Neighbour complaining about my children's noise playing in the garden

(173 Posts)
IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:10:54

We just moved into a garden flat after not having a garden for most of my children's lives. We have had landscape gardener's in for two weeks and they are now mostly finished transforming the garden. The garden is over 100ft and we have divided it into areas. There is a bark chipped area near the back (though not right at the back) where we have put the trampoline. At the back of our garden is the garden to another house which is side on to ours (so you come out of our place, turn right and right again onto a side road and theirs is the first house so it runs perpendicular to our garden if that makes sense). Their garden is quite small and they have an extension that is not that far from the boundary between our gardens.

Today the man that lives there came to complain about the noise my children were making. He works from home in the extension and says they are too noisy on the trampoline and he can't hear to make phone calls.

My kids are aged almost 9, almost 6 and almost 2. They are all boys and we moved to this place specifically for the garden space. I home school my children so they are in the garden during the day on and off between about 9am and 5pm. The last three days we have had friends around so it has been noisier than usual. I did explain all this to the man. He said he thought we were running a nursery here! I assured him I was not!

So,he wants us to move the trampoline. He says that we only put it at the back of the garden to keep the noise away from our house (NOT TRUE!). I am unwilling to move it as we have specifically safety surfaced that area for it. I asked if there were specific times of day that he would prefer them not to be playing there - he said no as he works all day. He also mentioned his need to relax in his garden at the weekend.

So, what would you do? Would you move the trampoline? WOuld you ask your kids to be quiet when they are out there? Or would you ignore him?

JodieO Wed 19-May-10 21:48:09

I think Ivykaty makes a good point about working and rates.

I wouldn't move the trampoline (although we have a climbing frame) but I do ask mine to keep it down and if it gets too noisy with screaming and shouting then they have to come inside. They are 8, 6 and 2. I know I wouldn't want to hear lots of screaming all the time so I expect my neighbours don't either!

They obviously do play and make some noise but I make sure they keep it down and aren't fighting etc.

IveStillGotIt Wed 19-May-10 21:48:25

Tell the stupid arsehole to fuck off, thats what I would do!
The stupid old bitch next door to me moans about the stupidist of things, i.e she can hear ds jumping about on his wii through the wall (this is during the day, after school, not 10pm!), she was moaning that my grass, in MY garden was too long, and if I didn't cut it she would phone the council!
WTF has MY garden got to do with that old bag, it's not as if it was over-flowing into HER garden. Fucking busy-body!
OP- YANBU, that twat is, your dc's are in their own garden, playing DURING THE DAY, not 10pm, so tell him to fuck off and mind his own!

ravenAK Wed 19-May-10 21:50:43

...& you obviously think it's inappropriate for your other neighbours' kids to be screaming round their garden now.

I agree, it is, but equally, it'd be considerate not to have your lot doing likewise all day!

A bit of compromise & consideration might go a long way.

Butterball Wed 19-May-10 21:51:11

Honestly, I'm not some grumpy old woman. blush I HE too so mine are out in the garden all day too. I'm very aware that all other gardens are very quiet as older children are all at school. If I had a grumpy neighbour glowering over the fence I'd just ignore them too as mine aren't making an unreasonable amount of noise.

I only posted about moving the trampoline as a gesture towards your grumpy neighbour so you didn't end up with the kind of relationship I ened up with in my last house. But you sound like you have similar with your other neighbour anyway!

You do sound like you've been reasonable so I shall change my vote to just ignore him. wink

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:52:14

Why is everyone assuming I am not supervising my children just because the trampoline is at the bottom of the garden? I am usually out there with them (though not always), especially if my littlest is on it. When we have friends here (which is when the noise is highest), we are all out there together - adults too. It seems odd to assume the noise level is due to a lack of supervision.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:54:36

Do you really NOT think it is too late for children to be out screaming in the garden at 10pm?? shock But that is not my issue with the neighbours from hell anyway - nothing to do with the kids screaming in the garden at this time of night. Due to the layout of my flat, I can only hear it if I go in the kitchen so it is not bothering me at all. I mentioned it as it will clearly be annoying the neighbour who complained (and he said as much earlier to me) so I was using it to show that I thought he might be glad my kids are not doing that!

colditz Wed 19-May-10 22:00:40

I would do nothing. The noise of children playing between 9 and 5 is, if you work near wherew children live, an occupational hazard.

In other words, tough shit. He should buy some ear guards if it's bothering him that much.

ravenAK Wed 19-May-10 22:06:38

No, I agree with you, it's bloody inconsiderate of your other neighbours.

I just think there's a parallel between their antisocial behaviour & yours.

If you said to your neighbour, OK, we'll ban noisy garden activities until the afternoon, so at least you get a morning for quiet working before the kids all kick off, I'd be agreeing with you that he should shut up & put up.

But it does sound like the poor bloke is subjected to it all day AND all night! No wonder he's fed up.

tatt Wed 19-May-10 22:07:11

OP I am actually surprised that you feel your children have the right to live their lives without considering other people. They need to learn to consideration for others, not to expect the world to always adapt to them. If you want them to have total freedom they will be unbearable later in life.

You don't think your neighbours have a right to do as they please when it bothers you and are already planning action against them. You have totally different standards when you are the one causing the problem.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 22:15:10

I do not feel my children have the right to live their lives without consideration to others. Quite the opposite. Anyone who knows me in RL would tell you that one of my bug bears is people who live that way. And I have talked to my children about noise and the garden.

