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Flats, floors, frustration.

(20 Posts)
DuckAndPancakes Fri 07-Apr-17 10:57:31

Living in a first floor flat with laminate flooring throughout. Have an eight month (today) old who is crawling, climbing, playing etc. We went and got those giant foam floor mat things, but he just pulls them up 😑 and if they're left down at all times the cat scratches the shit out of them.
Being a baby, he likes noise. His toys are hard and noisy... rattles, tool kits, shape sorting etc etc.

Anyway. Our downstairs neighbour came and knocked on the door complaining. My other half answered because I was sat feeding said baby. Basically complaining about the banging and noise on the floor and asking us to make it stop.
He is not on the floor all the time. The mats go down and he just bangs at the edge of them...

I don't know what to do. I'm partly understanding as I've had my own gripes with noise in flats, but partly frustrated that there's no understanding of his babyness.
Said neighbour has her grandson who kicks a football against the wall/our window repeatedly every weekend. She also has her TV on so loud every day that I can turn the sound off on mine if I'm watching the same thing. I've never complained or moaned.

I don't know what to do.... we apologised (well OH did) and explained that we try and minimise noise where we can, but I feel like a prisoner. I keep telling the baby off for playing. If I try and confine him he just screams and gets frustrated and I feel I'm stunting his development.

I feel I'm just ranting somewhat... AIBU to want to apologetically tell her to deal with it for a few hours a day? It's never after 6pm at least! =\

Euphemia Fri 07-Apr-17 10:58:49

I think you'll need to get carpets.

abbsisspartacus Fri 07-Apr-17 10:58:58

Carpet

shovetheholly Fri 07-Apr-17 11:01:00

Can you get some really cheap rugs from Ikea and put them underneath the mats? Any additional layers should help to provide some sound insulation.

I do agree with you, this is a situation where there needs to be some give and take. We're all living in ever denser environments, and having a bit of tolerance for others (within reason) while also trying to minimise our own noise is key, really.

UrethaFranklin Fri 07-Apr-17 11:15:58

Are you allow to have laminate in a first floor flat? Lots of leases stipulate that you must have carpet. Or can you get a rug?

I wouldn't want to listen to a baby banging the floor to be honest, not even for one hour a day never mind a few.

Boooooom Fri 07-Apr-17 11:19:07

Can you get more playmatting so it runs to the edges of the room? And maybe accept they are temporary so if the cat scratches them to bits it's not a big deal? Quick to take up after bedtime so you don't have to look at them aaaaall the time.
Either that or get carpets...then you can enjoy getting food out of them when DC gets a bit older ;)
Maybe if it comes up again mention (politely, calmly) that you understand the annoyance because of xyz grandson/TV and she might see you have to compromise a teeny bit when sharing a building

DuckAndPancakes Fri 07-Apr-17 11:22:58

We are renting. Laminate flooring has been here for 10 years.
Apparently it is in the covenant that there shouldn't be laminate or hard flooring. Upstairs have it too.

We mentioned it to the estate agents and they kind of just shrugged and didn't give a fuck. The landlords must be aware but haven't done anything about it either. In an ideal world, I'd move to somewhere else but it just isn't possible unless I have some giant lottery win.

Been looking for rugs but can't rug the whole room and wonder if we will have the same issue that he will crawl to the edge and bang on the floor anyway because babies love noise...

VeryButchyRestingFace Fri 07-Apr-17 11:24:05

I live in an old building with upstairs neighbours with the original stripped floorboards (even worse than laminate).

It's a total nightmare and was worse in the past when a couple with young children lived there. The noise generated by everyday living was indescribable. Unless you have experienced it, you can't possibly imagine.

Laminate/wooden flooring has been banned in rental properties above the first floor in certain areas of the UK.

If you own, you can't be forced to carpet your floors (unless it's stated in the title deeds) as far as I'm aware.

But if you won't do something about the impact noise, you run the risk of this escalating and I imagine with young kids, you wouldn't like your neighbour to start indulging in behaviour likely to keep them awake at night?

SillySongsWithLarry Fri 07-Apr-17 11:24:40

Hard flooring is awful in flats. I live in a first floor flat and paid a fortune for thick underlay and carpet. The sound travels down it's not fair on the people below.

