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Letter from neighbour

(158 Posts)
christinarossetti19 Thu 09-Jul-20 20:02:28

More of a wwyd - not sure whether to respond or not.

A letter was pushed through our letter box on Sunday from next door (terraced). It complained about the noise coming from our house and specifically our dd's bedroom. The noise identified was scraping of chairs and banging of doors, which the letter said was preventing next door from working or resting.

Next door has a number of adults living there, all 40s, in a 'rent a room' not a voluntary house share situation. At the moment, there seems to be a single woman who has lived there for a few years, a couple who are newer and a single man who knows the couple has just moved in. The letter came from the single woman (as she mentioned which room she has) but was signed as 'from all of your neighbours'. She has English as an additional language, which is probably may be why she wrote rather than knock on the door? We haven't seen her for months, so possibly shielding.

The problem (sort of) is that our house is very, very quiet. The complaints were all about the noise coming from dd's bedroom. She's 13, obvs not been at school, only ever plays music through headphones. She does open and close her door a few times a day, and moves her desk chair to her desk but you're allowed to do that in your own home! We have carpet upstairs btw, so no scraping. the loudest noise from her room is screeching with laughter when she's on Facetime with her friend, and we do ask her to tone it down.

The houses are solid 1920s so very little sound carry through. Dd rarely has her window open, as she hates flies etc.

We talked it through and decided to ask the children to be as quiet as they can, to be mindful of noise ourselves but decided against sending a letter back. We're not sure of the dynamics there, and didn't want to put through a letter that someone other than the occupant of the back room read.

The same letter - with a heading of letter 2 - was put through our door again this evening. The house has been super quiet today - dd has been downstairs most of the time.

So it looks like she is expecting a response. My instinct is to knock on the door and have a conversation, but I worry that that might be intrusive. So maybe a letter, but saying what? I don't feel inclined to agree that we've been noisy (as we honestly haven't) and I honestly can't promise that we'll try to be quieter - the only way to do that would be if we all stopped moving or went on holiday!

Suggestions as to what to do please, with a view to ensuring that neighbour feels heard, but not 'admitting' to making an unacceptable level of noise.

TIA.

OP’s posts: |
HatRack Thu 09-Jul-20 20:06:27

YANU. Let her report you. She has no case

VettiyaIruken Thu 09-Jul-20 20:09:05

Tbh I'd nip this shit in the bud and say this is normal family noise and you will not be tiptoeing round your home.
You can't give unreasonable people an inch because they will never ever stop.

StormBaby Thu 09-Jul-20 20:09:48

I'd knock and say you've been home all day and the house has been silent. If she wishes to take it further, call environmental health to come out and record it.

LadyFlumpalot Thu 09-Jul-20 20:10:57

I would knock and ask her to take you to the room she has. Whilst there FaceTime your DD and ask her to open and close her door, scrape her chair around etc and see if you can hear anything...

It may well be something else your neighbour is hearing which sounds like scraping from next door. If you happen to have mice or other rodents living in the walls or attics then they can make some very loud scratchy noises.

At least if you do the above you can see if it is from your house AND you'll have proof your neighbour can see if it isn't.

sotiredofthislonelylife Thu 09-Jul-20 20:12:08

I think you have been very reasonable in asking your family to be as quiet as possible, but you are entitled to have some fun and laughter in your own home!!
I would be inclined to ignore the letters, as you are doing nothing wrong. Unless people live in a detached house, they must expect some noise from neighbours.

gutentag1 Thu 09-Jul-20 20:16:20

Ignore her. If your DD is already making a reasonable effort then there's nothing more you can do.

TennisButterfly Thu 09-Jul-20 20:16:34

I think you need to go round and listen, if you can.
I live in a 1930s end terrace and the sound of next doors child playing on their laminate echoes up through our walls to the point we had an extension built on the other side of the house so we could have a break from the noise. It feels like you are inside a drum in our living room.

Vodkacranberryplease Thu 09-Jul-20 20:16:38

Hm. MH issues I'm guessing. Write a kind letter back saying we have done our very best and have soundproofed as much as we can and DD has carpet so the chair isnt scraping and I'm sorry about this but it really is not noisy, and hope you can get a different room.

Also it may be coming from upstairs etc and sound like it's next door (I could hear 'sexy' noises ftom my neighbours sometimes (don't care) and for ages thought it was next door. Till I realised their house doesnt actuslly join mine at that part and it must be upstairs! 😁

People are insane at the moment. Truly, properly mad.

