The construction industry is developing and becoming more and more important the possibility of a peaceful cohabitation. Especially in the field of residential real estate, both in private and in apartment buildings.
Unfortunately, there are no building codes regarding soundproofing. There are no mandatory double-insulated partitions between apartments and something like that for floors. There are also no double or triple glazing to help residents enjoy peace and quiet in their homes. In a hot climate like ours, residents spend a lot of time on verandas and gardens. This makes the issue of noise all the more relevant. Living in close proximity to others creates problems and resentment among neighbors.
We hear complaints that the furniture is constantly being moved, and the neighbors’ music is played so often that we have learned it by heart.
Some ducts that run through multiple floors and are not properly insulated allow noise to pass through to the point where one neighbor can hear conversations going on in another apartment.
Along with the lack of rules on the part of residents, there is a lack of respect for noise levels, especially when it comes to parties.
In one of our recent projects, we placed a TV socket on each of the verandas. But the Cypriots, as they are, people gathering around the TVs on the street, created inconvenience for the neighbors, as a result of which we removed the sockets. If people were respectful, that would be a good decision.
Some use garages for light industrial work such as car repairs, painting, woodworking, and so on.In addition to being illegal and contrary to building permits, it degrades the quality of neighboring properties, both in appearance and cost. The client commissioned our firm to assess the loss in rent for his property due to the industrial activity of a neighbor.
This is a serious matter (going through the court) and it takes time and expense, in addition to the hostility that will result from it. Unfortunately, there is no one to turn to as the local authorities say they have no legal authority to intervene, and when it comes to the police…
Thus, there is a clear anarchy, caused both by disrespect for neighbors and by non-observance of those few existing rules. In other countries where these things are taken seriously, there are many restrictions on activities. In Switzerland, for example, there are even certain hours of the day when you can mow the lawn.
There is a general disregard for society in Cyprus and people mostly only care about themselves. The mentality is clear when it comes to shared costs in co-building situations. Many refuse to pay, others assume that those who set the amounts are stealing from tenants and want verified bills. After that, there are endless complaints like “but I live on the first floor, why should I pay for the elevator?”.
Unfortunately, the term “quiet enjoyment” is misunderstood, and it will take years for cohabitation to be understood.