It is often difficult to find the free time necessary to carry out heavy work whether indoors or outdoors, especially the most laborious for which the work of a few extra pairs of arms cannot be refused. When it comes to checking all the diaries to block time available in common, it quickly becomes more complex and the idea of working on Sundays can come to mind and become obvious. But, although this work concerns private areas, rules of good neighborliness impose some limits. So do we have the right to do our work on the Sunday rest day? And what do we risk by defying the ban? Our answers.
What rules apply to Sunday work?
It’s customary, we say it and we hear it: noise pollution on Sundays is prohibited. If noise, whether day or night, is framed by law, what about the rules that govern this principle induced in community life?
The opinion issued by the National Noise Council
The National Noise Council (CNB) is a competent French organization for all questions concerning “the fight against noise pollution and for the improvement of the quality of the sound environment”. Attached directly to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, it comes together in the form of a commission of an advisory nature only, which means that it can only issue an opinion when requested.
It thus issued a general opinion in favor of DIY only on the following times concerning noisy work:
- Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sundays and public holidays: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Concretely, the opinion of the CNB being the only one issued, there is therefore no legislation on the authorization to carry out work on Sundays.
No legislation therefore no national obligation fixed by law. However, the law regulates noise pollution under the concept of noise by limiting the noise acceptable to the neighborhood adjoining your property to a maximum of 70 dB.
The intervention of the municipalities
The municipalities, which have jurisdiction over public tranquility, have every interest in establishing a municipal decree setting the rules to be respected on all or part of their territory. Sometimes, as in Paris for example, it is a prefectural decree that governs these rules. If generally, the decree takes the same hours as recommended by the CNB, the absence of legislation can cause disparities according to the territories with sometimes a variant on the sacred Sunday rest where noisy work is completely prohibited.
It should also be noted that some very large works require planning permission. Between the viability of the project and the risk of embarrassment, it is therefore better to inquire with the town hall of your municipality before starting.
Sometimes, the condominium regulations can specify the authorized hours of work and annoying noise, mainly by prohibiting heavy work on Sundays and public holidays. Note that for work impacting the external appearance or the common areas, the authorizations of the syndic of co-ownership and the General Assembly of co-owners will be necessary, as well as the respect of a legal deadline of two months for a possible opposition to your neighborhood project.
The layout of your private property must in no way interfere with the daily lives of your neighbours. Thus, you cannot store your materials in the common areas, nor monopolize the elevator, and think about protecting the common areas because the restoration could be expensive.
Beyond the rules, use common sense
The purpose of these notifications? Promote well-being together. Generally speaking, it is in everyone’s interest to simply use common sense by not carrying out very noisy work too early on Saturday mornings or during children’s nap times, for example. We prefer so-called “light” work during these times, such as painting or upholstering indoors and pulling weeds outdoors, which cause little or no nuisance.
The notion of authorized timetable is indicative. Showing courtesy and benevolence with a note to the neighbors in the event of major work will always be appreciated and will often be enough to stifle the beginning of a neighborhood conflict.
What are the risks incurred in the event of non-compliance with these rules of life?
If the concept of nocturnal noise is rather well known, that of daytime noise is much less so. And yet it does exist. Making noise intensely and continuously or repeatedly during the day, even if these nuisances are operated during authorized hours, is therefore just as reprehensible as making it at night. So what is the risk of disturbing the neighborhood in the middle of the day, and especially on Sundays?
The intervention of the syndic in co-ownership
The first step that the neighbors could take against you is an amicable step. First a word in your mailbox, then a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt if the noise continues, or even notify the syndic of co-ownership who could send you a reminder of the rules by mail.
The intervention of law enforcement
In the event of a complaint from neighbours, it is the gendarmerie or the municipal police officers who come, or even the mediation services of the town hall if it does not have a municipal police. Indeed, the town halls have the competence of public tranquility and the gendarmerie intervenes on the nocturnal disturbances reprimanded by law. Thus, it is their responsibility to ensure good order in the territory.
In general, the intervention of the police is intended to put an end to the noise in a spirit of prevention and education. However, if the disorder were to recur or persist following an initial intervention, it is very likely that a fixed fine will be imposed on you, and even expose you to legal proceedings.
Action en justice
If this intervention does not stop the noise pollution, the neighbors can take legal action by filing a case with the court, which must contain in particular a bailiff’s report, or even a petition, and force you to pay them damages. .