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to make a noise in my house

(244 Posts)
softcat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:07:43


This situation is driving me a bit mad. I live in a semi detached house with DH, DS1 and DS2. Our neighbours moved in a couple of years ago and since then they have not stopped complaining about footfalls, kids "screaming and crying all the time" (I think they seem pretty cheerful but perhaps this is subjective). Doors slamming (again I think this is normal door shutting). We have tried to minimise noise by fitting the thickest underlay possible and fitting soft closers on all doors that we can. I feel that I spend my life telling the kids to be quiet and get really tense if they raise their voices, run or get upset.
They are threatening us with environmental health and solicitors. There is a bit of finger pointing and bosom hoiking. Some pretty heavy insinuation that I am a shit parent and I am aware that she is pretty nasty about me to anyone who will listen.
So… how much noise is acceptable! How quiet are your kids? Do they walk around in the house and do they ever shout or jump? Do they always keep their hands on the door handle and make sure it doesn't bang?

Lagoonablue Thu 20-Feb-14 20:10:55

Luckily our neighbours have kids too and are pretty noisy themselves. I would try and talk to them sensibly but if that didn't work let them get EH. I doubt your kids are so noisy you need a court order!

Or suggest sound insulation to them. Or get it yourself if you can afford it!

They sound unreasonable. Not you.

justtoomessy Thu 20-Feb-14 20:11:57

Just live your life normally and let them call the police, solicitors and environmental health because if you are behaving normally then they will be told to wind their neck in.

Or invite me round and they will soon learn what a loud child is like. My DS 4 makes tons of noise and I'm very loud so even when I am not shouting at him to 'get a move on' etc we can seem quite loud.

All kids run, jump and can be loud. You have already got soft closers on doors. Ignore them and let your kids be kids.

Calloh Thu 20-Feb-14 20:13:44

God how awful. YANBU. I agree with Lagoon - let them get EH round.

PartyFops Thu 20-Feb-14 20:19:21

Agreed! It will be classed as household noise and not malicious, they can spend money on solicitors and get EH in.

Relax it's your home and they sound like an arse!

Joysmum Thu 20-Feb-14 20:20:22

Ask then to come round and have one of them shut a door normally in your house with one of you there and other listen in their home. Then get them to do the same.

That way they can see you are being loud and thoughtless, just a normal family and that their noise of walking about and shutting doors is comparable but just that you've accepted it.

softcat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:21:09

We have already tried mediation, it was not great!
She was really nasty about us then when I pointed out that I could hear stuff from them she went chicken oriental (I'm not complaining about it, just pointing out that the houses are poorly soundproofed).
I guess I am just worried about if there is a possibility that we could get in trouble for making a noise. And maybe I need to get a bit of an idea about what family noise is normal.
Has anyone ever had the environmental health people over.

Cobain Thu 20-Feb-14 20:23:56

I informed my NDN after numerous complaints (she complains about all neighbours and kids in the street) that she was no longer to knock on my door and in future all complaints should be made to the council and I was going to make a complaint over harassment. At this point I knew that if I sold I would have to disclose her behaviour because the complaints where so often and everyone knew. My other neighbour even got involved, as she hardly ever heard us, but heard her screaming all the time. If she does inform the monitor and inform you my NDN never bothered.

softcat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:24:47

Joysmum - they came over the demonstrate how they want the doors shut. They want them closed softly with the persons hand holding the handle down then softly releasing it so the catch does not click. I can manage this but the children forget and the little one struggles to manage the handle.
Is this a normal way to close a door?

BabyMummy29 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:24:47

Our neighbours have complained about every member of our household over stupid petty things that are just part of everyday life. We had to get the community warden involved as we couldn't talk to them rationally without getting abuse shouted at us.

DoJo Thu 20-Feb-14 20:36:27

I have to say, the noise of closing doors by just pushing/pulling them shut without using the handle does carry a lot, sounds like slamming and would piss me off, but that's my own adult husband in my house doing it, so can't say I would notice the neighbours' door closing habits!
Have you been round to theirs to listen so that you can identify the noisiest things you do and try to reach a compromise? After all, living with intrusive noise can be incredibly stressful and it does feel like people are doing it deliberately when you are at the end of your tether. By the time they come round, they have probably been seething about it for ages, so aren't at their most rational - maybe if you approached them when you've been out all day it would be easier to have a sensible conversation about it.
However, if they are just determined to find fault, then there's not much you can do, although environmental health should give both of you some ideas on how to reduce the noise levels wherever possible.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 20:44:19

Most people don't close doors like that no.

