2019-02-13

120 senior tenants get 2,000 USD each for disturbing construction noise

120 senior tenants get 2,000 USD each for disturbing construction noise

Some still consider further legal action

Through a period of three years, the 120 senior citizens in a residential building southeast of Stockholm are periodically suffering from disturbing construction site noise. In January 2019, after tough negotiations also involving the Swedish Union of Tenants, the tenants will receive up to the equivalent of 2000 USD each in compensation.

The noise at hand is emanating from an additional building block situated next to the existing one. Complaints refer to drilling and blasting as well as transportations to and from the construction site.

This is crazy, sometimes I even have to wear hearing protectors inside my home, one tenant told a local news reporter.

Compensation was calculated as up to 20 percent rent reduction through the 11 months when the noise was most intense. Many tenants were far from pleased with the negotiated terms, and the union representative only reluctantly accepted the deal, arguing that rent reduction should be applied throughout the three years. Reportedly, some individual tenants still consider further legal action.

Noise and vibrations

From a (Swedish) legal point-of-view, it doesn’t matter who is technically responsible for the problem at hand, or if their landlord can be regarded as negligent in any way. The applicable law is the same as for most other goods and services: If an apartment building does not provide the environment and comfort the tenants are paying for, it can simply be treated as a breach of contract.

Based on which parts of each apartment was affected, and the degree and duration of disturbances, they can claim reasonable compensation. And, importantly, it doesn’t matter to what extent the tenant is actually staying in the apartment.

The same laws apply for commercial properties.