Dutch increasingly annoyed by their neighbors

Czaar Peterbuurt in Amsterdam Centrum
Czaar Peterbuurt in Amsterdam CentrumPhoto: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

More and more Dutch people experience problems from their neighbors or other people, according to figures by the center for crime prevention and safety CCV. Last year the neighborhood mediation organizations received 15 thousand reports from people annoyed at their neighbors, compared to around 13 thousand the year before, ANP reports.

The CCV attributes the increase partly to neighborhood mediation becoming an increasingly well-known service, and partly to people having less patience with each other. "The fact that tempers are getting shorter has been going on for a while", a spokesperson for CCV said to the news wire. "People live in their own bubble and believe that everything should be possible, but they experience more and more nuisance from others."

Most neighbor quarrels are caused by noise, harassment and garden or outdoor problems, such as disagreements about a fence, overhanging branches or smoke caused by a barbecue. These have been on top of the list of frequently occurring annoyances for years, according to the CCV. 

According to the center, there are no major differences in reports between provinces, cities and towns, or neighborhoods. "Quarrels occur in cities and towns throughout the country, and in social housing and luxury villas. People often experience problems from each other."

About three quarters of Dutch municipalities offer neighborhood mediation. According to the CCV, those who do not are missing an opportunity. "It is an accessible and inexpensive service that ensures that residents feel at home in their own homes. In seven out of ten cases neighbor quarrels are resolved satisfactorily", the spokesperson said to ANP.