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

(207 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?

TantrumsAndBalloons Sat 26-May-12 15:14:23

Wow this thread is 2 years old?!?

I wonder what the op did with the trampoline......?

Paul19842 Tue 21-Aug-12 13:29:33

In response to the initial post and the first few which suggested ignoring the complianant was the best policy, why as parents is it impossible to comprehend the notion of bringing your children up to respect social etiquette and keep the noise levels to an acceptable volume?

When I was a kid in 1970s London my parents made sure noise levels were kept low and if a neighbour complained they, like most parents of the era, would be mortified and make sure we kept our noise down in the garden.

If somebody's livelihood or simply their peace of mind depends upon low noise levels, then why is it now considered so unreasonable to ask a parent to control their children's noise levels?

Surely parks and desginated play areas are designed to take children to let off steam and scream and shout (as indeed are schools!) where they have the security of a perimeter fence.

It seems to me that nowadays a lot of parents seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to allow their children to create noise and display unsociable behaviours simply because the parents don't seem willing to go to the trouble of taking their children to designated play areas and parks - thereby investing time in the children.

Too many paretns are happy, it would seem, to "dump" their children's noise and unsociable behaviour onto others living in the community. Responsibility comes with having children and too few parents nowadays seem to have that, the overuse of cars during the school run being a shining example.

evansthebread Sun 09-Sep-12 00:10:14

Well said, Paul.

I'm living next door to 3 kids and their trampoline. They make a lot of noise, but the most when they've hurt themselves and are running to their mother (who frequently locks them out - they're 6 and 8 - and buggers off somewhere), who is usually nowhere to be seen.

Then, not happy with injuring themselves, they like playing on the street by throwing stones at each other - usually hitting neighbours' cars.

I'll be so relieved when this family moves as they really are the neighbours from hell.

Just to make another point to the OP, and others who simply don't think (benefit of doubt here); please spare a thought for neighbours who work shifts. On our street of 30 houses, 10 homes have shift workers living in them, including ours.

We moved here because of the street's rep as being quiet - and it was for the first 5 years. Then we had the arrival of families that, how can I put this, just don't want to keep the neighbourhood a nice one. We've had the lot here recently - a lady who advertises her services (and those of her female friends) on the internet, a family renting who get rid of their 5 dogs when the landlord has had complaints about barking constantly, only to bring them back a few days later, the couldn't-care-less-about-her-kids chav next door, the anti-social ex-army guy and his teenage boy-racer kids that enjoy nothing better than revving engines at midnight, oh, and the bloke who walks his dogs off the lead, allowing them to bite others' dogs!

The recent and inconsiderate neighbours have actually ALL made attempts to be even noisier when they know their shift-work neighbours are sleeping during the day. Something that I never thought I'd see - and I have a truly evil ex-husband who I thought had done the lot to me (and others) - people behave like this. Not just inconsiderate, but plain nasty.

Now I'm not saying that the OP was being nasty, but a bit of give and take along the lines we had here, where elderly and middle-aged people lived happily with young families. It just needs some common sense and a bit of respect.

BTW, DH works for the emergency services, as do many other shift workers. If Karma exists, maybe she'll find a way of biting these inconsiderates on the arse when they need help (without causing lasting harm, of course). Or, maybe the OP will end up having to take a shift job... There's a reason sleep-deprivation is used as a method of torture.

YompingJo Fri 14-Sep-12 07:49:08

Children do play and if you had lived there for years and he had got used to it over years that would be different. You have come in and upset his peace - I understand his point of view (not saying it is completely right, but I understand it). I work from home in holiday times and next door's children playing in the garden is a big distraction, so much so that I have to stop working sometimes until they have gone inside. But we only moved here recently so they were here first, and I see it as my job to compromise because of that.

