers Swiss most about neighbours

When reacting to nuisances, one-third (31%) choose to talk directly with their neighbours, while 14% approach their landlord instead. Residents in German-speaking Switzerland are more reluctant to take action, with 28% remaining silent compared to 15% of respondents in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino.

One in six (16%) reports having moved out as a result of conflict with neighbours.

Reactions to nuisances

Reactions to nuisances

With two out of three people in Switzerland living in flats, landlords often set house rules to help residents co-exist in close quarters. Common rules range from keeping noise levels down on Sundays and holidays, to prohibiting pets.


Brochure in 16 languages on renting a flat in Switzerland (Federal Office for Housing)external link and agencies

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