Dealing with difficult neighbours in the Netherlands

Dealing with difficult neighbours

Comments6 comments

Our criminal law expert advises a reader on how to deal with a neighbour who refuses to follow the 'house rules', and advises what general steps you can take to resolve the issue.

"My name is Alisa and I come from Bosnia. I have been in Holland since December 2004.

I need some advice about problematic neighbours; a mother living alone with several children. It appears that her (late) husband was involved in the crime world. Since I have lived here I have experienced the family behaving in an antisocial way; for example playing loud music, slamming doors, swearing at and arguing with the neighbours on a daily basis, throwing garbage, including furniture, through kitchen windows and threatening the neighbours with their connections in the criminal world.

Neighbours asked me if I could try to speak to them ... to ask them to follow house rules. They understood me, but were rude back to me and paid no attention to the requests on the neighbours' behalf, and simply directed their anger towards me and my boyfriend.

So the neighbours from our apartment entrance decided to unite and resolve this problem in a legal way. We tried everything. We went to the police and reported it. We wrote an official statement that all the neighbours signed. We called the police several times a day (and night) due to loud noise.

We reported all this several times to the Housing Corporation which is renting these apartments. We also provided them with video clips showing a closet being thrown from the window into the parking lot. But they have done nothing, even when we followed up.

We also had a kind of housing counselling offered by our municipality but no member of the family showed up.

I am deeply disappointed in Dutch society which seems to wait until something happens in order to act, although people try to warn them in advance. All the institutions that we went to as a group of unsatisfied neighbours only talked and did nothing.

I am planning to send a letter to my embassy explaining the situation and asking them to advise me where to go to get protection, since I’ve been threatened by this family several times.

Do you know of any institution that I or we (my neighbours) could go and complain? Any place on a higher level than Municipality? I am completely lost in all the rules and regulations that nobody really is paying attention to.

Many thanks,

Alisa, on behalf of all my neighbours"


 Criminal lawyer David Nauta answers:

Problems with neighbours are common and the problems may vary from a loud neighbour to a neighbour that is involved in criminal activities, such as growing cannabis in their house. As each problem has its individual approach, here are some guidelines.

If talking (and writing) to the neighbour doesn't work, going to the police is an option. Although the reader in this particular case has already done that, I would like to stress the importance of obtaining the reports of the police (in Dutch Proces Verbaal). Also report to the police when any noise made after 19:00 is above 65 Decibels (and 60 Decibels after 23:00). A police officer has equipment to measure and register the noise being made.

Keep track of your reports and any calls you made to the police and let the police make a report for you as well.

If the police can't help you, now is time to contact the landlord or housing cooperation. Let your landlord or cooperation of owners (VVE in Dutch) know that you have troubles with your neighbour. They should be involved and should act as a mediator. The cooperation or landlord has to ensure that you can use your apartment or house without hindrance or nuisance. In the case of a rented apartment I am sure that there is some mentioning of 'house rules' in the contract. If the apartment is privately owned, the VVE has probably issued 'house rules'.

If these house rules are broken, the landlord or cooperation should write to your neighbour. Also, and as a last resort, the landlord/cooperation could start proceedings against your neighbour in other to get them evicted. But this is really a last resort. The court will not be easily seduced to evict a person out of his or her house when the neighbourhood and police didn't try hard enough to improve things.

Remember: if the landlord or cooperation doesn't take action, remind them that the duty of a landlord and cooperation is to ensure that you can live in peace and quiet in your apartment. If they fail to take action, write to them and inform them of their duties. When they fail to take action, you should take legal steps against your landlord.

In short, as a last resort, you should insist that the landlord takes legal action against the tenant. The landlord will be successful at the court to pursue eviction if they have evidence of the nuisance, which in this particular case, seems to be sufficiently present.

David Nauta LL.M., Guapa Legal / Expatica

Note: This column is for informative purposes only and general in nature. It is not intended to be a substitute for competent legal and professional advice.


