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AIBU re neighbours.

40 replies

SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:34

Backstory: I have lived here since April, my neighbours moved in shortly after. I have 3 kids and a dog, they had a baby in the New Year. I had a difficult last quarter of last year (separated from husband, breast cancer scare, everything that could go wrong did (re house/car etc) blah blah blah (that bits sort of irrelevant).

So last summer my daughter had an ear infection and woke up howling one night. I repeat one night. My dog barked. Not for hours, like 3-4 woofs. I obviously sorted the dog and my daughter. The next day they were round about it. I apologised and agreed to move the dogs bed into the furthest point away from their house meaning I cannot have a bin in my kitchen...

In the February school holidays they complained as they could hear my son in his bedroom and the children going up and down the stairs. I agreed to move my sons bedroom furniture around so his computer is not on the adjoining wall and to talk to the kids about their stairs walking (3 year old does the one step at a time stair stomp walk at the mo).

At Easter I got a trampoline for the kids. They go on it for ten minutes (literally ten minutes) of a weekday morning as I won't let them out before 8.30 and we have to leave at 8.40 for school and they go on it for 30 mins to 40mins of an afternoon (no later than 7.30pm).

This morning I had a text from the neighbours saying it was not on and that they have no peace or privacy in their house because of the trampoline and the kids etc.

On previous occasions I have tried to find solutions but this morning I replied that they will unfortunately make noise during waking hours and for them not to contact me about it again.

I feel like a complete bitch but we are walking on eggshells. The older kids are at school in the day and have activities a couple of times a week. They aren't here on a Sunday or a Wednesday as they are at their Dads. I am being made to feel like I can't live in my own home.

Honestly, my kids are just normal kids, they are just playing but of course we do have spats and tears at times. I have their friend sback for tea every few weeks or so but it is not as if we are having wild parties. Come 8.30pm they are in bed and it's just me pottering about - quietly.

Any advice on how I should handle this?


OP posts:

BitOfFun · 17/05/2011 23:38

I can't see what else you can do, tbh. It's horrid when you don't get along with your neighbours, but if they want the lifestyle which goes with a detached country pile, well, they have to live in one.


SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:40

That is true BOF!

OP posts:

DontCallMePeanut · 17/05/2011 23:42


Maybe, it's a case of them not being used to how older children act? DS also does the stomp up the stairs.

The walls in my house are paper thin. I hear every argument from both houses next door. In fact, I used to be able to hear next doors alarm clock go off some morning.

Could you have a civilised word with them over a brew and talk this over? Might they accept that?


holderness · 17/05/2011 23:44

What you've done so far seems entirely reasonable to me. You have tried to accommodate them and they find yet more things to complain about.

You and the kids have got to be able to live in your own house -just as they live in theirs.

As long as there are no repeated or prolonged bouts of noise/annoyances they have nothing to complain about.

You have stated your position-now hold to it. :o


MumblingRagDoll · 17/05/2011 23:44

Stop pandering to them! Unreasonable buggers! Their baby will grow up and make mess and eat everything and break things and scream and they will feel rotten.

My DC go on their trmpoline in the morning....your neighbours should be bloody well up by 7.30 with a baby anyway! Lazy sods!

Just nod, smile, tut in sympathy and agree to change nothing more. Let the DC out.


JumpOnIt · 17/05/2011 23:45

YANBU. Not at all. In fact you have been very accommodating. A reasonable amount of noise from adjoining houses has to be expected and to say that they don't have any peace or privacy in their home because your kids use their garden is ludicrous. If they want complete privacy then they should find themselves a neighbourhood full of detached houses with very few families around. Personally, I would text back and say you are sorry they feel this way as you have moved your furniture around and spoken to your children in an attempt to accommodate them. Ask what they feel you could do to resolve the situation. This puts the ball in their court and may even show them how unreasonable they are being. They can't suggest you don't use your own garden! I suspect that they won't be able to come up with anything reasonable but you will have done everything you can. At which point, I personally would ignore them. Grin

Still can't believe you moved your furniture!


SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:48

The last time she came round we did sit down and I stupidly gave her my phone number in case we were disturbing them.

My house is 1960s and our living areas adjoin, the walls are paper thin and the house is built on a hill and has a big suspended ground floor and gap between the floor and the ground which I think acts as an amplifier however the noise does travel in both directions!!!

I am a live and let live person. They had an extension and drilled and banged for a month right when I was splitting up with my husband they asked me about the noise and I said it was fine and not to worry even though it was like my fillings were going to fall out kwim?

OP posts:

squeakytoy · 17/05/2011 23:50

I am normally one of the first to say neighbours have a right to consideration, but what you describe is just normal life, nothing over the top, and exactly what you would expect from neighbour.

You sound like you are bending over backwards to keep them happy, and they are now taking advantage of that.

You are not a bitch at all, they are being twatty and precious. I would wait till you hear the slightest noise from them and be round there to complain, see how they like it.


SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:52

JOI, I will do that if they contact me again as I don't want to antagonise them, thank you.