However, I do not think that what they are doing is unreasonable. Or the hours they are doing it. As was pointed out before, this is a residential area, not an office area. They are making residential type noise during the daytime.

aactionmum Wed 19-May-10 22:18:24

Ignore. Council won't do anything, because they only interfere if you play loud music,TV etc. Noise made by children playing in the garden, or in the house is not considered as nuisance. That's what my council told me.

WoTmania Wed 19-May-10 22:20:29

Raven - I think OP has suggested working out times when the children can or can't play outside but he doesn't want them making any noise at all. Ever.

paisleyleaf Wed 19-May-10 22:24:22

My mum lives very close to a family with a trampoline. it's the actual repetitive, creaking, spring, noise of the trampoline that can do your head in too.

OtterInaSkoda Wed 19-May-10 22:24:53

Hmm. I don't think three bouncing, shrieking DCs is "residential^ noise. Well at least it isn't all day, every day. Having said that, you say you've tried to negotiate times that he'll tolerate the noise so you're not being that unreasonable really.

However, you also ask, "If someone worked shifts and had to sleep during the day, surely you would not think that the world should be quiet for him?". To which I'd reply, "Well, yes". For example none of the neighbourhood DCs play outside number 35 in the day because the chap who lives there works all night in a factory. That's fair enough, imo. I remember doing the same as a child - keeping quiet near number whateveritwas that is, not working in a factory. They'd banned 7yos from working in factories by the mid-70s. At least in Wiltshire they had... grin

Lotkinsgonecurly Wed 19-May-10 22:25:36

OP, I completely get the children's need to exercise during the day. But maybe the neighbour would be more used to 'school type hours'. As some others have suggested can you compromise and suggest the children won't play on the trampoline during term time between 9 - 3pm apart from a lunch break 12 - 1 ? That way the children can play freely after 3pm and during lunch but the neighbour will be free to work relatively quietly during the morning? Weekends and holidays will just have to be a free for all. Perhaps the your dc's can have alternate play sessions during the mornings closer to the house and therefore away from the neighbours house?

Obviously there may be some exceptions to this but if you warned him, ie tomorrow lots of kids, then he could make alternate arrangements?

traceybath Wed 19-May-10 22:27:46

Agree with those who say that when you work from home the risk you take is there will be noise from gardens etc.

As long as your children aren't making excessive amounts of noise - I think he's just going to have to accept that there will be more noise than there was.

ravenAK Wed 19-May-10 22:29:09

Yes, I get that, & I agree that he can't expect any such thing.

I just don't see that it'd be such a mahoosive problem for the OP to restrict riotous use of the garden to after lunch, say, thereby reclaiming the moral high ground...she could then point out that he's had all morning to enjoy reasonable quiet, & that her dc aren't the ones disturbing his evenings.

To my mind, it'd just be more neighbourly.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 22:33:08

Raven, I see your point about being reasonable. I just can't see it working for us. Our day is just not structured like that. The boys often go on the trampoline before they start working (not too loudly!) and it helps them work better. They take short breaks during their work (we often work outside at the moment as the weather is good) to play on the trampoline. Some days we are in and some days we are out (which I did explain to him). Some days we have friends here and some days we don't (again explained to him).

ravenAK Wed 19-May-10 22:41:17

It seems you aren't willing to alter any of that?

I'm not convinced that anyone actually needs regular trampoline breaks.

I do see that you've tried to be pleasant with him, & that he's a killjoy.

But it does come across rather as 'we do what we like, when we like, & stuff anyone it inconveniences'.

anonandlikeit Fri 21-May-10 21:41:28

You both have an equal right to use your home & garden BUT I would move the trampoline it shows an element of comprimise, good neighbours are worth their weight in gold.
He is going to have to get used to kids next door & the noise they make but try & make it a bit easier on the poor bloke.

NormaSnorks Sat 22-May-10 17:07:05

I feel sorry for the poor guy, even if he has come across as a bit grumpy.

Whoever was going on about how he shouldn't be working at home is talking rubbish - how do you know he's not paying business rates (and tax...?)

DH & I work from home and the noise of the neighbour's kids in the garden (they are REAL shriekers!) means that we can't really make calls or concentrate after 3.30 BUT at least we know that we can plan around school hours.

This poor guy has probably had his life turned upside down by the arrival of you & your noisy family hmm. He can't plan his day, concentrate, get his work done or anything - he doesn't know when he's next going to be disturbed by random and prolonged shrieking.

It's not fair to expect him to 'hope' that you'll be out for the day on Monday so he can get some work done hmm.

Agree with Otter and others who say you are being very unreasonable. I also think you are setting your kids a bad example about not having any due concern for a neighbour.

I agree - you don't sound willing to compromise in any way - shame on you.

Trafficcone Sat 22-May-10 17:14:41

I am a mother of 4 but if my neighbour had children
screeching on the trampoline during school hours I'd be pretty bloody pissed off when I'm on my day off.
We have strict rules that loudness means you get off the trampoline and come inside. No duct tape needed, just discipline. I also don't allow mine outside on it if my neighbours are eating in their garden or have friends over. It's just courtesy.
If I were you I'd move it and lay down some rules with your kids on how to have fun AND respect others. Then, like someone said if he complains again you can say "I have moved it and implemented these rules" and you'll look alot more reasonable than
him.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 22-May-10 17:17:19

I think that someone working from home during the day (unless they live near a school - when there would be set play times) would expect it to be quiet between 9-4, so I can see his point.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 22-May-10 17:19:17

Sorry. I see Lotkinsgotcurly made the same point.

Jamieandhismagictorch Sat 22-May-10 17:23:36

and Norma

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