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6 Comments To This Article

  • SALWN posted:

    on 3rd June 2008, 10:58:30 - Reply

    Hi for all ,if anyone do not know more about islam ,islam hide many facts on the west specialy when they introuduce the quran to the people in the west ,the people in the west do not know any thing aobut the quran if they lie or cheat on those who proclaim them the quran they belive directly without testing is it true or lie anyway i write few lines to the people in the west :

    Firstly some facts about the orginal name of allah is it god of pagans:
    SEE THIS :
    http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/featuredetails.php?sfid=52 AND
    open this link to see the pictuers
    http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-photos-moon-worship-archealolgy.htm AND

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/islam.htm

    See also: www.peter2.net/moon_god.html

    Also: moongod.htm

    the second ,please send to this address he is expert of the islamic affairs in everything :qafltv@yahoo.ca and www.fatherzakaria.net and then click on the botton books in the upper and read what you never hear and see in all your life like lie is permitting if they proclaim or introuduce their book to none muslims,and do you hear about the adult suckling ,women can suckle some one to become her son and ...ect very straing things but they hid it to not dislike the none muslims,just open the books and read .this is few things from may things if you send to qafltv@yahoo.ca the will send you or tell you how the satan also belived in islam and become muslim and inspire the quran www.thequran.com

    God bless all bye i hope all the europe weak from sleapy and come back to the christ.

    and this is some verses about loving women in the good book i meann the gospel:

    Dear friend ,hi jesus bless you,i send you this message
    i hope to read it and send it to all of your friends it will bring the
    lucky LIFE TO YOU and new future.ITS HAPPY NEWS TO ALL WHO WANT TO MARRIGE
    ==============================================
    1-Verses from letter of saint paul to ephesians about loving wives

    http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B49C005.htm

    verses Verses from letter of saint paul to ephesians
    about loving wives and not be bitter against them.

    chapter 5 verses from 21 ,25 to 30.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    2-vereses from letter of saint paul to colosians

    http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B51C003.htm

    verses Verses from letter of saint paul to colossians
    about loving wives and not be bitter against them.

    chapter 3 verses 19 and 25.
    ============================================
    if you want to read the verses of love your wives in the
    gospel please open this
    :http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B49C005.htm
    (chapter 5 verses from 21 ,25 to 30.) and also see this
    link:http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B51C003.htm
    (chapter 3 verses 19 and 25.)

    HAPPY SAINT VALANTINE DAY ,SEE YOU BYE.SEE

    anyone want to convert to the christianity send him this
    site:qafltv@yahoo.ca (they will send you a very beautefull
    gift also just send them)send this message to all of your
    friends,see also very important things its uncredible
    things and very dangerous things open this site:
    http://www.webstarts.com/sites/0306/bio_search_designer@yahoo.com/s_1196930084416/
    but if you want to read also the arabic text convert from the view menu
    and then choose encoding and then choose more and then unicode utf-8
    ==============================================
    Testimonials from www.christiancafe.com
    I have found the love of my life. I met the love of my life on ChristianCafe.com.
    I had just come out of an abusive relationship and I was looking for someone to
    love and to be loved by. Then I found Wayne. We are soul mates. We have so much in
    common.
    We have been together almost five months and they have been the best months of my life. I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome program.
    Julie-jewels894 {Missouri}

    if anyone want to send him pictures i designed it about loving wifes its amaze picture you can print it in any size i can send it to you send me at:bio_search_designer@yahoo.com or at:hebasalwan_albana@yahoo.com

    if you send me i will provide you areport witch show you that the birth of rate of islam is very high and in the future will be the first relegion in the europe
    c u bye.



    salwn posted: 03-06-2008 | 10:51 AMthis is a report show you the percent of islam according to european nation and the islam will be the first relegion the all the europe

