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Neighbour complaining about noise from our pool

(88 Posts)
crusoe16 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:15:39

We bought a house about a year ago, one of the reasons we bought it was because it had an outdoor pool. The pool is walled, and part of the wall forms the back of our neighbours' house. They bought their house around the same time as we bought ours and there is no way they couldn't not have known they were metres from a pool.

They are a retired couple and we have 4 DC. A few weeks after we both moved into our properties the lady made a comment about the children being noisy in the pool. I knew then that we were likely to have a problem so we remind the children not to scream and shout when they're in the garden or pool.

We heat the pool for about 4 months over summer and the children use it whenever they can. Probably for up to two hours a day and never after 6pm. There is obviously some noise, laughter, shrieking, jumping in etc from the children. There certainly isn't any offensive language or screaming. Occasionally the children will have friends over and then there is probably a bit more shrieking but we're talking a couple of times a month at most. We were away all of July so there hasn't been any noise for the past 5 weeks.

It was my son's birthday yesterday and we had a party at home, the children all swam and the noise level admittedly was quite high. The neighbours called tonight to complain "it was unbearable and we had to go out". I apologised for the noise and for not warning them about the party. They went on to suggest we never have a children's party in the pool again which I objected to; one of our four DC is a summer baby and it's likely we'll have his party at home every year and that the children would use the pool. I promised to give them good notice next time and that it would only be an annual thing.

They then went on to complain of constant noise from the pool. I objected to this as I've already said it's for a couple of hours a day max, never in the evenings and we've been away for all of the summer holidays until now. During term time the children are obviously at school so it's only generally used at weekends. They said they the noise from the children ruins their enjoyment of their garden. I was polite and apologetic and even went as far as promising not to let the children in the pool next Sunday as they are apparently entertaining but my DH doesn't think I should have said that in case they take to entertaining on a daily basis!

I'm unsure what to do or where we stand. I don't want to fall out with our neighbours. They clearly find any noise from the pool irritating and I can't realistically eradicate the noise confused

NicknameUsed Sun 07-Aug-16 20:18:46

It's a tough one. It's great that your children can use the pool and make the most of it. Also, I can't see children playing quietly when in a pool either.

However, I would hate to be your neighbour

DoreenLethal Sun 07-Aug-16 20:18:56

Could they have realistically have had no idea that there was a pool there when they moved in? If so then I'd cool it a bit. Otherwise - they bought a house next to a pool! What did they think would happen? Silent swimming?

gamerchick Sun 07-Aug-16 20:21:10

Maybe they want a shot of your pool?

RandomMess Sun 07-Aug-16 20:21:25

If they want to ensure piece and quiet in their garden they need to move somewhere far, far, far away from any neighbours...

Clearly they are disappointed that they have "noisy" neighbours but it seems that any noise from your DC would annoy them tbh.

HooseRice Sun 07-Aug-16 20:23:06

The pool is a red herring. It's kids playing in the garden. If you got rid of the pool they'd still complain.

When your kids are older they may want evening pool parties with their friends. You may want a pool party with your grown up chums.

As long as you are quiet after 11pm, no harm done.

If it is so noisy it is annoying you, then tell the kids to keep it down.

crusoe16 Sun 07-Aug-16 20:23:12

They must have known about the pool - it's literally 3m from their house and it's been there for over 20 years!

RandomMess Sun 07-Aug-16 20:33:55

Well it's tough on the neighbours - who is likely to sell up first you or them? Who has the most to lose by there being a dispute?

RaeSkywalker Sun 07-Aug-16 20:37:57

Sounds like a normal amount of noise to me- children playing in a garden in the summer. If you buy a reasonably sized house in an area with other reasonably sized houses, surely you must expect noise from children playing?

TheDailyWail Sun 07-Aug-16 20:38:44

I thought of this case when I read yours: m.theargus.co.uk/news/14642705.Couple_lose_battle_over_noise_at_park/

Honeyandfizz Sun 07-Aug-16 20:39:07

Hooserice has it spot on, it's not the pool it's your dc noise in general. If you are reasonable & they aren't shrieking & aren't out until an unreasonable hour then I think you have to ignore them.

rookiemere Sun 07-Aug-16 20:39:31

You sound as if you've been more than reasonable to be honest.

Someone I worked with used to do volunteer mediation with the council and it sounds like that may be useful, but to be honest I don't see what more you can do. As another has said if it wasn't the pool it would be your DCs playing outside. If they want perfect silence to enjoy their garden, they should have moved to a solitary house.

TheDailyWail Sun 07-Aug-16 20:39:49

I do try and keep our kids quiet but I think children are entitled to have fun in their own gardens.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Sun 07-Aug-16 20:40:09

I agree the pool isn't the issue.

If you didn't have the pool you would still have 4 kids who would play in the garden. Whether it's football, nerf, a trampoline.

