Neighbours and noise - constant complaints from them - got worse - please help(62 Posts)
I should start by saying we do not want to be in conflict with our neighbours, we have no wish to upset them and would rather an amicable relationship (as we do with all our other neighbours!) but I am beyond wits end now. Over the past year we have had complaints about the noises our children make - including running around the house, laughing and coughing (all in day time), we have had complaints if we try to do any DIY (though we always notify them first and check time it to their liking), we have complaints if we have people round for dinner (though it still not raucous), we have had complaints that our door bell is too loud, our washing machine is on after 7 and our telephone ring is too loud. The thing is we live in an old style, brick built, Victorian type house. Though if you are sitting in silence, you can hear next door faintly, it isn't obvious. When I have gone round to talk to them they have tried to get me to listen to the noise, my children were playing in our house and yes if I stood with ear next to wall, in absolute silence I could hear them very faintly playing -but that was it! Our children go to bed at 7pm, we don't listen to loud music and tend to watch tv quietly - whenever they have been in trouble or needed something i.e. their drive clearing of snow etc we've helped them happily (they are an elderly couple) - but I am getting fed up and don't know how to handle it.
Today they complained to me about vacuuming at 8.30am yesterday (friday). My son had spilt some sugar and I spent about 6 seconds clearing it up. I ended up getting a little cross and firmly (not rudely) told them that they seemed to find fault in so much that we did that I had to just give up and live our lives as we see fit. I would not be impolite to them or disrespectful of them but we would not tolerate any further complaints from them. We are aware that our family is probably loud to compared to their lives, and we are sorry for that but unfortunately that is just what comes from having young children and we should leave it at that. I did not swear, shout or raise my voice. I have just had a text telling me they are going to report us for Anti social behaviour and noise pollution - I am livid. I have no doubt it will result in nothing but it has made me really cross - is there any reasonable way of dealing with this to repair an amicable relationship? I hate having tension between people, but feel we've been so passive they are taking the mick....
I'd just let them get on with it. If the levels of noise are what you describe, then the neighbours are only going to get told that you're not doing anything wrong.
I really feel for you as it must be like walking on eggshells just in living your every day life. I have no advice but I do empathise. I hope the right conclusion is reached by whoever ends up investigating.
Some people are like this and there's nothing you can do. They don't want to hear less, they want to hear nothing, which isn't practical unless you live in a detached house in the middle of nowhere. We had neighbours like this and it's soul destroying. They even complained about DH starting his car before 7.00. Apparently it's antisocial to leave for work at 6.30.
I think that it has now become a power thing. They feel they have the right to complain about every tiny noise.
Stop giving them the space to complain. If they are whiners then what is the point in an amicable relationship? It doesnt sound amicable to me it sounds like they are trying to bully you.
Let them complain- from what you have said, they won't find anything to bother about. If they continue you could report them for harassment.
It's horrible OP, but don't let them bully you.
I'd actually text back and say that you think it's right the relevant authorities deal with it- it will take the wind out their sails!
How do they have your mobile number? I'm friendly with both neighbours but not enough to hand out my mobile number.
Text back : " please do, it's normal family noise and it looks like you need someone else to reassure you"
Let them! Our twat downstairs neighbour is like this. Yes, we are in a flat. It's a maisonette, too, so our living quarters are 2 floors up from him. Our children are in school all day, too. And go to bed at 8.
He bitched and bitched to the HA. Twice. Three times. I told them to please put a noise monitor in his flat because he was getting abusive to us.
They threw out his complaints. All of them.
He complained about the guy across from him, the people next to us.
He's a cunt who wants everyone to dance round him.
Let them get on with it.
Do you own the house?
Maybe you're thinking of selling up at some unspecified point in the future? And maybe you're worried that this dispute, which you will have to declare if it's referred to local authorities, will leave your house unsalable? Maybe, if that happens, you'll have to stay there forever? They wouldn't want that, would they?
Let them report you, it's normal family noise. Do they make noise too? Maybe point this out to them if they moan again.
I have suffered neighbours noise and it was proper noise as in loud parties on week nights and loads of stuff.
what your describing is every day noise...
good point thats made about house ownership.
if yo do both own, and plan to stay...you need to talk about both sides getting sound proofing done...its the only way and even then, it wont blot everything out...
in your house have you carpets, curtains, anything to help absorb sound etc.
As others have posted I'd welcome the interference from the noise pollution authorities because (if they take the complsint seriously at all) they'll investigate, find the neighbours unreasonable - assuming your noise is as described - and neighbours won't have power to complain anymore.
I think you can kiss your dreams of amicable relationship goodbye though and hope for polite while weathering a patch of hostile :-)
PurplePoocdle we have all our neighbours mobile numbers - we've have a number of elderly people around us and live in a village so more as a safety and if they need help type thing.
thatstoast I didn't realise that - Yes we have every intention of moving in the next year or so as the children grow up a bit!
PS yes we own ours, they have theirs under a scheme which an agency buys your house and releases equity.... not sure if that is relevant but know its caused them stress
Do they get out much? Perhaps your noise is the highlight of their day.
'Ooh, she's hovering at 8.30'
'And they flushed the loo in the night'
Bouncing it off each other so that it is a problem.
Anyhow, let them complain. It's a hassle for you but they don't have a leg to stand on.
oh dear well if it goes to council yes legally you have to declare conflict to new buyers...
Silverhawk - no they don't go out very much at all and enjoy very solitary activities such as sewing, knitting and crosswords. I response to their complaints as our sons got older we had carpets fitted as we did have wooden floor boards but this din't help from their side. We do make more noise than them, of course we do with 2 children under 4, but I cannot see this noise as unreasonable on any level, it is day to day living, not wild parties, screaming or shouting.
I think I will try and soften it, even just considering we are going to try and move at some point, prob early next year, and formal complaints/disputes won't help.
I'd do two things.
Firstly, reply to the message telling them that this is normal, everyday noise and that you have heard for yourself from their house that it is not excessive. That you are considerate neighbours and that if they continue to complain vexatiously to you or to the council that you will consider reporting them for harassment as their accusations are false. And that you want no further contact or messages from them.
And secondly, contact environmental health at the council and tell them you are expecting your neighbours to make a malicious report about you for noise nuisance and explain the circumstances. Get in there first.
They're living in the wrong house Some folks should only ever live in remote places with no neighbours, no roads or railways, no wildlife, no moving water and no air traffic.
If they're in an 'equity release' scheme they are basically tenants in their own home and I can imagine they feel differently about the place after going through some difficult times. This doesn't help you, though! Quite honestly, I think you should politely ignore them. Some people do have hyper-acute hearing (a neighbour of mine once did) but it's their responsibility to manage that, not everyone else's to live silently!
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