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Building work next door and baby's right to sleep?

(23 Posts)
WannabeHippy Mon 01-Jul-13 15:40:38

Hi, just wondered if anyone on here had any experience of extended building work next door and whether their baby is deemed to have any human right to sleep during the day? Really hope someone can help me - 7 months in the owners have finally made contact, and it's just got really noisy. Given their total lack of courtesy so far (ie no attempt to contact us in 7 months), I'm not hopeful they're going to be nice about it...obviously they don't live on site, and the guy involved is a professional developer....the builders already tampered with our water suppy too out of stupidity. Sorry, this is turning into a rant :-). Anyway, I asked them to stop their noise twice now, just wondering where I stand legally, as they say they can do what they like. All help / empathy appreciated!

mumblechum1 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:00:11

You have a common law right to quiet enjoyment of your land, however that doesn't trump your neighbours' right to have building work done.

If the work begins before 8am and ends after about 7pm, you should contact environmental health at your local authority.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Jul-13 17:14:59

I'm sure that during the day they can do what they want.

holidaysarenice Mon 01-Jul-13 17:30:34

Is this your first child?

Your baby doesn't have rights and will soon learn to sleep if you play white noise, have it in the room furthest from the work, take it out in the car/buggy to nap - all of which is good advice anyway.

you don't want your baby to only sleep in silence as you'll never get to run the hoover round.

And yes, they can make building noise all day so get used to it.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Jul-13 17:38:33

7 months of building work though? I think most people would be pissed off in that situation.

WannabeHippy Mon 01-Jul-13 17:38:44

So it seems it's just tough if she can't nap :-( Given the importance of sleep for development seems a bit unfair on her. Thanks mumblechum1 though for the input.

lottieandmia Mon 01-Jul-13 17:40:16

Have they said how long this is going to go on?

PatriciaHolm Mon 01-Jul-13 18:00:59

During the day they can make noise I'm afraid, you have no right to get them to stop. If it's early or late (as mumblwchum1 says), or on Sundays, contact the LA.

Are you in a terrace or semi? Have you got a party wall agreement?

WannabeHippy Mon 01-Jul-13 18:05:01

Sorry, hadn't seen some of these - I never said she was sleeping in silence, but there's a colossal difference between a hoover and demolition work along the whole side of your house, followed by pneumatic drills now to dig new foundations (despite no party wall notice...). And our house is one room wide, every room borders the work, there is no one place quieter than the other. According to the builders it will be noisy for 6 more months. Anyway, I was looking legal viewpoints please rather than anything else, like I said I've been coping with the disturbance for some time already. Thanks all.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 01-Jul-13 18:12:11

There was someone in the Daily Mail last week who'd had noisy building work for 11 years! shock Same house, next door, non-stop for 11 years.

She'd tried everything to get them to be made to stop but legally can't do anything.

You can make them get a party wall agreement. They're meant to have one - maybe contact the planning office of the council as its a planning issue rather than a noise issue. But its only likely to postpone it.

ItStartedInRome Wed 03-Jul-13 02:27:12

OP - Baby does not have a 'human right' to sleep as you ask in your OP. Must be incredibly frustrating to have noise for 7 months. Maybe you could try and come up with a friendly compromise with the builders about times they make less noise? How about aiming for one nap when the builders are on lunch? If they are only doing foundations now what have they been doing for previous 7 months? Hopefully there will be periods that are less noisy.

deXavia Wed 03-Jul-13 02:56:33

Your best bet is to speak with the developer and foreman and reach a compromise. When our neighbours were building we agreed they'd take a lunch break or do smaller jobs between 1 and 2pm. I tried to get the baby down from around 12.15/12.30 so that even with the noise she'd hopefully fall asleep before 1 and get at least an hour. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't but it was a least workable.

popsnsqeeze Wed 03-Jul-13 03:19:41

We had this. When dd was about a month old our neighbours whose home had been an overgrown pile of rubble decided to start building. It was a complete nightmare. DH and I had to literally shout at each other to have a conversation.
We didn't have any rights to stop them building. But we spoke to the foreman and we worked out that he would work at the top of the house in the morning and the downstairs during the afternoons. Didn't help much but at that stage just gave us a tiny bit of relief.

