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Neighbour, how do I sort this?

(19 Posts)
Delphinegreen Sat 15-Nov-14 22:12:52

She keeps banging on my wall....all the time.
Im a single mum, I live with my ds, 2.5yrs, he is noisy but we are hardly ever there.
I work 4 days a week and we are out doing things every day of the weekend. I have him in a good routine he's awake at 6.30am in bed at 7pm.
Fair enough she bangs on the wall when it's early am but during the day when I'm trying to get him to nap and when we have friends round she starts banging.
She's in her 30s, has approached me angrily about it before when he just turned 1 and the conversation didn't go well.
I've heard her slagging him off in the garden and it took all my restraint not to vault the fence.
I feel peed off because I want to be considerate but apart from constantly shushing a 2yr old I feel that we have some right to enjoy our home too.
What do I do? I've tried the ignore thing but every time she does it, I tense up in my own home.

Bailey101 Sat 15-Nov-14 22:14:20

Why is she banging the wall? Is it at normal family noise, or are you actually being loud?

FunkyBoldRibena Sat 15-Nov-14 22:16:18

Can you explain that banging on walls does not shut a child up. and even if it did, he is allowed to enjoy being in his own home so her banging is pointless.

Delphinegreen Sat 15-Nov-14 22:20:54

Normal happy family noise. He doesn't tantrum, rarely cries, just shouts 'mummy' a lot. I rarely shout at him. No music, telly on low, occasional visitors.
He is v loud but in restricted hrs

avocadotoast Sat 15-Nov-14 23:06:17

Early morning, I can understand her being annoyed if it wakes her up (my neighbours wake me up every single day pretty much, and it drives me nuts. I don't bang on their wall though!).

But through the day?! Sounds a bit excessive to me if it is just normal family noise.

Honeycrumb Sat 15-Nov-14 23:18:32

You poor thing.

I take it your neighbour doesn't have any children of her own? Children make noise, it's normal, she obviously doesn't understand that or care.

Sounds like her banging on the walls is more of a nuisance and disturbing, because it's aggressive. It's hard to confront people but if you feel up to it, try telling her how her banging on your walls makes you and your children feel.

Not sure what your housing situation is? Do you live in rent/own your property or does it belong to a housing association? Either way, if you can't face her yourself, perhaps you could speak to the housing association or local community liaison to see if they will speak to her? You are in the vulnerable position here as she's being aggressive and you have two small children. You might tell them that you find her behaviour of banging on the walls aggressive and it's disturbing for you and your children.

PastMidnightAgain Sun 16-Nov-14 00:31:26

Ohmygosh I am so sorry to hear you're going through this, as I did too -- almost exactly like you're describing.

I also experienced the violent banging and beating on our ceiling/his floor, etc. And we were definitely generating normal family noise -- the neighbour's very lovely partner always assured me he understood we had small children, and not to worry about any noise at all.

Like you, we felt oppressed in our own home, and spent many moments wondering if the neighbour was going to go out or, if he was already out, wondering when he'd be back. Meanwhile, DH and I had to shush our two-year-old twin DDs almost constantly... It was awful.

This went on for months and I kept thinking we would work it out between us all... until the day the psycho neighbour became so enraged he jumped on his floor/our ceiling so hard that our ceiling lights fell out, then he went outside and broke the window of the children's room. Then I knew we had to move.

I did talk to the police about it at that point, and was advised that if I lived in council housing, it'd have been easy enough for the housing association to mediate. However, because we owned our flat at the time, and the neighbour owned his, there was no one who could really step in. I was advised to keep a noise diary of every time the neighbour banged at us, then I'd be able to officially report him to the police for harassment or some such -- sorry to be so vague, I don't remember the specifics of it now, mostly because we had already decided we had to get out of there quickly, and certainly weren't going to stick around to keep a noise diary of any sort.

Good grief, I have derailed your thread with my woes. blush Long story short -- keep a noise diary of your neighbour's aggressions. It might come in handy when you have to prove she's been harassing you, whether you eventually report to housing authority or local police. In the meantime, good luck and lots of flowers.

Delphinegreen Sun 16-Nov-14 08:27:32

O blimey PastMidnightAgain that sounds awful. He sounds totally crazy! Puts my neighbour to shame.

Mmm I live in a well to do area and own house. I feel a bit of a misfit here being a single mum as it's all very twee & 2.4 kids. I used to live in the city centre and miss it as people were loads noisier, alternative, diverse and way more tolerant!

I just hate that some people feel they have more right to airspace than others.

Sunna Sun 16-Nov-14 08:30:38

You said yourself "he is v loud". That would drive me crazy if I were his mother, let alone a neighbour.

Try to find ways to encourage him to be quieter.

Delphinegreen Sun 16-Nov-14 08:34:14

Do you not think I do that?

SaucyJack Sun 16-Nov-14 08:36:44

Why don't you spend a week banging back every. single. time you hear her?

She'll soon get the message.

Sunna Sun 16-Nov-14 08:37:48

But what you are trying isn't working.

Refuse to respond to him when he shouts. Praise him when he uses an "indoor" voice and tell him not to shout every time he shouts.

Coconutty Sun 16-Nov-14 08:40:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Coconutty Sun 16-Nov-14 08:40:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sunna Sun 16-Nov-14 08:41:21

Banging every time she bangs isn't going to help. It can only make it worse.

TheLittleOneSaidRollOver Sun 16-Nov-14 08:42:15

If she's bitching to other people about it, instead of sound-insulating the wall then I don't think there is much you can do.

She's a moaner not a fixer.

If she is banging on the wall about normal noise in day time hours, I would turn on some loud music for a few minutes. Or bang back. Make damn sure she knows that harassing you will not result in a quiet life.

If she actually spoke to you to complain, you could have a laugh and say that you put the music on to drown out the noise of DIY banging from her house. Also the simple phrase "We make a small amount of normal household noise. We hear noise from your house too. If you are sensitive to noise you need to sound insulate your house or live in a field."

EATmum Sun 16-Nov-14 08:49:20

We had a similar situation years ago, pre-children. Our upstairs neighbours used to bang on the floor if we even had the TV on sometimes. They were definitely quite scary, but it was evident that there was an insulation issue between the floors. We invited them to come and experience things from our perspective and see if we could do anything to make it better. Ultimately it failed, but I wonder if you invited her in to talk about trying to improve the sound barrier between your homes, it might help? You're not easily going to get your 2 year old to tiptoe around (not if he's anything like my DDs were), but perhaps moving around some of the furniture, or where the TV is placed, could help? If nothing else, it might embarrass her into being a bit more neighbourly if you are making the effort at conciliation.
Full disclosure: this approach totally failed for us and we moved. Sorry ...

MokunMokun Sun 16-Nov-14 08:50:58

Don't tell him to shush. He has a right to live there and play.

In our previous home, a neighbour yelled at my son a few times to shut up. Like your son, he was just playing normally in normal hours. He caught me in a bad mood one day and I yelled back at him why doesn't he shut the fuck up. Wasn't one of my best moments but he never yelled again.

Is there a community support officer or some such thing you can have a word with? And yes, to keeping a diary as it does sound like harassment.

SaucyJack Sun 16-Nov-14 09:03:29

Why do you feel it wasn't one of your best moments Mokun?

You stood up for yourself and it stopped your neighbour from harassing your child in their own home. I'd call that a good day's work meself.

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