    Very Important And Danger Report
    The Future Of European’s Land
    Europe's Muslim street
    By omer taspinar
    Visiting fellow,foreign policy studies
    slam may still be a faraway religion for millions of Americans but for Europeans it is local pllitices.the 15 million Muslims of the European union(eu) –up to three times as many as live in the united state-are becoming a more powerful political force than the fabled Arab street. Europe's Muslims hail from different countries and display diverse religious tendencies,but the common denominator that links them to the Muslims world is their sympathy for Palestine and Palestinians. And unlike most of their Arab brethren growing numbers of Europe's Muslims can vote in elections that count.this political ascendance threatens to exacerbate existing strains within the trans-atlantic relationship.the presence of nearly 10 million muslims versus only700.000 jews in the france and germany alone helps explain why continental Europe might look at the middle east from a defferent angle than does the united states.indeed French and german concerns about a unilateral u.s. attach on iraq or Washington 's blind support for Israel are at least partly related to nervousness about the muslim street at home .whether Brussels,berlin,paris,or Washington like it or not ,Europe muslim constituencies are likely to become an even more vocal forein policy lobby .two trends are empowering europe's muslim street:demographics and opportunities for full citizenship.it's worth remembering hat eurpe's consequence of actions taken nearly a half century ago.during the postwar labor shortage in the 1950's and 1960's ,tunks,Algerians,Moroccans,Tunisians,and Pakistanis were called to help spur europe's iconomic recovery. No host country expected these 'guest-workers' as the germans called them with characteristic frankness ,to overstay their welcome .like all good guests ,they were supposed to leave ,preferably when the recession hit and the party was over in the 1970's .they didn't .instead ,their families joined thim ,and new generations of European turks.algerians,and Tunisians,and Pakistanis were born.more are on the way.today the muslim birth rate in Europe is three times higher than the non – muslimsone .if current trends continue,the muslim population of europe will nearly double by 2015 ,while the non-muslim population will shrink by 3.5 percent. A parallel process of muslim enfranchisement is accompanying this population surge.nearly half of the 5 million to 7 million muslims in france are already French citizen .the situation is similar for most of the 2 million muslims in great Britain .most recently,in 2000 ,germany join the countries whrer itizenship is granted according to birthplace instead of ancestr.the new german citizenship laws added already a half million voters to the rolls and have opened the road to citizenship to all other muslims in germany.whith currently 160.000 new muslim citizens a year ,the number of voters might total 3 million in the nest decade. In germany and elsewhere in Europe, a muslim swing vote is already having a critical impact.consider the ilectoral push that newly enfranchised 'german turks' gave to germany's incumnent social democrat(spd)-green coalition in last september's down-to-the-write election.these muslim germans pnished the anti-immigrant Christian democrats,sho oppose turkey's membership to the eu.and they expressed their gratitude for efforts by the spd green coalition to change the archaic laws of german citizenship.the bad news for the german Christian democrats is that in the next general election in 2006,roughly 1 million german turks will e eager to cast their votes.a big boost to the organization capacity of muslims in Europe cane most recently from france ,home to europe's largest mulsim community.the country's diverse muslim community is now represented by a unified French council of the Islamic faithu-apotential boon to its lobbying colut.french mulslims have also gain higher political visliblitity with the inclusion in prime minister jean-pierre raffarin's govermment of two cabinet members of north African origin.armed with the power of the vote and quickly learning the mechanics of lobbying,the muslims street in Europe is on its way to having more political weight then the arab street of Egypt or Saudi Arabia.but the attacks of September 11 have cast the growing influence of European muslims in a more ominous light.although the overwhelming majority of muslims living in Europe(or for that matter,the united states)are peaceful and law abiding,many European governments worry under their breath about the role of some European mulsims in past and future terrorist attachs-a concern stoked by the discovery of al qaeda cells in germany ,france,italy and Britain .given these not-so-latent suspicions and prejudices,one casualty of a major Islamic terrorist attach on European soil would likely be europe's budding multiculturalism.another major concern is the relationship between europe's muslims and what is perceived in some quarters as europe's growing anti-semitism..true, continental Europeans are much more supportive of the palestintan cause.overal,Europeans have a difficult time understanding how a small country like Israel can have so much influence over the sole superpower.but few in the u.s notice that the communities most resentful of Israel n Europe are muslim.the perpetrators of anti-Semitic incidents in france are not right-wing extremists protecting the 'french race' from jewish contamination:the 400or so anti-semitic incidents documented in the country during 2001 have mostly been attributed to muslim youth of north African origin.such incidents tend to spike upwards mbility also contribute to the frustration of muslims in Europe, who aften fell discriminated against.on the positive side,demographic growth and enfranchisement are already integrating European Muslims into the politicalmainstream and have the potential to produce a moderate type of euro-islam.yet the implications of a more vocal muslim lobby in europe's middle east policy offer no good news for the u.s .home to a minuscule jewsh minority and growing muslim masses,Europe will only get better at confronting the u.s at the game of ethnic-looby influence-a small price to pay, perhaps,for the emergence of a truly multicultural Europe.


