My neighbour is making me so stressed i feel ill.(80 Posts)
Lived in apartment for five years with dc who are teens.
About six months ago new single neighbour in their 60s moved to apartment underneath us.
FWIW I have lived in four apartments in last eight years and two houses before that and have never had a noise complaint.
New neighbour comes out of his apartment everytime I do. So if I go to the shop, work, bins etc he comes out. He always does it passive aggressively on the pretense of just bumping into me but it is everytime I leave the house and he always makes some comment of being able to hear the kids walking around, he brought his boys up to tiptoe etc. He has followed me round the shop before now.
We have carpet, rugs and do not wear shoes in the house. One dc is disabled so does drop things and sometimes run across the room which must be annoying but I instantly stop her from running.
The dc leave at 7am till 4.15pm and are in bed at nine. We are away every week from Friday night to Sunday night so literally he has less than 25 hours of us being in the house awake each week out of 168 hours!
They do not play music without headphones etc.
He has even made digs about hearing other teens walk past his house on the way to school.
He is making me feel anxious and trapped in my own home. I've spoken to landlord but nothing has changed.
What do you say to him when he complains? Do you apologise and try to explain or do you tell him that he has unreasonable expectations, no one has ever complained before? Part and parcel of living in a downstairs appartment is that you can hear noise downstairs occasionally. I think that if you don't agree with him, it is OK for you to be assertive about that or do you think he has a point? That's something you have to unravel. Once you are clear about that, it would be easier for you to decide how to resolve the situation.
I would just say 'Oh dear' every time he tells you this.
Basically he's being a dick.
What you describe is nothing more than normal daytime noise, so he can sod off.
It sounds like you are doing everything you can and you are not even there at the w/e's!! I was wondering if your neighbour was incredibly sensitive to noise and irritable as a consequence but if he is even going to complain about people ('teens' there is a red herring) walking past on the pavement outside then I think you are perfectly justified in pulling a face and getting on with your life. Complain again to the landlord? Do you have the same one?
I would be tempted to get something in writing to him outlining what you have said here, asking him not to talk to you about this issue and to text you every time there is a noise problem (you could get a cheap PAYG phone if you don't want him to have your number). That way you will have evidence of harassment (or he won't bother texting).
It's such a horrible feeling, I completely sympathise.
Basically you have a couple of options to take control of the situation.
1. Charm offensive - get him up for a cup of tea, be as nice as pie and make lots of pointed comments about how you have carpets and take your shoes off as you are good neighbours. See if you can get him onside.
2. Ignore and decide it doesn't bother you and you don't care if it bothers him.
3. Confront it (calmly) and say you are good neighbours and expect him to be one too by showing a bit of tolerance.
Don't let it stress you, it's your home and you deserve to feel relaxed there.
I would definitely treat it as harassment. Keep a log and try to get evidence. Don't let him walk over you and try not to feel intimidated. Sometimes, people of this age can be remarkably bossy and entitled and expect the world to revolve around them.
I would pass him on the number for your local council noise team and suggest that every time he had a complaint he should give them a call and you will be happy to cooperate.
Start commenting shame you seem to be going out every single time we do. You could have had a nice and quiet flat if you stayed in for next 7 hours.
I disagree about the charm offensive. If you're nice to him, he'll take it as weakness and ramp up the complaints.
Be assertive and business like.
He is a cxxt
but worried you are saying its making you so stressed, anxious and ill
I sympathise, I had a really nasty neighbour and it did blight me living there
But she was an ex friend, so I had to deal with that
suggest you agree on some coping strategies, and get very assertive, you need to engineer a situation where he gets the message he cant talk to you, or you sullenly ignore each other . He CANNOT bully you and he cant keep on doping this
I bet he does it to everyone not just you
I have told him we have carpets and rugs down
I have told him one of my dc is disabled
I have told him I tell the dc not to run across the house.
I have told the landlord I am happy for the council to come out with sound equipment.
Landlord won't do anything as he is doing it in a ohh what are you buying in the shop, I've got some sauce at him you can have one of those , I heard the kids running about earlier. It doesn't bother me BUT kind of way.
For the record the kids rarely run because of their age so there isn't even any noisy play.
Get some big headphones to wear when going out, they don't need to be connected to anything or put some feel good music on. Do not react beyond a nod and smile because you cannot hear him.
Pick up the nicey nicey bits. 'Oh I'm glad it doesn't bother you, yes our last neighbour used to say we were the most considerate upstairs neighbours he'd ever had! I think that was going a bit far but we do our best.' 'Glad it doesn't bother you, we've all got to live haven't we?'
I would stop explaining and justifying to him op. You live in apartments and there will be some noise. I would nod and smile and say something like oh dear and then walk away. He sounds horrible, I am not surprised you are stressed about it.
Really hope things improved for you op.
Report him to the police for harrassment via 111?
I have tried the 'ah well at least we haven't got wood floors down' route.
When I ignored him he stayed in the shop and walked over to me.
I've tried the friendly tact and he chatted me up!! So not that route anymore.
I agree with annandale. And if he puts emphasis on the fact he has heard your kids, just say brightly something like "Well, that's inevitable when you live in a downstairs flat, isn't it?"
If he seems to be on the alert for you to go out, it is worth introducing several false starts - where you open and close your door without going out, or go out and go straight back in again? If he finds himself constantly jumping up and down without being able to talk to you, he might just back off a bit.
If he's cross-examining you about what you're buying in the shop, can you go for your own passive aggressive "You're not interested in what I'm buying, I'm sure you've got your own shopping to concentrate on"?
Stand up to him. He's a bully, and bullies are always staggered when you call them on it. Our NDN is like that over what he thinks our garden should look like. Loads of passive aggressive hints and veiled complaints that it's intentionally natural looking when his is rigid control of nature. I ended up standing up to him and telling him how unpleasant his behaviour was. He's backed off ever since.
In your shoes I'd listen to his comments then grin and say, 'You do get wound up easily, don't you? You need to know I won't change how I rear my children just for your sake.'
I'd also happily cut someone like that if they did that passive aggressive thing of just happening to come out of the house when you did. Don't make eye contact, smile, reply if they speak but don't hurry either. Just carry on as if they weren't there. There's almost no reason in the world I'd do that to someone else, but old men who think they can bully young women really enrage me and I think they need to be shown we are in control of our lives and that their influence is zero.
I heard the kids running about earlier. It doesn't bother me BUT
'Oh, if it doesn't bother you then you don't need to keep telling me every time I leave the house do you?'
Right you have already told him all the things that he needs to hear to understand that you are being reasonable. Time to be assertive.
"I don't want to discuss my shopping, thank you" (big smile - he might think you are buying sanitary towels and scurry away)
"Please stop telling me about hearing my children every time I see you. there is nothing unreasonable about the way we behave in our own home." (big smile again. Repeat this one as often as you like)
Your children sound extremely well behaved, by the way.
I am sorry you are feeling ill. I hate that trapped, cornered feeling. I'm afraid there is nothing to be done except facing it head on and making it clear that he doesn't get to bother you with this nonsense. If you just keep being nice you're encouraging him to think he has a point.
at some point you could even get really direct and say "I'm finding this quite upsetting and intimidating. Please don't approach me with your complaints any more when I'm just going about my business. It's become a habit and it's really disturbing." (you are finding it upsetting - this is true)
what sort of building is it?
I've lived in conversions where the insulation between floors isnt all that good and you can pretty much hear everything that the people above you are doing.
I have also had neighbors who complained about me walking about.
If anyone is being unreasonable it's whoever didn't put in enough sound insulation.
This is why I will only ever live in a top floor flat!
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