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To think my neighbour is being unreasonable...

(92 Posts)
Blii Wed 25-Nov-20 14:22:44

Am I being unreasonable to think my neighbour is being unreasonable?

Recently moved into a house from a pokey little flat with my husband and our 3 children. The day before we moved in we had carpet fitters in to fit carpet through the whole house. This took a good few hours. After a couple of hours our new neighbour came round to complain about the noise the carpet fitters were making. I apologised and explained we’re getting the carpets fitted and hopefully they won’t be much longer. This was around 4pm in the afternoon and he complained that he gets up for work at 4am and all he wanted to do was chill out and watch tv but the banging from the carpet fitters is ‘going right through him’. I said I was very sorry but there’s not much I could do, we needed carpets fitted.
Fast forward to this weekend and he knocks on our door and asks for thumping to stop, now my children are used to living in a little tiny flat with no carpet and me constantly telling them to tread lightly because of the neighbours downstairs. Now that we don’t have anyone below us and we have a nice carpet I have not worried about the children running about and ‘thumping’ as the neighbour put it. They were play fighting on the living room floor at the time he came round to complain, he again said that he needs to get up at 4am and all he wants to do is chill out and watch tv, this was a Sunday afternoon. My children are all in bed by 8pm at the latest so any ‘thumping’ stops by then. I wouldn’t consider my children to be particularly noisy and we never had complaints when we lived in the flat.
Am I being unreasonable? Is he being unreasonable? I have told my children to calm down if they get too ‘thumpy’ but im worried about the summer months when they are playing in the garden, they have never had a garden before and I don’t want to constantly tell them off for just being children and playing. The neighbour lives on his own and the family that lived here before us had older children that had left home so he is not used to a young family living next door to him. I don’t want to be on bad terms with my neighbour but I think he is a little unreasonable. What do you think?

OP’s posts: |
elenacampana Wed 25-Nov-20 14:25:50

Hard to say without hearing it myself really. My parents live next door to people who think their children make acceptable levels of noise but having heard it, I’d really disagree.

It’s possible your children are louder than you think they are or he is a misery.

contrmary Wed 25-Nov-20 14:28:16

I'd say you should do more to keep your children quiet. You were considerate of neighbours downstairs, why do you feel you shouldn't be equally considerate to the ones next door?

Parents are often unaware of how much noise their children make.

CuriousaboutSamphire Wed 25-Nov-20 14:28:59

Next time tell him that the noise you make is normal family noise and if he thinks you are too noisy he should go straight to the council and get their advice, keep a noise diary etc etc.

Tell him you will cooperate with any findings they arrive at but that you simply don't know what thumpings and noises he is referring to.

NEVER apologise, never explain, he'll be able to use that to show you know you are being too noisy!

Patooty Wed 25-Nov-20 14:31:28

I think if you live in a house or flat adjoining another then you need to make some allowance for neighbours noise.

The fact he moaned on moving day suggests he's a bit of a miserable arse... Its not nice to be annoyed by the noise of the carpet fitters but I think many would make allowances as you'd just got the house.

I'd remind the kids to be a bit more considerate to reduce the noise, but also not worry too much. Especially when it comes to them playing outdoors in the summer... If it's normal noise and not screaming /shouting then leave them to play.

Blii Wed 25-Nov-20 14:42:51

Yes perhaps my children make more noise that I’m aware of. He specifically complained about the thumping rather that any shouting/screaming. I do think he is a bit of a grump. But I have told the children to respect his wishes and to calm down when they get overly excited.

OP’s posts: |
TheStripes Wed 25-Nov-20 14:45:42

He has come round twice already to complain about noise. The likelihood is you are unaware of how noisy your children are and if you want to maintain good neighbourly relations, then I’d be trying to work out a suitable compromise.

DimidDavilby Wed 25-Nov-20 14:49:23

Don't get into the habit of apologising for normal family noise. He will be round all the time. He is being unreasonable and poor neighbourly relations are better than trying to be silent in your own home!

giletrouge Wed 25-Nov-20 14:50:27


He has come round twice already to complain about noise. The likelihood is you are unaware of how noisy your children are and if you want to maintain good neighbourly relations, then I’d be trying to work out a suitable compromise.

First time wasn't about the children, it was about a single day of carpet fitting, and it was in the afternoon, and it was the day before OP had even moved in.
If I had a new neighbour I wouldn't dream of complaining about noise round moving time, it's to be expected. What a way to welcome a new neighbour!
I think he's a grumpy sod OP, and I don't think you're unreasonable. And it's not your fault he has to get up at 4am for work.

Heyahun Wed 25-Nov-20 14:50:41

id tell him to stop knocking at your door - you want to not be disturbed in your home

if he has a problem he can call the council with a noise complaint and see what they have to say - you can't pander to neighbours complaints all the time

my neighbour claims we are always banging and stomping around all day - we are both at our desks from 9-6 - the most walking we do it over to the kettle to make a cup of tea in our slippers we never have shoes on in the flat - there is deffo no banging so i don't know what she's on about tbh

some of her noise complaints happened when we were gone on holiday for 2 weeks haha

the sound is of children living - you can't do much about that - maybe he should get some noise cancelling headphones

steppemum Wed 25-Nov-20 14:52:42


He has come round twice already to complain about noise. The likelihood is you are unaware of how noisy your children are and if you want to maintain good neighbourly relations, then I’d be trying to work out a suitable compromise.

hmm, well first time wasn't kids was it it was carpet fitters?

And carpet fitters don't make that much noise do they?

I'm leaning to the unreasonable neighbour.

