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Neighbour complaining about my children's noise playing in the garden

(210 Posts)
IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:10:54

We just moved into a garden flat after not having a garden for most of my children's lives. We have had landscape gardener's in for two weeks and they are now mostly finished transforming the garden. The garden is over 100ft and we have divided it into areas. There is a bark chipped area near the back (though not right at the back) where we have put the trampoline. At the back of our garden is the garden to another house which is side on to ours (so you come out of our place, turn right and right again onto a side road and theirs is the first house so it runs perpendicular to our garden if that makes sense). Their garden is quite small and they have an extension that is not that far from the boundary between our gardens.

Today the man that lives there came to complain about the noise my children were making. He works from home in the extension and says they are too noisy on the trampoline and he can't hear to make phone calls.

My kids are aged almost 9, almost 6 and almost 2. They are all boys and we moved to this place specifically for the garden space. I home school my children so they are in the garden during the day on and off between about 9am and 5pm. The last three days we have had friends around so it has been noisier than usual. I did explain all this to the man. He said he thought we were running a nursery here! I assured him I was not!

So,he wants us to move the trampoline. He says that we only put it at the back of the garden to keep the noise away from our house (NOT TRUE!). I am unwilling to move it as we have specifically safety surfaced that area for it. I asked if there were specific times of day that he would prefer them not to be playing there - he said no as he works all day. He also mentioned his need to relax in his garden at the weekend.

So, what would you do? Would you move the trampoline? WOuld you ask your kids to be quiet when they are out there? Or would you ignore him?

CarGirl Wed 19-May-10 21:14:45

I would ignore him

Butterball Wed 19-May-10 21:15:24

I'd move the trampoline so if he complained about the noise again I could point out how reasonable I'd been about his first complaint but that he had to be reasonable in return and understand children will make some noise when out playing. Then I'd ignore him.grin HE can move his blooming office if the noise annoys him.

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 19-May-10 21:17:15

Um, without wishing to escalate a neighbor dispute, and being on friendly terms with neighbors is so valuable, why can't he work inside? He is being unreasonable about complaining that children are playing outside? hmm

If it was simply a matter of him being happy by moving the trampoline, then yes, move it, but sounds as if this isn't the only issue and he objects to children making any kind of noise.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:17:16

But I really don't want to move the trampoline!

BendyBob Wed 19-May-10 21:17:28

I think it's give and take actually. I have 3 dc/garden/trampoline etc.

I don't think they can be expected to be completely quiet but I definately tell them to keep the noise down if they start shouting and making a loud noise.

Normal laughing, giggling chatting and playing are ok but I won't let them shriek and shout. That's not to say they don't, but I tell them to keep it down.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:18:07

He is working inside, but just in the extension which of course is closer to our garden.

HousewifeOfOrangeCounty Wed 19-May-10 21:18:11

Ignor - I do understand his pov, but they'll only get one childhood and it's better that it's one they remember as being free.

Tidey Wed 19-May-10 21:18:12

He's being a selfish cock. Ignore.

activate Wed 19-May-10 21:18:18

I think MrsDoAsYouWouldBeDoneBy should be brought into play

His complaint sounds reasonable enough - he works at home and the positioning of your trampoline is now impeding his work and relaxation.

You have a 100 foot garden - move it up towards your house - that way you can monitor them as well because trampolines are dangerous.

I think your landscaper should have thought of neighbours in the original design tbh

EldonAve Wed 19-May-10 21:20:01

I would ignore him

Butterball Wed 19-May-10 21:20:37

Is the hassle of moving it really worth having a bad relationship with a neighbour over?

activate Wed 19-May-10 21:20:44

By IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:17:16
But I really don't want to move the trampoline!


You have a duty not to piss other people off surely - it's called community.

You should move it - and you should also control shrieking and screaming unless you live in the country withyour own acerage

abr1de Wed 19-May-10 21:21:10

I work from home and it is difficult if there is a lot of noise. Because you're homeschooling perhaps you need to set up distinct trampoline periods so he knows when he can make calls.

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:21:23

Does his right to work at home out weigh the right of my children to play? Just a thought.

If I move the trampoline closer to the house,I will be annoying the neighbours near to me along my road. There is an elderly man living above me and an elderly lady living next door.

McDreamy Wed 19-May-10 21:21:35

I wouldn't move the trampoline. I would make the children aware that you have neighbours that work during the day so while you do not expect silence being aware and considering others would be a good thing but apart from that I wouldn't do anything else.

activate Wed 19-May-10 21:22:38

He was there first

and yes it does

you could ask the neighbours - or you could get rid of the trampoline and put up a climbing frame - less shrieks on a climbing frame or wendy house or slide

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:23:24

Sorry, but I am laughing at the idea of distinct trampoline periods!

I did ask him if he could tell me times of the day when he would prefer them not to play there. HE said it was a problem all day.

It is really not as simple as just moving it closer to the house. We have added paths and concrete and bark chipped that area for safety.

scurryfunge Wed 19-May-10 21:23:48

Just ignore him. He could call in the council to judge the level of noise but I doubt children playing/shouting would ever reach unacceptable levels.

If your children scream and shout for8 hours during the day, I would say it's unreasonable but I doubt they are doing that either. Tell him to shut his windows.

BendyBob Wed 19-May-10 21:23:51

Can't they just play more quietly?

It's hard to tell without having heard whether he has a point or not.

I think you have to be considerate if they are being too noisy.

Butterball Wed 19-May-10 21:24:29

But you are comeing across as if your childrens right to play outweighs his right to work at home. A little compromise moving trampoline/rules about noise for your children when on trampoline/whatever would make for a nicer relationship with your neighbour. Your children can still play and your neighbour can hear himself think.

CarGirl Wed 19-May-10 21:24:48

Have to say although I said ignore him I am strict with my dc about how much noisy play goes on in our garden in consideration of our neighbours.

MaryBS Wed 19-May-10 21:25:22

control shrieking and screaming activate? You serious? I have some duct tape I can let the Op have, do you think that'd do?

IlanaK Wed 19-May-10 21:25:34

It is really interesting to read people's views on this. I am truly shocked that people think I should get rid of the trampoline or restrict the children from playing. Since when did one person's rights hold so much weight?

I of course talk to my children about noise with the neighbours. My toddler makes the most noise as he screams a lot. He is non-verbal and I am not sure how I am supposed to explain to him that this guy wants quiet!

TheFatOwlOfTheRemove Wed 19-May-10 21:26:55

I would try and control their noise a bit, but mostly I would ignore him

children play [shrug]

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