I'd let them call eh frankly. You are behaving normally, eh won't be interested.

softcat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:44:52

We had mediation so tried the discuss it in that way but the woman just said that I should keep my kids quiet or hear from her solicitor. I wanted to suggest that they attempt some soundproofing as we have already spent £2k on noise minimising.
Main noise problems seem to be the noise of the children running in the house, door latches clicking and the noise of children's voices (she states screaming and crying - I do not think they are like this all the time but have to say that they can scream or cry at times)
The noise that bothers her is the kids in morning from 8am until 8.30am. This is the time they are getting dressed, teeth brushed etc. She also doesn't like the noise of the front door shutting on our way to school.
Does anyone know of anyway in which I can get doors to be less noisy as my youngest does struggle to shut the door silently (he is quite little still).

CandyKate Thu 20-Feb-14 20:46:02

Im with DoJo on the door shutting. It can really reverberate through the building if someone shuts a door without using the handle, but this whole thing about not letting the door "click" seems a bit OTT. Do you need to bé opening and closing doors much? Just thinking that in our house we only open and close bathroom doors regularly, no need to bé constantly opening and closing other doors.

But sounds like you have been very reasonable and she is a bit of a difficult one. Must bé v annoying to feel constrained in your own home.

chippers1 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:47:05

move to a detached house ?

ddubsgirl Thu 20-Feb-14 20:49:00

eh wont do anything its normal household noise let her waste her money

growingolddicustingly Thu 20-Feb-14 20:49:37

No no no softcat you have been more than reasonable. I have a feeling that even if you all wafted around on clouds all day your NDNs would still find a reason to complain. Live your lives as a normal, happy family and let them try to get EH involved. They sound toxic I am afraid.

Methe Thu 20-Feb-14 20:50:45

Tell them to fuck off.


Frusso Thu 20-Feb-14 20:51:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frogslegs35 Thu 20-Feb-14 20:52:48

Sounds awful OP.
If it's just normal family noise and your kids aren't up in the middle of the night singing, dancing and slamming doors then I don't see what they can gain by reporting you tbh.
Have you ever asked them to record this noise and let you listen?

If your neighbours want to be in control of normal noises in their own home then they should rent/buy a detached.

MoonlightandRoses Thu 20-Feb-14 20:57:10

YANBU - sounds like normal household noise and, as you've already spent nearly 2k on minimising, then it's definitely her turn. Any acoustic insulation should be done by them, in their house, not by you. It can take a few inches off a room though, so I am guessing this is why they haven't bothered to date.

Think at this stage just ignore (if you can). Also half an hour from 8am as the 'highlight' of said 'noise' is hardly excessive.

crazykat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:57:52

That's ridiculous re the door closing. Yes it can be annoying hearing the neighbours but that's what happens when you live in a semi/terrace. Children make noise. Unless they're running round screaming at 10/11pm or before 7am (8 at the weekend) then just ignore her. Next time she threatens EH or solicitors tell her if she comes round again then you'll report her for harassment.

You sound terrified to breathe in your own home which is absolutely not on.

We can hear next door hoovering and their tv at times, doubtless they can hear ours and me raising my voice to be heard over the DCs when they're arguing. It's normal noise that comes with sharing a wall. I don't think any amount of soundproofing would block out all noise.

If she wants to involve EH then let her. I very much doubt she'll get anywhere unless you're playing music loudly all day or late into the night.

hamptoncourt Thu 20-Feb-14 20:58:20

Christ she is lucky she doesn't live next door to me as if my NDN was that unreasonable and bonkers I would be even fucking noisier just to piss them off and hopefully make them move.

No OP, normal people, and in particular, normal children do not close doors like that. Do what other posters have suggested and tell her she has to do what she has to do, if she wants to call EH then that is fine with you, but you don't want her coming round and moaning any more. Then do not answer the door if she calls round and you can see it is her. You don't have to answer your door/phone to people.

They should have bought a detached house in the middle of nowhere if they wanted absolute quiet.

Mamafratelli Thu 20-Feb-14 21:00:05

I would probably suggest the dc's start learning a music instrument each. The violin and drums are the most appropriate instruments in this case. They moved to a semi what on earth did they expect?

Pipbin Thu 20-Feb-14 21:01:51

The problem is that we most of us been on the other side of this I'm sure. I imagine that at some point we've wondered if the neighbours will shut up. And I have had my life made a misery by noisy neighbours.

However it does sound like they are being overly fussy if they are only worried about the noise from 8.00 to 8.30.
As for doors, I can hear every door being slammed and every stomping up the stairs by my NDN 3 teenagers! But they are really not a problem that often so, we have never really bothered to say anything.

As others have said, live your lives normally and let her complain. If you aren't shouting at each other at 3 am or playing bass heavy music all day then she can get bent.

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