To think we're not the neighbours from hell?(59 Posts)
I'm a regular but have name changed for this.
I live in a block of 4 flats; 2 on one side of the builiding, 2 on the other with a communal hallway to access them all. We're in flat 3, which is on the first floor, opposite is flat 4. Flats 1 and 2 are on the ground floor. We're above flat 1. Flat 1 is a single woman in her 60's.
I've just had a text from Flat 1's daughter who I thought was my friend. She's basically told me that my DH "intimidates" her mum, and that her mum is "disturbed" at night by our 1 year old DD crying. She says we argue "all the time" and she's had enough of her mum being in tears about the neighbours from hell.
The thing is I don't see what the problem actually is.
Flat 1 works long hours, we understand and try to be as respectful as possible. We never use our washing machine after 8pm, never shout to each other in different rooms, and have a carpet in all rooms except the kitchen and bathroom where we have tiles which are supposed to be sound proof. I put the TV on the lowest volume I can with subtitles on at all times to stop it being a problem.
Our dd wakes up maybe once a night; she's in the room which is directly above Flat 1's bathroom with our bedroom above hers. We did this deliberately so DD didn't disturb her. However DDs been ill recently so waking up more, I do everything I can to keep her quiet though; give her a dummy, do not allow her to stand up in her cot or shake the cot bars as they would bang against the wall, she doesn't have toys in her cot and we sit with her until she's asleep to stop her shouting for me/DH. Apparently Flat 1 can still hear her and isn't happy.
Apparently she can also hear us (DH and I) arguing. Yes, we argue. But I'd say it's no more than other couples based on Flat's 2 and 3 who're both couples. And we don't usually shout anyway as DDs generally asleep and we don't want to wake her.
She hears bangs and crashes. I have explained several times that I am dyspraxic so my co-ordination isn't brilliant; I bang into things, I knock things over, I trip over air. I can't help it. I try my best to control it, but sometimes it just happens.
I try and keep DD happy in the day as she's then not crying/shouting. We go out most days anyway and DH works so it's just the
lazy cat who sleeps on the windowsill for most of the day.
I just feel so awful because of what Flat 1's daughter has said to us. We try so hard to be quiet. I'm doing the things I've always done, as this is what my parents did when they lived in rented flats.
I'm worried that we'll get reported to our landlord and potentially thrown out in what basically amounts to my daughter crying and an argument maybe once a month. We don't have a garden but do have a small balcony that I occasionally stand on and watch the world go by generally while DD naps or sleeps at night.
AIBU or are we the neighbours from hell?
Of course not. Your neighbour isn't cut out for living in a flat and her daughter is rude.
Just text back "sorry, but other people get to have their lives too, tell your mum to move into a detached house if she can't cope". Really, what do some people expect when they move into flats? Silly cow.
YANBU, people need to expect a certain level of noise when living in flats!
You sound more considerate than most people to be honest, I think the problem may be the lack of soundproofing in all the flats as you mentioned you argue the same amount as flats 2 & 4, so I'm guessing you can hear them (although it doesn't seem to worry you like it does her?). I think you're being perfectly reasonable and actually more thoughtful than most people would be x
I have been in the same position as you! Except in my case it was just dd and me so there wasn't even any arguing! It got to the stage where on weekends I used to try and stay out of the house as much as possible for fear of upsetting my neighbour. It was horrible. In the end I moved.
You sound too considerate IMO. If you don't learn to live your life 'considerately but reasonably' you're going to have a miserable time when your DD is a toddler. There's 'considerate & reasonable' then there's 'paranoid & scared'. You have every right to live a normal life.
Badly designed flats are a nightmare, but that's not your doing.
Tell her you're sorry that she chose to live in a downstairs flat & that the sound proofing is terrible, and that you just do your best to ignore her & the others door banging/tv/whatever.
So sorry for you - it must be a nightmare to be tiptoing around the whole time and still get this kind of negative feedback. I think that you are fine - you are doing your best and she's really lucky that you are. I used to live in a terrace where you could hear next-door's TV all the time - you just get on with it.
