Noisy neighbours are getting noisier, loud music tops the chart

Balconies are a source of noise. Photo:

Complaints about noisy neighbours have increased by 10% in the last three years, according to research by the Volkskrant.

The biggest grievance is loud music in homes and during garden parties, followed by noise generated by people on balconies, an analysis of half a million police noise nuisance reports showed.

‘A complaint about noise often turns out to be related to other problems, such as domestic violence or drugs,’ Rotterdam police spokesman Wim Hoonhout told the paper.

Police are often in the front line for complaints because housing corporations ‘turn off the lights at 5pm,’ Hoonhout said. Most complaints are referred to the corporations and local council teams with police only intervening in case a conflict between neighbours escalates into violence.

According to data collected by the housing corporations, the noisiest neighbours are people with psychological problems and drug addicts.

The increase in complaints is a result of transferring the care of vulnerable people to their homes and concentrating them in cheap homes in problem neighbourhoods,’ a spokesperson for Aedes housing corperation told the Volkskrant.

The good news is that the number of complaints about noise from bars, terraces and events has dropped because of stricter norms and better policing, the paper writes.

Rotterdam and Amsterdam have the highest noise complaint score with student cities Groningen, Nijmegen and Utrecht following close behind. 4 percent of complaints is related to student accommodation.

On the Wadden islands Vlieland and Terschelling bars are the main culprits, the paper found. Most complaints come in on summer nights while the end of December shows a peak in complaints about nuisance caused by illegally fired off fireworks. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
Donate via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.