OP posts:

lookingfoxy · 17/05/2011 23:52

I think you've been really accomodating, im in a semi and we're stair to stair, sometimes their girls pounding up the stairs you would think they were in my house, im sure its the same when im hoovering my stairs, I just assume this is normal and would never think to comment.
Their girls bedroom is wall to wall with my ds's and we can hear them banging around as im sure they will hear ds, just normal living with kids !!


JumpOnIt · 17/05/2011 23:53

It sounds like enough is enough. If the noise was really bad when they were doing their extension you probably should have said however, file that one away for future reference. They are being totally unreasonable and I know you gave them your number but it's a bloody cheek to text a neighbour you don't really know about stuff like this. You have done everything you can. Live and let live works both ways. I know it is reality stressful when you are having a to do with your neighbours but you are not the unreasonable one.


SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:55

JOI, not that you were suggesting to antagonise them, I didn't write that well at all!

I hasten to add, if my kids do get noisy on the trampoline then they come inside. I don't let them run riot.

OP posts:

SaggyHairyArse · 17/05/2011 23:56

These responses are very reassurring, it is horrible walking on eggshells in your own home :(

OP posts:

JumpOnIt · 17/05/2011 23:58

Don't worry, I know what you meant! When that baby grows up, it will be doing exactly then same thing as your DC. Don't worry about antagonising them. You have done everything you can. Sit tight and let the kids carry on as normal.


SaggyHairyArse · 18/05/2011 00:00


OP posts:

JumpOnIt · 18/05/2011 00:00

Or the same thing, even. My braincells die off at midnight. Grin


Thornykate · 18/05/2011 00:03

Contact your council to see if they have a mediation service for neighbours, some do. It will protect you in case your neighbours want to start complaining about noise levels too as it shows you are being reasonable. They shouldnt harrass you like this :(


HeadfirstForHalos · 18/05/2011 00:04

yanbu, I would want to tell them to fuck off, but for the sake of having peace with the neighbours I would put my point across politely (but firmly) thay you have every right to live your life, that you can hear all of their noises too, that their dc will be a noisy toddler soon, and you feel they are being a tad unreasonable.


fit2drop · 18/05/2011 00:17

she has recently had a baby.....

oh so tempted to say revenge is a dish best served cold..(about 6 months down the line maybe) Karma OP K arma Grin

next time she bleats on just tell her that whilst she's on the subject of complaining could she keep her sex noises down as your kids were now asking questions about it.

as for the 3 year old stair stomp.... I STILL do that Grin

Seriously........ tell her to have a word with herself [rolling eye emote]


Bigpants1 · 18/05/2011 00:41

Ignore, ignore,ignore. The more you accomodate, the more they will find to complain about. I have been in your situation, and it is stressful. Like you say, your "noise", is just general day-day noise. Youre not partying, or playing loud music.
If your neighbours come to the door again, dont shout, but make it clear, that you are not doing anything wrong, and do not want to discuss noise anymore. Likewise with texts.
Dont stop your dc playing and moving about their home, or you will all end-up living on edge.
To keep yourself "right", keep a note of when the neighbours come round and why,likewise with texts. Enjoy your house and garden!


flyingspaghettimonster · 18/05/2011 01:58

We had similar when we went to stay with my Mum and her neighbours complained every day it seemed - my kids were crying, or the doors were being slammed (nobody ever slammed a door - they were complaining about us just closing them), they could hear talking etc etc. At first we were on egg shells, but after a few weeks of complaints even after we had changed our lifestyle dramatically, and considering we could hear their own kids screeching and jumping on the beds at 6am... we just stopped bothering. We told them to call the council to come and measure the noise levels if they thought they had a justified complaint.

I had even gone round there with a brand new barbie and ken for their daughter after they claimed we woke her by slamming a door at 10pm... no thanks, no apology accepted... some people aren't worth stressing over. If they hate you so much, let them move.


Tortoiseonthehalfshell · 18/05/2011 02:07

Given that all of this is since they had the baby, I suspect a lot of it is exhaustion and hormones and "oh God we've just FINALLY got hir to sleep and the neighbour's kids are shouting again" or "the one time I get a tiny bit of peace and quiet after the slog of infant care and I can't even have a quiet cuppa in my garden". It's all completely irrational on their part and you've been really reasonable, but I think it'll be a shortlived problem. There were no complaints prior to the baby coming, right? Hopefully if you can talk to them in JOI's words, they'll calm down of their own accord once their baby gets a bit older and a bit easier.

Good luck, you sound like a lovely neighbour.


GotArt · 18/05/2011 02:19

Tell them to go buy sound proofing panels from B&Q... they're quite inexpensive. You aren't doing anything out of the ordinary.


iscream · 18/05/2011 03:37

Yanbu. They don't know how lucky they are,they must never have lived in a semi before. Hope they get a grip.
It may do to mention calmly, if you are discussing this with them in person, how you never said their construction work disturbed you, perhaps if they see an example of being neighborly, it will do them some good. You could have been over there complaining every day, yet you smiled and said no problem.
Good luck.


MollyMurphy · 18/05/2011 04:40

Wow - how horrid! YANBU - they are kids and kids make some noise. If your neighbours are so precious about peace and quiet then they should look for a detached house or adult only condo. What else can you possibly do? It sounds to me like you've been very neighbourly and accomodating.

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