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You will pay a hefty fine if you vacuum after this specific time

© cottonbro studio – Pexels

Tranquility is a precious commodity in our society, especially in big cities. However, the noises of everyday life – whether it's the toilet, the television, a speaker, a microwave or the vacuum cleaner… can quickly become sources of conflict between neighbors. French legislation, concerned with preserving everyone's peace and quiet, has established clear rules to limit noise pollution. Unfortunately, too few people know their contents.

Noise is the law

According to article R. 1336-5 of the Public Health Code, it is prohibited to disturb the tranquility of the neighborhood or the health of individuals by particular noises, whether they come from a person, object or animal under his responsibility. These noises must not exceed a certain duration, repetition or intensity. More explicitly, “no particular noise must, by its duration, repetition or intensity, harm the tranquility of the neighborhood or human health, in a public or private place, whether a person is there herself at the origin or whether through a person, a thing in her care or an animal placed under her responsibility” .

To maintain good neighborly relations and avoid disputes, it is therefore strongly recommended to vacuum during the daytime – i.e. between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. During this time slot, noise is tolerated up to a threshold of 5 weighted decibels. On the other hand, the nighttime period from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. imposes a maximum threshold of 3 decibels weighted according to article R. 1336-7 of the same Public Health Code.

If necessary, you can contact the hygiene services of the town hall (or the regional health agency) so that they can come and measure the noise of your devices. That said, there is still a good dose of common sense: it also depends on the thickness of your walls and the insulation. It takes a little effort when living with neighbors.

The risks involved

Ignoring these rules may result in sanctions… financial. Municipal authorities alerted by disgruntled neighbors may demand the immediate cessation of the noisy activity under penalty of a fine: a fixed fine of 68 euros is applied if payment is made immediately or within 45 days after the recorded offense. Even for a vacuum cleaner. After this period, the fine can increase to 180 euros. In the most serious cases – like those involving party-goers working very late hours – the fine can reach up to 450 euros.

This financial penalty is the same if, for example, you use the mower at unauthorized times. If you have questions on this subject, particularly for public holidays (which were numerous in May), you can also contact your town hall to find out the precise times for carrying out noisy activities.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116