Maybe you could have a "break" and "lunch" time, like the kids would get if they were at school, and keep them the same time each day, and let him know when these times are - then he can structure his working day around those a little and he will know when to expect noise. The structured break times in the day would maybe be no bad thing for your boys as they will have to get used to this eventually at secondary school (if you send them) or at work.

You say "Since when did one person's rights hold so much weight?" but aren't you making this the case by holding the weight of your kids' right to play over your neighbour's right to work? You don't sound willing to compromise at all, but communities depend on compromise and give and take. You don't have to stop them playing but their play is causing a problem for someone and there are a couple of quite easy things you could do about it without putting yourself out too much, which I'm sure your neighbour would be grateful for.

YompingJo Fri 14-Sep-12 07:49:35

Bollocks, didn't spot that this was 2 years old!

TudorJess Sat 15-Sep-12 21:15:22

I think you should find a happy compromise. He considers your wishes 50% of the time, you consider his wishes the other 50%. Why should he give in if you're making no concessions to his wishes at all? Have to say that much noise would drive me nuts too. If you homeschool then your DCs will be at home far more than is usually the case, so making noise much more often.

TudorJess Sat 15-Sep-12 21:15:41

Oh no, Zombie thread!

<rolls eyes>

hellokittyrocks Wed 26-Sep-12 18:14:39

U hv to show consideration to your neighbours!!
Especially as u home as kids around all day
I am sure that the kids dont need to be out all day
I agree with others hv times that they go out
So as not to disturb him all day
Also make sure they arent being too noisy like shouting and screaming
If u dont consider him he could make a phone call

Littlefish Wed 26-Sep-12 18:18:39


practicalmom Tue 27-Nov-12 13:34:57

I am in a same sort of situation, with my neighbor complaining that children are 'making noise' very early in the morning and that she works nights. They usually wake up at 6ish. While I agree that she needs her sleep, I also recognize that children singing and chatting is not unreasonable noise and that they too are allowed to sing and chat, after all it is in our house. I also recognize that sound insulation between the two properties is not optimal, but it is a two way thing so unless she is willing to pay for her share not much can be done.

I have found the following document over the intenet, that I found enlightening and states that children playing is hardly 'unreasonable noise'. I hope this may help you make a decision.

Mandz07 Wed 05-Dec-12 23:40:02

I wouldn't move the trampoline, you were reasonable enough to ask him what times of day he would prefer the children not to play outside and his reply is I work all day! And then to tell you the weekends are for relaxing in his garden. When would this man like your children to play in their own garden then?? I would tell the kids to try to keep the noise down while playing on the trampoline but would definitely not move it. Kids will be kids it's not safe for them to play outside anymore so why should they not enjoy themselves in their own back yard xx

MikeOxardInTheSnow Sun 30-Dec-12 15:36:09

I would go round there while they were playing, so you can experience for yourself what the guy is complaining about. How can you judge otherwise? Then you can decide what would be proportionate. I would stop the children from screaming out there on and off all day, because that's not on anyway though.

Arithmeticulous Sun 30-Dec-12 15:39:39


SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 30-Dec-12 15:41:46

Where's Rick Grimes when you need him?!

Kalisi Mon 31-Dec-12 14:35:41

I would move the trampoline and keep an ear out for the noise levels especially during the hours of 9-3 on weekdays. That should be sufficient and if he still has issues after that he would have to lump it.
I think it's a bit rude to do nothing to rectify the situation though. The noise levels were obviously bad enough for him to feel he had to complain about it and moving the trampoline really doesn't seem like a big deal. Ignoring him is just plain rude and inconsiderate IMO.

Kalisi Mon 31-Dec-12 14:37:40

Oh no! That will teach me for not reading the whole thread.

Lukegoslin Mon 27-May-13 11:13:03

Think I'm the only one who is conscious of this.....the kids should be at school during the day not running about making loads of noise.... What do you mean they could be in the garden between 9 and 5. They should get a break at 10 then 12 like normal kids do at school....... You need to teach your kids the difference between what's wrong and right... It's obvious you've got no consideration for others ( I wonder if you went to school) maybes there's a lesson to be learned here.

