Putting the washing machine at night has become an alternative for many consumers following the entry into force of the new electricity bill, which distinguishes three time slots depending on their cost, being from 00.00 to 08.00 hours on cheaper. However, the noise caused by this measure is incompatible with the savings in most large Spanish cities, which set lower noise limits in this time slot even those of the washing machine spin.
Barcelona has a municipal ordinance against the use of household appliances at night, a common practice due to the new electricity bill. This ordinance prohibits the use of washing machines and other appliances at night, in the so-called “valley time” of the new electricity tariff due to the noise they cause.
In fact, one week after the launch of the new electricity bill, the operation of these appliances at night has already caused some discrepancies between neighbors.
So can my neighbors complain if I put the washing machine on at night for the new light bill?
Yes. The maximum noise levels in the communities of owners are regulated , among others, in the Building Ordinance Law, the Horizontal Property Law, the Noise Law, as well as other regional decrees or municipal ordinances. of Protection of the Urban Environment.
In addition, there is a provision in the Civil Code on the rules of good coexistence that also prohibits improper emissions in the homes of residents. With all these regulations any type of emission that impairs the normal enjoyment of the home is prohibited.
How is it regulated in neighboring communities?
The Law of Horizontal Property states in its article 7 that the president, on his own initiative or that of the affected owners or tenants, will require the person carrying out the prohibited activities to cease immediately. However, it is always advisable to try it in a friendly way at first. “If the first personal contact is useless, there is no choice but to manage it. through the community of owners if there is a disposition to this or with particular claims ”, underlines the lawyer. In extreme cases, the community may request a civil proceeding after convening a meeting and agreement between the neighbors.
And in municipal legislation?
The recommendations of the Government of Spain clash head-on with the municipal ordinances of some Spanish cities such as Barcelona, where the use of noisy appliances is prohibited from 21.00 hours at night . Those who use an appliance after the set time would face a penalty ranging from 750 to 3,000 euros.
Is it different if I’m renting?
It has no significance. In the administrative way, it doesn’t matter if the violation is committed by the landlord or the tenant: the person who performs the act needs to be attended to. In civil proceedings, for its part, it will be agreed to require the owner. But it does not matter who occupies it, the procedure is the same.
How many decibels can I get?
The maximum noise levels (measured in decibels) vary depending on the interior stay of the house where we are (bedrooms, living rooms, kitchen and bathroom …) and the time slot of the noise. The Barcelona Municipal Ordinance provides that the limit for daytime hours is 30-40 decibels and during the night the limit is between 25 and 30 decibels .
Save on your new electricity bill: How much noise does a washing machine make at night?
The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) notes that the noise level during the wash cycle is between 46 decibels (dBA), at best, and 57 dBA, at worst. As for the centrifuge, it can range between 58-70.5 dBA , figures that exceed the limits set by the municipal ordinance of Barcelona.
What fine could I get for using a washing machine at night to save on my new electricity bill?
As we said before, in Barcelona, anyone who uses an appliance after 9pm faces a penalty that will range between 750 and 3,000 euros.
What if my neighbors report me?
As explained by the OCU, if the sentence is estimated, in addition to the immediate cessation of the activity, compensation could be demanded and deprivation of the right to use the housing or premises for up to three years and the end of the contract if you are a tenant. The lawsuit should include all residents in the home, as when there is compensation is granted by each affected.
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