I can hear her TV/Friends talking etc but I don't say anything because i expect it.
We can hear some noise from Flats 2 and 4, Flat 4 have a dog who barks when their door buzzer goes, I hear flat 2 argue occasionally. I just live with it.
I'm doing what my parents did when they lived in a similar block and I don't feel "paranoid and scared" well i didn't until today.
Is your DH intimidating? Is that the real issue?
Could you ask your neighbour to get a noise monitor in and go from there?
Maybe you are being louder than you intend to be in certain situations and maybe it's not even you in the first place
My DH has never even spoken to the lady in Flat 1, he leaves for work at 8am and comes home at 6pm. He has his headphones in and listens to music, but he walks straight up the stairs to our flat.
He's not intimidating to look at I don't think either. He's a skinny 5ft 8 guy who wears glasses. He wouldn't hurt a fly. He also looks a lot younger than he is.
It's best to engage with such twats as little as possible. Don't offer to solve her problem at all, or make any suggestions about noise monitors, etc.
'It's unfortunate the soundproofing is not the best in these flats, but a reasonable level of noise from normal living is to be expected in apartment style living. We continue to be considerate within the bounds of living life as a normal family. '
And then you do just that and don't engage!
Could her mum be getting you and your DH mixed up with someone else?
tell them to report you. and then they will be told its everyday general noise. once shes been told that she cant say a word.
seen many threads like this. seems so unfair people walking on egg shells
Ignore. And if she texts again consider reporting her to the police for harassment- because thats what it is.
Send her a text "Many thanks X for your texted dated Y. I appreciate your concerns but afraid there is very little we can do to rectify the situation and we feel we are being perfectly considerable neighbours. While I appreciate at times it isnt ideal to live below a young family, i afraid I cant see a mutually agreeable solution. I do not wish to discuss this further. Regards ButtonandChocolates
Ignore further texts. If she texts you more than once after that- you have grounds to contact the police. Unwanted contact (which is what it is) is harassment, and harassment is a crime.
Give them an inch and they take a mile. Theres a thin line between being considerate and living your lives according to others.
Based on your comments about your husband are you sure the lady isn't mixing him up with someone else in the flats? If she mentioned the baby and the intimidating man one after the other could the daughter have leapt to the conclusion that it is you husband when actually it's another man from the flats?
How often have you spoken to the lady or her daughter face to face? It might be worth calmly saying you are confused as dh has never spoken to her and could she clarify why she is intimidated/what the intimidating behaviour has been.
YANBU your neighbour is. She's a dickhead,her and her daughter.
Doesn't sound like you have done anything wrong, even having your tv quiet with subtitles more than considerate.
It's been years since I lived in a flat but When living in flats you always get a certain amount of noise from neighbours, but unless it's all night parties/arguing most people just deal with it surely.
Your neighbours are very odd
I would text back the entire explanation you posted here and the explanations of what you can hear from other people's flats and about your DH. But I wouldn't apologise or say you feel awful. If she argues back after that I'd just ignore any responses
Id send her a copy of what you've written here. You've clearly done as much as you can to minimise noise. She's obviously not cut out for living in a flat. (I don't think I am either!) Perhaps she needs to go to a block of flats for retired or elderly people?
I would send back a text asking why she is 'intimidated' by your DH if they've never even spoken.
If I am honest, I also suspect that your arguing is louder than you think. How loud other couples argue is irrelevant; I have lived next to neighbours who had loud arguments, and it was very unpleasant.
Other people's noise can be unbelievably annoying - but that's what you get in a flat. I used to go crazy with upstairs neighbours having parties and loud music at 2am as I thought that was totally out of order; you are just getting on with life as considerately as you can. You're not unreasonable in the slightest and they are entitled and rude.
You sound very considerate to me. I have hyperacusis and health problems aggravated by lack of sleep but would be fine living underneath you in the situation described.
Also, if you can hear neighbours opposite could some of the noise she's complaining about be coming from them?
I do think however that all flats etc should be soundproofed (not your fault it isn't). We can't all afford to live in detached properties.
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