VeryButchyRestingFace Fri 07-Apr-17 11:25:31

Apparently it is in the covenant that there shouldn't be laminate or hard flooring. Upstairs have it too

If I were your neighbour, I'd be reporting your landlord to whoever I could.

shovetheholly Fri 07-Apr-17 11:28:43

"Been looking for rugs but can't rug the whole room and wonder if we will have the same issue that he will crawl to the edge and bang on the floor anyway because babies love noise..."

Can you get a playpen so he has to stay on the rug?

DuckAndPancakes Fri 07-Apr-17 11:29:04

Room is living room/dining room/play room etc...
We are with limited space so majority of floor space is somewhat covered with furniture to some extent other than a space about 1.8m by 1.4m if I move the coffee table. That's the space that we put the matting, or at least try to, but he crawls off of it under the tables, under the chairs etc. I spend most of the time he's on the floor putting him back on the mats 😒

BumbumMcTumtum Fri 07-Apr-17 11:30:45

You should say to your neighbour to contact the landlord. And you should also mention you have been getting complaints from neighbours.

As a resident living under someone with laminate and also giving no fucks it is migraine inducing having constant banging (but said neighbours must also never sleep).

Boooooom Fri 07-Apr-17 11:45:22

"You should say to your neighbour to contact the landlord. And you should also mention you have been getting complaints from neighbours. "

This!
One of the perks of renting right? It's your landlords 'problem' to work out with your neighbour. Neighbour disputes aren't nice of course but there is only so much you can do sometimes

Wando1986 Fri 07-Apr-17 12:08:16

You can buy carpet end roll and have it edged. Normally about £1.10 a yard around the edge. It's a much cheaper way of getting a large area rug and you can have it backed too smile (and clean them with a carpet cleaner grin)

NotCarylChurchill Fri 07-Apr-17 12:13:01

Well, maybe you should be willing to compromise a little bit. Not just allowing your baby to constantly bang on stuff with hard toys. Having the mats down and accepting that the cat will scratch then seems like a reasonable compromise.

ComtesseDeSpair Fri 07-Apr-17 12:17:31

You need to tell your landlord that your downstairs neighbour is complaining of noise and has informed you that the lease prohibits laminate flooring, and that the landlord needs to arrange for carpet to be fitted in the living room at least. I unhderstand that you think your neighbour should understand your DS is just a baby playing with his toys, but when it comes to noise it doesn't matter whether it's adults being deliberately loud or adults being accidentally loud or a baby playing happily - if you're living beneath it it's torture regardless of cause or intent, particularly if you know it's going to go on for as many years as it takes your DS and any subsequent babies to grow out of whacking toys on the floor.

If the landlord is reluctant, find out who the freeholder / managing agent is and make an anonymous complaint yourself - they'll write to your landlord and enforce the action.

SheSaidHeSaid Fri 07-Apr-17 12:19:37

Exactly what comtesse said.

fourteenlittleducks Fri 07-Apr-17 12:49:52

I have sympathy for both sides.

Babies need to play, to bang things, stomp around etc. They get even louder and noisier when they're toddlers. Mine loves making noise and running around bashing things. We live in a house so it's less of an issue, but I do stop her banging things near the adjoining wall.

But I've also been the neighbour with a noisy toddler in flat above and it was hell! From 6am-10pm the toddler was banging, thumping, screeching, crashing things against the radiators, clattering up and down on a wheely bug angry It was so loud the ceiling shook (laminate floor). I was studying at the time and couldn't work in my own home. I couldn't relax in the evenings, hear the TV over the noise or concentrate on a book. I got depressed. I complained to the parents who didn't care. In the end I moved!

So I think you need to try and minimise noise indoors. You chose a flat that wasn't ground floor, knowing your baby will be playing on the laminate a lot. I would set up a large playpen in the lounge, pad the area inside the pen with rugs and mats, and keep all noisy/hard toys in there. There are plenty of soft toys for outside the pen- soft balls, soft musical toys, teddies, puppets, rubber toys, space blanket, soft LED toys, squishy cubes. I'd also try to get out a lot when neighbour is home, eg baby toddler clubs, swimming, park, softplay etc.

It's about compromise- your baby needs to play, but not ruin the life of the downstairs neighbour. Constant banging and thumping on a hard floor is very stressful and upsetting.

puddingpen Fri 07-Apr-17 12:55:29

Tell your landlord that you need carpets because the downstairs neighbour is complaining! At least you can tell the neighbour that you have done that. Or buy big rugs from IKEA and put them under the furniture so they are harder to pull up.

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