  • salwn posted:

    on 3rd June 2008, 10:38:44 - Reply

    Hi for all ,if anyone do not know more about islam ,islam hide many facts on the west specialy when they introuduce the quran to the people in the west ,the people in the west do not know any thing aobut the quran if they lie or cheat on those who proclaim them the quran they belive directly without testing is it true or lie anyway i write few lines to the people in the west :

    Firstly some facts about the orginal name of allah is it god of pagans:
    SEE THIS :
    http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/featuredetails.php?sfid=52 AND
    open this link to see the pictuers
    http://www.bible.ca/islam/islam-photos-moon-worship-archealolgy.htm AND

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/islam.htm

    See also: www.peter2.net/moon_god.html

    Also: moongod.htm

    the second ,please send to this address he is expert of the islamic affairs in everything :qafltv@yahoo.ca and www.fatherzakaria.net and then click on the botton books in the upper and read what you never hear and see in all your life like lie is permitting if they proclaim or introuduce their book to none muslims,and do you hear about the adult suckling ,women can suckle some one to become her son and ...ect very straing things but they hid it to not dislike the none muslims,just open the books and read .this is few things from may things if you send to qafltv@yahoo.ca the will send you or tell you how the satan also belived in islam and become muslim and inspire the quran www.thequran.com

    God bless all bye i hope all the europe weak from sleapy and come back to the christ.

    and this is some verses about loving women in the good book i meann the gospel:

    Dear friend ,hi jesus bless you,i send you this message
    i hope to read it and send it to all of your friends it will bring the
    lucky LIFE TO YOU and new future.ITS HAPPY NEWS TO ALL WHO WANT TO MARRIGE
    ==============================================
    1-Verses from letter of saint paul to ephesians about loving wives

    http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B49C005.htm

    verses Verses from letter of saint paul to ephesians
    about loving wives and not be bitter against them.

    chapter 5 verses from 21 ,25 to 30.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    2-vereses from letter of saint paul to colosians

    http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B51C003.htm

    verses Verses from letter of saint paul to colossians
    about loving wives and not be bitter against them.

    chapter 3 verses 19 and 25.
    ============================================
    if you want to read the verses of love your wives in the
    gospel please open this
    :http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B49C005.htm
    (chapter 5 verses from 21 ,25 to 30.) and also see this
    link:http://www.htmlbible.com/kjv30/B51C003.htm
    (chapter 3 verses 19 and 25.)

    HAPPY SAINT VALANTINE DAY ,SEE YOU BYE.SEE

    anyone want to convert to the christianity send him this
    site:qafltv@yahoo.ca (they will send you a very beautefull
    gift also just send them)send this message to all of your
    friends,see also very important things its uncredible
    things and very dangerous things open this site:
    http://www.webstarts.com/sites/0306/bio_search_designer@yahoo.com/s_1196930084416/
    but if you want to read also the arabic text convert from the view menu
    and then choose encoding and then choose more and then unicode utf-8
    ==============================================
    Testimonials from www.christiancafe.com
    I have found the love of my life. I met the love of my life on ChristianCafe.com.
    I had just come out of an abusive relationship and I was looking for someone to
    love and to be loved by. Then I found Wayne. We are soul mates. We have so much in
    common.
    We have been together almost five months and they have been the best months of my life. I just wanted to say thank you for this awesome program.
    Julie-jewels894 {Missouri}

    if anyone want to send him pictures i designed it about loving wifes its amaze picture you can print it in any size i can send it to you send me at:bio_search_designer@yahoo.com or at:hebasalwan_albana@yahoo.com

    c u bye.

  • Same old posted:

    on 23rd April 2008, 23:08:31 - Reply

    Am I the only one seeing this, or the "legal advice" offered here is completely pointless? All the remedies offered by the attorney were already tried. This is not legal advice - it's just repeating her words in a different way.
  • Vito posted:

    on 8th April 2008, 08:24:31 - Reply

    Have the locks changed on their doors, maybe they will get the hint?
    If that don't work get a freshly severed horse head for their bed...
  • Not A Victim posted:

    on 8th April 2008, 08:20:55 - Reply

    If they were real criminals they would not threaten you, they would act. They are wannabes that try and threaten people and are often successful doing so, so of course they will not stop using a method that works for them so often.
    I agree with Guy Next Door, get even, if you are scared then don't get caught, but get rid of them.
  • Guy next door posted:

    on 8th April 2008, 08:13:46 - Reply

    Wait until they are not in the house and toss all their posessions on the street.