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Right to a nap

In order to fulfil my long-term dream, I’ve bought a dog recently. When the puppy turned 3 months, he discovered that high-pitched barking on the stairwell is a great method of forcing things on me. Aside from the fact that any such mischief gives me a headache, every time I wonder when I will receive an eviction suit.

In order to compensate the neighbours for my pet's misbehaviour (especially during the night curfew), I decided to research into their right to have a calm rest.

The right to rest helps to maintain health which is undoubtedly a personal right of every human, protected by law. If one's personal interests have been unlawfully infringed, they may demand that the results of the infringement be removed and if the interests are threatened, one may request the infringing actions to be ceased. Consequently, if our right to rest is disturbed by the reprehensible behaviour of our neighbours, the right to protect our health is often linked to the right to protect the integrity of home which is also a personal right protected by law. Each of us is entitled to use their apartment only to such extent that does not infringe, beyond standard extent, the right of the others to use their real properties.

Among the interesting cases that the courts considered in this regard, it is worth quoting the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Cracow (I ACa 999/18) of August 2, 2019. The court explained in a wonderful manner that "an apartment should be a place of undisturbed mental and emotional comfort related to a necessary rest from physical and emotional fatigue, essential for every human being". In this case, the court granted protection to people who lived in an apartment located next to a warehouse where sales were being conducted. Facilities installed on the neighbour's premises (including noisy ventilation) and deliveries to the property resulted in the emission of constant noise which made it impossible for the plaintiffs to rest in their own apartment.

In addition to the above-mentioned regulations of the Civil Code, there are provisions of other acts which stipulate, inter alia, that each tenant may bring an action for termination by the court of the legal relationship entitling another tenant to use the premises, if the tenant violates the domestic order in a flagrant or persistent manner, thus making it a pain to use other premises in the building. I have not found any judgments that would describe a similar situation to the one my dog puts me in. It is worth paying attention to the fact that the judgments issued on the basis of these regulations include cases describing tenants who do not care about a proper sanitary or technical condition of their own apartments. In this way, they pose a threat to the health and life of other tenants (e.g. by hoarding rubbish and thus allowing the infestation of worms).

With respect to criminal law, it is worth mentioning Art. 51 of the Petty Offenses Code, which refers to shouts, noises or other misconducts disrupting your bedtime. One of the most interesting judgments in this regard is the judgment of the District Court in Koszalin in the year 2013. The case concerned an owner of a bar in a seaside town who would disturb the night curfew by playing music too loudly. The court finally found, inter alia, that the act had "a fairly low degree of social harm" and they ultimately did not punish the accused. The proceedings in this case lasted almost 2 years.

All in all, before you call in for the big guns and decide to sue your neighbour, you should assess whether the nuisances really exceed the average measure and how persistent they are. You will also need to collect evidence to support your allegations. Provided that, while a dog's barking, a neighbour's trumpet solo or drilling in the wall is not frequent and falls within certain "decency" limits, it may be disproportionate to use the radical legal tools. However, the above-mentioned regulations are worth remembering in the event of more serious violations of our right to rest which is our inalienable personal right.

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