The findings come from Swedbank’s real estate affiliate Fastighetsbyrån, and were released on Friday, October 31st to coincide with Neighbour Day (Grannens Dag) in Sweden.
According to the survey, six out of ten Swedes said they were bothered by their neighbours, while 62 percent of respondents said they felt it was they who were doing the disturbing.
“Having good neighbours is really important. In part people don’t want to have disruptive neighbours, but I’ve noticed that just as often potential buyers are worried that they themselves might bother their neighbours,” said Carina Husgård, an estate agent with Fastighetsbyrån in Stockholm.
Neighbour Day was started in 2000 by Kenneth Eneroth, a resident in the central Swedish town of Köping, to honour the region’s abundance of fantastic neighbours.
And judging by the Fastighetsbyrån study, Eneroth must not have lived near many bitter old ladies, who top the list of the sorts of neighbours most Swedes hope to avoid.
According to the survey, 26 percent of respondents said that they would rather not live beside an acerbic, elderly woman sensitive to noise.
“You can never win against an old lady who is alone, tired, and in pain,” said mediator Eleonore Lind to Fastighetsbyrån.
A close second on the list of undesirable neighbours is the boisterous party animal, which 24 percent of survey respondents said they would rather not have living in the apartment next door.
However, only 18 percent of women and 9 percent of men wanted to avoid neighbours who were sex maniacs with a penchant for loud lovemaking and walking around nude.
Fastighetsbyrån suggests approaching the building’s landlord or the cooperative housing association’s governing board to address persistent problems with a neighbour.
Rental or housing association membership contracts often have clauses regarding disturbances which can ultimately result in disruptive residents being asked to move.
Mediator Lind, who specializes in resolving disputes between neighbours, suggests that early introductions are the best way to get off on the right foot with a neighbour.
“You don’t need to be best friends with your neighbour, but at least trying to overcome anonymity can help increase security,” she said.
But if a problem arises, she suggests setting a time to discuss the issue with the offending neighbour in a neutral location, as well as demonstrating to the neighbour how their noises sound to others in the building.
The results are based on two separate studies carried out at the request of Fastighetsbyrån. The first was completed in October by the Reagera polling company and included interviews with 1,253 people aged 20 to 65.
The second was carried out in May by the polling firm Zapera and consisted of 1,074 interviews with respondents between 25 and 64-years-old.