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Can you force a homeowner to have his house soundproofed?

Verified 10 février 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

No, it is not possible to require the owner of a dwelling to do soundproofing work, except in the case of nuisances related to the deterioration of the sound insulation of the dwelling (condominium).

General case

The owner of a dwelling (house or apartment) cannot be forced to make it sound-proof.

In case of noise nuisance, only the author of the disturbance (the person occupying the dwelling) can be held liable.

Neighbors affected by the noise should therefore address ::

  • owner occupier
  • or, if the dwelling is rented, to the tenant of the dwelling.

However, if the owner is kept informed (example: registered letter with notice of receipt) that its tenant causes nuisance, then the owner must take steps to the troublemaker. If he does not, he may be held responsible.

Deterioration of sound insulation (condominium)

In a condominium dwelling, this deterioration may incur the responsibility of the co-owner vis-à-vis the other co-owners if it causes abnormal neighborhood disturbances.

For example, the nuisance caused by the change of a floor covering (tiles instead of carpet) may be eligible for compensation if the change:

  FYI : if the tenant has decided to change the coating, then the tenant (not the landlord) has to repair the damage suffered by a co-owner.