Sunday, April 26, 2009

The right to a day of rest in Tenerife

Enjoying a day of rest can sometimes be very difficult, says this report, which goes on to say that, "There are people who take advantage of weekends and public holidays to undertake work in their homes, bothering the rest of the neighbourhood" (makes it sound like DIY is a much more novel concept in Tenerife than we're used to) and asks, "Can anything be done about it?"

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How many of us would like to live without excess noise? Probably the majority, but the society in which we live makes it ever more difficult to achieve. Almost all of us, at some point, make noise that could disturb others, but is it normal for a neighbour to be hammering away at 8 a.m. on a Sunday or public holiday?

The question came up when a resident of Garachico on the north of Tenerife began undertaking work on their house at weekends and on public holidays, which upset others who were trying to enjoy these days to rest.

Was there a rule that covered this? What could be done to combat it?

It turns out that in Garachico, there is a local by-law (published in the BOP de Santa Cruz on April 2nd, 2003, on pages 5677 and 5685) and the ordinance prohibits all kinds of noise (motors, works, music ...) on public holidays, Saturdays and Sundays and, during the week, after 10 p.m.

(In answer to the question, "When can I do my home improvements?", you're going to have to do them between the time you get home from work and the 10 p.m. curfew, take time off, or pay someone else to do it in work hours.)

The document goes further, indicating, for example, that it is not permitted for animals to spend the night, loose on flat roofs of houses (a common practice resulting in dogs that bark at everything that passes), to sound the horn of vehicles, to rev up a vehicle and many other things that make a noise.

Construction works that use pneumatic drills, compressors, cranes and other types of heavy machinery, can only be carried out Monday to Friday (as long as they are not public holidays), between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Incidentally, most towns in Tenerife have similar rules: in others I've lived in the noise ban came in at 11 p.m., or construction work could be carried out on Saturdays, but only up until 2 p.m. (Check with your local town hall.)

Of course there are countless noisy fiestas, bars, traffic, airports ... to counteract all this "peace", otherwise it would be plain surprising that Spain remains the noisiest country in the world, or the second noisiest country in the world, depending on which report you read, with rules like this in force. 

Nevertheless, can we have an equivalent by-law in the UK to prohibit the use of bloody hover mowers on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays please! smile

Photo by mrdisaster


Fluent in Spanish and having spent 16 years on the island, Pamela Stocks has now been translating, researching and publishing information on customs and events in Tenerife for 25+ years. This takes a considerable amount of time and effort, for which she receives no payment whatsoever. If you find this work useful or interesting, please buy her a coffee. Buy Pamela Stocks a Coffee

1 comment:

John Green said...

Obviously this person would not want to live on Golf Del Sur or Amarilla Golf cos the aircraft coming in to land at the airport! Or down near Veronicas or the Patch in Las Americas cos of people enjoying themselves. However, I can understand the good reasons for having such a law in the first place. Also most community statutes have similar rules about owners and noise. I know mine has.

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