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The neighbours shout and stomp...

(9 Posts)
Londonjam Thu 18-May-17 09:14:22

My DH and I moved into our first ever home last month - the ground floor of a converted Edwardian house.

It turns out there is no sound insulation and the family upstairs are extremely loud. They don't talk - they shout. Almost all the time. They also stomp about and seem to be wearing shoes indoors which makes extra noise.

The family is a mum with two teenage children. Grandma comes over from Athens and is very sweet, doesn't speak a single word of English and speaks at us without pause in Greek grin

I've written them a letter explaining politely that there is little sound insulation etc could they possibly please try to shout and stomp less? I also explained that my DH works nights/weekends etc and needs to be able to rest.

She knocked on the door shortly after said letter was left and was very defensive - no hello nice to properly meet you etc, just said firstly if you have a problem knock on my door (perhaps I should have done this but I hate confrontation and felt a letter as first step was okay). Then proceeded to tell me she's a single mum she can't make her children stop shouting the problem is the walls and ceiling and there's nothing she can do about it.

I made sympathetic responses and asked several more times nicely if she could just try to please be a little quieter we would really appreciate it. She didn't really agree to this. Our cat shot through my legs and ran up her stairs nosy bugger at that point which kind of broke the ice. We ended up on much friendlier terms - but the noise levels are not much better from them sad

This morning DH got in from work at 1am and is back in work tonight. They were shouting and crashing around from about 0715 to 0800 envy

What's the next step? If I take it to their landlord I'm going to make enemies of them.

ZeldaWasMyGransName Fri 19-May-17 12:21:48

Such a tricky situation. There will be people on here who will say you should have gone round rather than sent a letter but I totally understand, it's awkward, a letter feels easier.

Practically - you say it's rented. Do they have carpet? I believe there is a building regulations thing that says rented flats must have some sort of floor covering for exactly this reason. Tactfully investigate this with the landlord?
Secondly look into ceiling sound insulation if you can afford the cost and ceiling height. It won't make it go away but may lesson it enough.

There will be people who will say be noisy back to them, they will realise etc. I would say try to kill it with kindness. EVERY TIME they are noisy go up there and be very apologetic and sweet without being insincere, use the cat chat if you've bonded over that, if you just keep being continually nice people usually find it hard to be mean back, and if you go EVERY time they will get sick of it and probably try to be quieter. It will probably be horribly awkward. But worth it?

Nowwhatsthis Fri 19-May-17 12:29:37

I think you need to approach the landlord and ask for some sort of acoustic layer to be installed between the flats. They probably don't stomp but when the sound travels through it might sound like it to you.

Can your husband wear earplugs? It sounds as if they were just rushing about for 45 minutes prior to school/work, that's not excessive.

Summerisdone Fri 19-May-17 12:31:46

Per gaps invite her round for a coffee when you know both her kids are also home. That way she can experience first hand just how loud it really sounds to yourself, because she may not think they're being all that loud but it always sounds much worse when you're the one living underneath.

I truly sympathise with you but I live in the upstairs of a maisonette, so I don't always realise just how loud I can be upstairs. I desperately try to keep the noise down but it's not always as easy to tell a 2.6 year old to stop running round and stomping confused.

I do already appreciate that I may sound much louder to my downstairs neighbour than I do to myself, and I always tell her to please just knock on if it's too loud and she needs us to tone it down a little, so perhaps your neighbour needs to just experience the noise from your home to appreciate how loud they're being

Summerisdone Fri 19-May-17 12:32:43

NOT per gaps, damn autocorrect grin

Londonjam Fri 19-May-17 12:32:44

Thanks for responding - my instinct is to kill with kindness too, but I can't seem to summon up the balls to knock on the door every time they are loud.

Plus most of the shouting sounds quite fraught - its probably typical mum-teenage children stuff - but if I go and knock on the door midst argument she will already be all fired up!

The sound insulation thing - I don't really want to lose ceiling height, and have read lots about how its more effective if the insulation is put in upstairs. Yes I've heard that about carpet upstairs before - I think it would help long term if I mention this to the family upstairs before going behind her back to the landlord though. Having been a renter for many years I would definitely have appreciated this.

Need to employ thick skin mode!

ClaudiaWankleman Fri 19-May-17 12:40:52

Obviously it is very annoying to you, but your DP is the odd one out by being on a different schedule to what is typical. Of course this isn't his fault, but the upstairs family aren't being unreasonable in being up and moving around between 7:15 and 8, on a weekday morning. They were obviously just going to school and work.

Do have a conversation about carpet, but it probably isn't their responsibility to put it in if they rent. I can understand them being annoyed about a letter if you hadn't mentioned it before - especially as there wasn't any unreasonable behaviour on their behalf.

Your DP probably needs to use earplugs when he sleeps - you can get very soft ones which he won't feel.

drinkingtea Fri 19-May-17 12:52:33

A letter can feel far more aggressive and demanding/ accusatory than you mean it too - speaking in person is always better.

It's a bit one way isn't it - you want them to be quiet and put insulation in to give you quiet, but you're not prepared to loose any ceiling height putting insulation in yourself... Is your dh's sleep less important than your ceiling height but more important than them being able to go about their life without constantly worrying about whether your DH is asleep in the day?

I work shifts too and sympathise with that but it's quite naive to buy a flat conversation in an Edwardian building and assume you won't hear your neighbours, or that they will be silent in the hour they are trying to get out to work and school and during the day generally if you tell them to.

Move to a solid purpose built flat, or a house further away where its cheaper with a longer commute, if you need daytime quiet.

twisterinyogapants Sat 20-May-17 19:01:54

All though it would be nice if they were quiet during the day I don't think you can expect it. I doubt their landlord would care much. You want the quiet then you need to sound proof your side.

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