Hate thy neighbour: Disputes among neighbours in Berlin are on the rise

Hate thy neighbour: Disputes among neighbours in Berlin are on the rise

Coronavirus in Germany has, for the past year, forced people to spend a lot more time than usual inside their homes. This has led to a rise in people working from home, businesses being forced to close, and neighbours driving each other absolutely crazy.

Noisy neighbours in Berlin

The Berlin tenants’ association has recorded an increase in disputes between neighbours during the course of the pandemic. These quarrels are often resolved out of court, usually through a mediator. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for mediation has increased by around 25 to 30 percent," says Yvonne Vita, who works as a mediator herself.

One of the biggest problems for people living in Berlin is noise. Children are regularly at the centre of these disputes, as they have often found themselves confined to their homes following the closure of schools and childcare centres. Couple this with more and more people working from home and you have not only very annoyed parents but a lot of frustrated neighbours too.

Since gyms, fitness centres and other sports facilities closed, working out at home has also become an increasingly popular phenomenon. However, this has led to an increase in neighbourly differences. Renovations have also often been the cause of clashes between neighbours.

Bringing neighbours together

Friday, May 28, marked “European Neighbours' Day”, a day meant to celebrate neighbourly love and reconnect with those closest to us (literally in the house next door).

Across the country, campaigns were set up to promote friendship and conviviality amongst neighbours, with people taking part in activities such as sports, barbecues and gardening. According to Vita, "Any communication in a positive sense is good for a functioning neighbourhood."

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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