My neighbor’s dog is barking, what can I do?

Barking may constitute an abnormal neighborhood disturbance.
Barking may constitute an abnormal neighborhood disturbance. (©Igor Normann / AdobeStock)

You are working from home or relaxing quietly in your living room, and continuous barking is heard from your neighbor’s house. If you’re not a fan of earplugs, then you’re probably wondering how to get out of this embarrassment. Here are some leads.

What the law says ?

Classified in the category of abnormal neighborhood disturbances, barking is generally a civil matter rather than a criminal matter. Article 1384 of the Civil Code specifies in particular: “One is responsible not only for the damage that one causes by one’s own act, but also for that which is caused by the act of the persons for whom one must answer, or for things that the we have in his custody. »

Each is therefore liable for damages caused by his animals.

The Public Health Code also applies, and mainly its article R1336-5: “No particular noise must, by its duration, its repetition or its intensity, affect the tranquility of the neighborhood or the health of the man, in a public or private place, whether a person originates it himself or whether through the intermediary of a person, thing of which he has custody or of an animal placed under his responsibility. »

Abnormal noises

According to the justice conciliator Paul Pourrat, “we must first qualify the abnormality of the noise. We live in a noisy environment, but a dog barking all day in an apartment is abnormal. »

Article R1336-5 of the Public Health Code lays down three important criteria: duration, repetition and intensity noise. Does your neighbor’s dog bark continuously or only once in a while? “And this is not appreciated in the same way depending on the place: there are noises that we will accept much more easily in the countryside than in the city. Like, for example, the barking of a dog or the crowing of a rooster. »

Talk to your neighbor

The first thing to do is obviously to go find your neighbor to explain the problem and manage amicably. After all, he may not know that his dog barks so much.

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We see too many people who come to see us without even having spoken to their neighbour. We are there to serve as their intermediary but only if there is no possible discussion.

Paul PourratJustice Conciliator

If your neighbor doesn’t want to hear anything, you can send him a mail with acknowledgment of receipt. It’s not mandatory, but it will prove that you contacted them to try to resolve the conflict.

Talk about it around you

If your neighbor is a tenant, you can also write to its owner. “The landlord of the indelicate neighbor must be involved as much as possible because, in a rental contract, it is established that the landlord must ensure that the use of the premises does not harm the neighborhood. »

A bailiff’s report or testimonials from neighbors can also support your approach. “Often, people make a petition, it proves the repetition and the intensity of the barking. »

Call on the justice conciliator

If the noise pollution continues, the next step is to appeal to the justice conciliator, which is necessary before you can file a complaint. For all civil matters, since 1er January 2020, the judges hearing a case of less than €5,000 or for neighborhood disturbances must indeed ask prior conciliation.

“Abnormal disturbances in the neighborhood represent 18% of our activities”, continues the conciliator. “But we are not here to judge or to advise, only to compare opinions in order to reach an agreement. »

In general, people want to find common ground and, above all, do no harm to the animal. “Sometimes plaintiffs even defend the dog left alone at home. And solutions – anti-bark collar or dog moved into the neighbor’s family, for example – can bring the two parties to agreement.

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