GailsPlait Wed 25-Nov-20 14:54:07

YANBU - is it annoying for him? Yeah but can you stop doing basic house maintenance and letting your kids play? No. He should get some earphones or something. I lived UNDER a family with a kid and a dog, they never went out and didn't have carpet, it was LOUD - when they started running around I rolled my eyes and turned the telly up or wore earphones. I didn't expect the kid and the dog to just sit still.

greyspottedgoose Wed 25-Nov-20 14:57:39

I'd be tempted to go next door and listen next time he comes knocking (not ideal with covid I know!) Id bet it's not as bad as he makes out.
Sounds like he is being difficult, carpet fitting is clearly a job done once that takes as long as it takes there was absolutely no point in him complaining 😂

Oooohbehave Wed 25-Nov-20 14:58:03

Don’t engage with him. Tell him to complain formally if he has an issue.

HotSince63 Wed 25-Nov-20 14:58:34

A neighbour who complains about moving-in noise, on moving-in day, at the perfectly reasonable time of 4pm, is a twat.

Perhaps if he wants to maintain good neighbourly relations, he needs to unclench a bit.

GreyishDays Wed 25-Nov-20 15:01:05

Carpet fitting can be really really noisy, banging the nails into the gripper, on bare floorboards.

I don’t know what you can do about it though.

It’s hard to say who is being OTT without being there.

WiddlinDiddlin Wed 25-Nov-20 15:02:38

Whilst I'd encourage the kids not to run about and thump around in upstairs rooms or an adjoining room...

It is HIS choice to work the hours he works, yes it is really annoying if you work really late or really early and your sleep or relaxation time coincides with other peoples noisey time, I know, I've lived this way for years... but its MY choice to sleep til 12 and be up til 4am, Im the one who chose to run my waking hours differently to the rest of the world!

I'd say he's a grumpy arse, but it is also hard to know just how much sound carries, I am certain my neighbours are wholly unaware I can hear the murder that is their toddlers bathtime from my living room which is on the opposite side of their house AND mind from their bathroom. But I can, I can hear the girl screaming that she doesn't want to go in the bath every bloody night, and being wrestled in there and howling for whichever parent isn't the one doing the bathing. It is a sound I find particularly upsetting but it is part of life and I'm certain it isn't fun for any of them either!

SagaNorenMalmoCID Wed 25-Nov-20 15:02:54

At least it should be quiet when he wants to sleep, ie the same time as your kids, 8pm to 4am.
Other times he'll have to live with it or move.

StoneofDestiny Wed 25-Nov-20 15:04:09

Oh come on - this neighbour wants silence during the day because he is sleeping. He can't expect that to happen. In the summer are neighbours not allowed to play on swings, BBQ etc. Reasonable or occasional noise during the day is fine.

He needs to adjust - wear ear plugs or move his room to a more distant part of the house. He can't expect the world to adjust to his work pattern, any more than the world needs to adjust to children's unreasonable noise.

As long as you are keeping things reasonable - it's up to him to adjust.

Changethetoner Wed 25-Nov-20 15:05:19

He's the one who works odd hours. It's unfortunate for him, if he's being disturbed by normal family noise at normal times. all you can do is TRY to be respectful of his need to sleep during the day, but YANBU to live normally in your own home.

Fluffybutter Wed 25-Nov-20 15:08:25

I have had weeks now of the two kids next door constantly play fighting till the younger one screams and cries...yelling , stamping , running up and down the hall way .. it’s so bad and has made the pictures on my wall vibrate so I’ve had to take them off.
I really feel sorry for your neighbour.
I can’t understand why screaming , shouting and kids throwing each other about doesn’t annoy the parents themselves?

HotSince63 Wed 25-Nov-20 15:08:51

Oh come on - this neighbour wants silence during the day because he is sleeping

He's not even sleeping, he's "chilling out watching TV".

He wants silence during the day because he wants silence during the day. It's totally unreasonable.

MaMaD1990 Wed 25-Nov-20 15:11:31

All you can do is ask the kids to calm down a bit if things are getting very excitable but you and your family have every right to enjoy your home. He sounds like someone who loves a moan. If he keeps coming round just keep telling him the same thing - I'm sorry if its too noisy for you, I will ask them to keep the noise down but they are children and can't be kept quiet all the time. Thanks for understanding. Kill him with kindness but for God sakes, please don't advise him to go to the council like a pp suggested. That's just inviting trouble where you don't need it.

MadameButterface Wed 25-Nov-20 15:13:07

I have a neighbour who works shifts and complains about normal household noise (vacuum cleaner, tumble dryer, baby crying - in years gone by) after his bedtime which is 5pm. I try to be considerate, however, ex h also used to work shifts, and his view on things was that it was him who was out of sync with 'normal' hours, and so it was tough tits if his sleep was disturbed and this inconvenience is a part of why unsocial hours are paid better, and he just got on with it. I see both sides tbh.

he's probably just not used to hearing people making noise - he may mellow out. It's a tricky one. I'd say show consideration as a rule, but then again he's the one whose routine is out of sync with the world, and obviously that will sometimes be inconvenient for him.

VetiverAndLavender Wed 25-Nov-20 15:13:20

I think it's a little odd to complain that he has to be up at 4am when it was currently only 4pm!

I agree with PPs that if complaining about the noise of the carpet going in probably indicates that he's not very patient or understanding and is more likely than average to complain about lower levels of noise.

It's worth keeping relations calm if you can, but if you're monitoring the children's noise and don't think it's excessive, you've done enough. He can't expect absolute silence, no matter what his work/sleep schedule.

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