Good luck.

mathanxiety Wed 03-Jul-13 04:27:36

Do they have the necessary permits to get the work done? Check the scope of the work with your council. Interfering with your water supply sounds dodgy - you can check of they are cowboys or licensed. The council can tell you if they have pp and if so for what exactly. It seems strange to me that no notices were issued (if that's the case) asking immediate neighbours for input at the planning permission stage. 13 months of work sounds excessive and I would like to know if they have permission for such an extensive or time consuming job. Drills and hammering for that length of time sounds like piss taking to me.

You could perhaps try to get the baby out of the house for naptime, either in a pram or sling. Not nice in bad weather but it might be a solution.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 12:08:29

Hate to tell you this, but we have been in a similar situation for years!

Our neighbours bought the adjoining semi in July 2007 and instantly put in a planning app, which was approved. They began building work in Feb 2008 and the trouble started. Their builders asked if they could access their garden via ours (we're a corner house) which we agreed - they then proceeded to use our garden for weeks and weeks, ruining my lawn, taking up shrubs, filling my beds with builders rubble. We had to get forceful to stop them and get them to make it good again. They also dumped loads of rubble on our drive and it took us weeks to get them to move it. Then the neighbours ran out of money and so have had to do the work themselves. 5 years later, they're still going and there is no end in sight!

Their drive and front garden are full of crap. Other neighbours in the road regularly comment on it. Thank god we're not trying to sell the house as it would DEFINITELY devalue it!

My DH regularly rings them at 8 or 9 at night to ask them to stop drilling/hammering/sanding or whatever they are doing that is causing my 2 yr old to stare in panic at his bedroom wall because it is so loud.

I have spoken to the council who said that I would need to keep a regular noise diary of dates and times, and then environmental health will intervene. I wish I had started the diary when they started the work, TBH, so would recommend you start now.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 12:09:20

Should mention that we agreed access to our garden for one week, but the builders just took liberties.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 12:10:06

Oh yes, at one point they cut through the electricity cable to our garage, rendering my freezer unusable!

jaabaar Thu 11-Jul-13 09:52:23

I have the same situation. Terraced house and building work for 6 months. Dd3 petrified of drilling and even scared to sleep at nite. Owner was nice though and contacted us before work started etc.

It is extremely annoying.... But they have the right to do their work between 8 and 6 and on Saturday from 8 till 1.

It is the law and it is not noise that is done in a malicious way. So we have to compromise and smile. Accepting what you can't change and is by the law makes it easier.

jaabaar Thu 11-Jul-13 09:54:23

And in my case they damaged the roof and caused damage of 2100 to artwork. Again.... Very annoying. So my right in this case was to have it fixed at their cost.

NoComet Thu 11-Jul-13 10:06:27

DD2 hardly ever napped as she we picked up her sister prom preschool at just the wrong time and she wouldn't go to sleep once DD2 was home.

Doesn't seem to have bothered her development.

I agree noisy in the day is annoying, but you may just have to stick the baby in the pushchair or car and get her a nap and you some peace another way for a bit. I've been known to take a book and walk up a shady bridle path or drive about ending at the bacon butty wagon to eat lunch with a sleeping baby.

fedupandtired Fri 12-Jul-13 22:15:26

If she's very young she'll sleep through anything anyway. If she's a bit older and only having one nap a day then just take her out if she won't sleep at home. If a baby needs sleep they'll sleep through anything.

With regards to "human right to nap in the day", don't think you'll get very far in a court of law with that one. What are you proposing, that no-one anywhere ever carries out building work in case they're within ear shot of someone who might want to sleep during the day? Whilst I can understand your frustration that's just a tiny bit unreasonable don't you think?

BlackSwan Fri 12-Jul-13 22:55:27

Awful - personally, I would throw in the towel and move unless it's ending soon. Huge amount of sympathy for you. Everyone needs their rest.

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