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Dirty laundry and noise: Switzerland’s nuisance neighbour problem

Laundry hanging in Switzerland
Airing dirty laundry: Swiss neighbours can be rowdier than expected. Keystone

According to a survey, almost one in three people in Switzerland has been in a dispute with neighbours, mostly over noise pollution, laundry problems, non-compliance with parking regulations and property disputes.

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Some 43% of those surveyed tried to resolve the conflict by speaking with their neighbours, 24% were quietly annoyed and 22% contacted the property management company. Only 7% called the police, according to the survey published on Tuesday by the Zurich-based Marketagent Institute.

+ How to behave on a Swiss train

More than a third of those surveyed found arguments with neighbours stressful. The majority of respondents (80%) blamed their neighbours for the dispute.

In addition to disturbances of the peace, non-compliance with the laundry schedule or a dirty laundry room were the most often cited offences. However, parking behaviour and disputes regarding property boundaries, for example over fencing or planting, also often led to conflicts.

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Many disputes also started because communal areas such as the stairwell were used to store personal belongings.

Translated from German by DeepL/mga

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