SimplySteveRedux Thu 09-Jul-20 20:17:29

* You can't give unreasonable people an inch because they will never ever stop.*

So true. We had a situation with DDs music with neighbour complaining about it "being on too long", it was an hour a day. However it was fine for her to do full volume karaoke for eight hours every bloody day!

alwaystired234 Thu 09-Jul-20 20:17:51

I agree with pp about potentially being mice if it's scratching

PleasantVille Thu 09-Jul-20 20:18:33

LadyFlumpalot

I would knock and ask her to take you to the room she has. Whilst there FaceTime your DD and ask her to open and close her door, scrape her chair around etc and see if you can hear anything...

It may well be something else your neighbour is hearing which sounds like scraping from next door. If you happen to have mice or other rodents living in the walls or attics then they can make some very loud scratchy noises.

At least if you do the above you can see if it is from your house AND you'll have proof your neighbour can see if it isn't.

That's a very sensible and non confrontational way to move forward.

Babs709 Thu 09-Jul-20 20:18:52

Is probably ignore, least of all because I wouldn’t know what to say!

SimplySteveRedux Thu 09-Jul-20 20:19:16

As I just read on another thread "You can't argue with unreasonable people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience ".

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 09-Jul-20 20:20:59

I’d knock on the door and have a conversation in a “I’m concerned about what you are experiencing” kind of way and then point out:
DD hasn’t been in that room today and everyday living noise isn’t unreasonable

Chloemol Thu 09-Jul-20 20:21:17

I would knock on the door and have a chat, explaining that your dd has been quiet today and not made any noise

Where exactly in her house is she hearing this noise and from where in yours!

Then agree a way forward

justanotherneighinparadise Thu 09-Jul-20 20:22:09

I’m a miserable bitch so I’d just carry on ignoring the letters until something else happens like the person appears at the door or the council wants to get involved (they won’t).

PastMyBestBeforeDate Thu 09-Jul-20 20:22:30

If she's shielding she's hardly going to want the OP wandering round her room.

Realsunkissedtan Thu 09-Jul-20 20:22:31

I wouldn't knock - sending a letter likely means that's the way she/they prefer to communicate or can communicate easier for loads of valid reasons, so I'd be mindful of that.

I'd send a letter back addressing the person(s) who've sent a letter to house number (yours) and let them know you've heard their request and you've done all you can to keep any unacceptable noise down and there's not much else you can do but if she/they want, you can come over and hear for yourself the noise that's coming from yours.

If they accept (likely via letter), then as a PP said, go over and ask dd to do what she normally does and take it from there.

BurtsBeesKnees Thu 09-Jul-20 20:22:58

I agree with a pp, go round and ask your neighbour if you can listen to the noise. Ring your dd and ask her to move stuff around in her room. If you feel it's unreasonable and it's everyday noise then ignore. I'm wondering if your ndn is hearing something else. Seems ridiculous that she can hear a chair on carpeted floors and a door a few times a day.

Realsunkissedtan Thu 09-Jul-20 20:23:38

I'd also keep the tone of the letter casual, not confrontational.

slinkysaluki Thu 09-Jul-20 20:29:43

Could be neighbours on other side making the noise. Id probably ignore

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 09-Jul-20 20:30:25

LadyFlumpalot

I would knock and ask her to take you to the room she has. Whilst there FaceTime your DD and ask her to open and close her door, scrape her chair around etc and see if you can hear anything...

It may well be something else your neighbour is hearing which sounds like scraping from next door. If you happen to have mice or other rodents living in the walls or attics then they can make some very loud scratchy noises.

At least if you do the above you can see if it is from your house AND you'll have proof your neighbour can see if it isn't.

I also think this is a good idea. But I’d be mindful when doing this. You don’t know the neighbour and how mentally stable they are. You don’t want to end up being assaulted.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Thu 09-Jul-20 20:31:17

I wouldn’t write a letter, nothing in writing that could be used against me.

BeeFarseer Thu 09-Jul-20 20:31:20

I wouldn't go around to listen, it's pandering to them.

You know you've been very quiet. You know what they're complaining about is normal household noise.

I would write back, acknowledging receipt of their letters, and be sympathetic that they appear to be having an issue with noise, but be firm that what they've complained about is normal household noise. I would also mention that they should investigate their own house for the source of the scraping noise as you can confirm it can't possibly be a 'chair scraping' as they've described, as you have carpet.

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