You can't expect to live next door to a house with kids in and not hear noise. Obviously non stop screaming/shrieking is not good but it sounds like you're telling your dc to keep the noise down to reasonable levels and being considerate of hours.

I would be polite and firm with the neighbours. Agree to no poll between x hours, even agree to the odd day of no pool if they're entertaining but otherwise they will have to suck it up. It's not as if you're playing music loudly all day like my neighbour does. I don't complain to him though I grumble to myself!

Fairylea Sun 07-Aug-16 20:46:05

I think you are being more than reasonable and they are being ridiculous. I'd love to see how they'd cope in our little road - neighbours having regular parties until 3am, a mother and adult son along the street regularly swearing at each other along the road, next door to us drilling at 7am etc etc- and this is a fairly average street in a nice part of south Norfolk! Four kids playing in a garden / pool at reasonable times sounds like heaven to me compared to the annoying noises of proper nuisance people.

I'd be very tempted to keep a supply of earplugs by the front door and hand them out to them whenever they call round moaning. They won't get anywhere by complaining.

crusoe16 Mon 08-Aug-16 16:34:41

I spoke to a noise officer at Environmental Health this morning. He reassured me that unless we were hosting adult parties with loud music late at night they wouldn't take any action and they don't come out to investigate noise from children playing unless it's constant and at unreasonable hours. He said the next time they call to complain to give them his direct dial. Obviously it doesn't really help in terms of getting along with the neighbours but at least I know I'm on the 'right side of the law'!

akkakk Mon 08-Aug-16 16:46:22

one person / couple 's annoyance doesn't trump someone else's legal pursuits...

while it is a shame that they are not happy, it is not your responsibility...
you need to make sure that you are not a wet blanket, letting them dictate terms to you - don't agree to curfews / other conditions of use of your own legal property - otherwise they will simply build on that in their next complaint...

instead, firmly but politely tell them that, while it is a shame that they don't like it, it is legal and it will continue to be used. They are very foolish - if my neighbour had a pool, I would be on VERY good terms with them grin - neighbours a street away from me have a pool and during summer you can hear children using it - it is one of the joys of summer...

OurBlanche Mon 08-Aug-16 16:51:21

In terms of getting along with the neighbours Think that through... you are trying are they?

If the EHO has given you his number and told you to ring if they start again then you have been told, categorically , that they are not being reasonable, are not trying to get along and have no legal footing in the matter.

I too would hate to live next door to you - but I would have seen the pool, made some assumptions and bought a house better suited to my own lifestyle. I would also assume that you live in a family area and that they, as a retired couple, may well be irritated by lots of kids, dogs, butterflies...

In short, don't bring your kids up having to be seen and not heard! Sod them!

OurBlanche Mon 08-Aug-16 16:52:41

Oh, and stop with the self imposed curfews. Let your kids use the bloody garden of an evening, pool and all. Don't martyr yourself to such unreasonable expectations.

Dandelion6565 Mon 08-Aug-16 16:56:16

Tough, I agree the pool is a red herring...could be a trampoline, football, sword fighting, water fights. It's the noise.

Unfortunately unless they live in the middle of nowhere they will get noise.

I'd apologise but explain you will use your garden and that is that.

I let mine play out after 9 and before 7 they are noisy but I don't allow shouting or screaming, the rest well it's just family noise. We do have a lady who hates noise but it's not excessive so she has to suck it up.

Ilovewillow Mon 08-Aug-16 16:57:18

Maybe you could head off a dispute by offering them use of the pool during the days no one is at home?

DandelionAndBedrock Mon 08-Aug-16 17:00:54

Totally agree that you don't need to do anything for your neighbours. You haven't done anything wrong.

BUT... When I was a teenager my friend parked on our drive (used for access by neighbours). It wasn't very sensible, but they could still get through. They flipped out and stuck stickers all over her car and left a rude note. I helped her clean her car up and then went round to explain with a bottle of wine and big innocent eyes. They were so embarrassed they barely make eye contact several years on. Send your most adorable DC next door to pass on the message that they will continue to play in the pool wink.

JinkxMonsoon Mon 08-Aug-16 17:01:54

Oh no, don't offer them use of your pool! I remember a long running thread on MN by a woman whose neighbour just used to turn up and use her pool without asking. Don't even go there grin

OP, you're being more than reasonable. And I agree that the pool is a red herring, their problem is noise in your garden, full stop. And there's nothing you can do about that.

JackandDiane Mon 08-Aug-16 17:03:28

there is a pool near us and it fricking DRIVES ME NUTS

OhNoNotMyBaby Mon 08-Aug-16 17:06:02

As everyone else has said, it's your house, your pool and you have a right to enjoy it - especially your children. I would certainly give them the noise abatement officer's number asap. He will hopefully be able to get them to understand that they have no grounds to complain about anything and it might get them off your back.

You should not feel obliged to have specified 'no swimming days' that's unreasonable on their part.

Besides - it's going to get very hot again next week!

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