LoveBeingUpAt4InTheMorning Mon 27-May-13 11:15:45


MummaBubba123 Wed 29-May-13 22:09:41

Ignore him. Be happy and enjoy your new garden.
If its not about this, it'll be about something else. He's just a child-hating selfish man.
But I'd not want my children to be screeching on it as it'd be inconsiderate knowing that Moany Pants may be trying to work.

respectothers Mon 08-Jul-13 18:31:50

I cannot believe the self centered attitude of you that say "tough let him get on with it". We have had our life made a misery by a neighbor who moved into a house backing onto mine. They insisted on shouting at their 3 small children from the top of her 200 yard garden at all ours of the day and night resulting in the children shouting back. This escalated to screaming and shrieking, crying, fighting to the extent that it was impossible to sit in the garden and read or even have a conversation. Giving them the benefit of the doubt we thought that they had no idea off the impact they where making. So several of us neighbors with adjoining properties approached them together to ask for the behavior to be modified and explaining that we also have small children and managed to keep a lid on the noise. We even played them recordings of the noise. At that point we where told to "F**K Off and mind our own business as they had no intention of changing their lifestyle". I would point out that the house was purchased for £850,000 and a further £100,000 was immediately spent on it. They have a nanny and the children are aged 10 months, 2 years and 4 years. Most of the noise starts when mummy and daddy get home.
The next stage is to inform Social Services that we think the children are at risk, that should stir things up a bit.

SunshineBossaNova Mon 08-Jul-13 18:40:05


NoComet Mon 08-Jul-13 18:41:58

Tough luck, it's a residential area, if he chooses to have his office in a residential area he is going to have DCs playing during the day.

If he wants peace, he should rent an office or get a lap top and a cordless phone and work on the sofa in his house.

Clearly DSs shouldn't yell and scream, my DDs have to be reminded of that, but they most certainly should be allowed to play.

Bollyknicks Sat 20-Jul-13 16:28:34

I think you are really being very tunnelled visioned about this. You have already made your mind up to be akward! I have 4 children, we live on a beautiful estate with other families... It's very important to respect other people and their life styles. He works from home, what a nightmare having screeching kids when your trying to concentrate ! I don't think it is unreasonable for him to expect rest bite from children during school hours... ! You complain about your other neighbours from hell, you are his neighbour from hell... Move the trampoline, you should be watching the children on that anyway, failing that, stop being a hippy... Send them to school & get a pressurised job and then you will understand where this poor chap is coming from. I feel very sorry for him.

BadSkiingMum Sat 20-Jul-13 18:05:54

I know this is a zombie thread, but I think that anyone in the OP's situation should restrict use of the trampoline during a substantial part of the day, maybe 9.00-12.00.

I appreciate that HE does not work to a particular pattern, but why is it trampolining in particular that the children need to do to relax or take a break? What about skipping? Drawing? Playing with toys? Why not all go for a brisk walk first thing in the morning to get some exercise before beginning the HE activities?

I live in an urban area and neighbours to the rear are currently relaxing by playing loud music. I have had my neighbour's 5 cats 'express themselves' so much in our garden that we had to completely re-design it. Their dogs (at times up to 5 of them) have barked morning, noon and night. Neighbours on the other side have invested in a piano that no one can actually play, not to mention the several months when they were renovating and the swathes of dust coming over meant that our own garden was unusable to our toddler.

I have not, by and large, complained about any of this, as i recognise that this is part and parcel of living in an area of high population density - BUT I think that anyone doing something that affects their neighbours has to recognise that they may be having a huge impact on someone else's life.

PearlyWhites Sat 20-Jul-13 18:12:46

If he wanted peace and quiet he should have lived far away from any neighbours. He is being unreasonable, children play he needs to get over it.

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