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Too much vacuuming: Dutch police barge in on man for heinous crime

On today’s episode of weird politie encounters in the Netherlands: the police had to break into a man’s house to stop him from… vacuum cleaning.

Yup, you read that right. A 40-year-old Zwolle resident holds night-vacuuming sessions that last for hours twice every week. As you can imagine, this drives his neighbours well and truly gek (crazy). 

Operation vacuum

In October of 2022, the police forced his door after receiving multiple complaints of vacuum cleaner nuisance. Why? Well, he simply wouldn’t answer (perhaps it was all the noise.)

As AD reports, the matter has now been taken to court, and the housing corporation SWZ sees no other solution than to simply evict the vacuum-man. 🤷

“Electricity is cheaper at night”

In the run-up to the late-night episode fit for a parody show, multiple neighbours complained about the man’s nighttime routine — both to the police and the housing association.

His excuse? “I have a few rooms and some chairs, and I want to clean everything well. Electricity is cheaper at night,” he explains in court. 

Seems like the Netherlands shot itself in the foot with some of its ways to save on energy costs. 👀

But with today’s energy prices, can we really blame the man for wanting to save some money by vacuuming during off-peak hours? According to the prosecutor of the SWZ, we most definitely can.

READ MORE | Dinner time! Man uses air fryer to cook kaasoufflés on NS train

“Local residents hardly sleep at night,” they say, “this is not a question of normal living sounds, but of structural nuisance.” The accused, who came to the Netherlands as a refugee nine years ago, believes that he is being discriminated against.

Pretty petty

As it turns out, the neighbourly rivalry in the building on Oldermannenlaan in Zwolle has a long history, so grab the popcorn and settle down, kids. 

The vacuuming man, who now risks eviction, had previously complained about one of his neighbours’ loud music and washing machine.

@nutiliti Daily life of an upstairs neighbor. Ib: @luielliott #roommates #nobones #fyp ♬ Cotton Eyed Joe – The Hit Crew

In the court in Zwolle, the accused also played a tape of a neighbour singing karaoke in the evening — to demonstrate the noise pollution he had to suffer through. 

“I sing very out of tune,” says the neighbour. (We don’t know about you, but to us, this sounds like a sitcom we would most definitely watch.)

The judge will decide on this case within two weeks, when the man will find out whether or not he will be evicted from his house. 

What do you think about the neighbours’ vacuum feud? Tell us in the comments!

Feature Image:Freepik
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Lyna Meyrer 🇱🇺
Originally from Luxembourg, Lyna moved to the Netherlands for her studies — not expecting to fall in love with all things Dutch as much as she did. After having lived the big-city life in Amsterdam and Utrecht, she's now a local of charming little Leiden. When she's not desperately trying to keep her plants alive, she can be found writing to-do lists, going on long coffee walks, or working up a sweat at the gym.


  1. This seems like very un-Dutch behavior. To me the Dutch seem very respectful of other’s privacy and avoid intruding on neighbors. I feel NL never seems as densely populated as it actually is because the Dutch avoid bothering each other so elegantly. To be fair, my experience of NL is mostly NOT in big cities. Folks in landelijke dorpen may be better neighbors than those in groote steden.


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