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AIBU?

Unreasonable neighbours noise issues or it me?

52 replies

fifi1988 · 13/01/2024 18:43

I really need some advice as I’m at the end of my tether and don’t know what to do? We have owned our current home for over 8 years, it’s a terraced house! I don’t see this being our forever home but we can’t afford to move just yet.

For the past two years our next door neighbours have complained about the noise we make as a family. We are only a family of three, have a young son age 8 . To be clear no one gets up before 7. Son is in bed most nights by 8. He’s at school all day! We never have wild parties or anything - we ourselves go to bed by 10.30 most nights! We’re a family that like to get out and about and do things so we are out and away a lot at weekends! However any time my child has a play date at our house they moan or thump on the walls, if ( as boys can do) - son is occasionally a little thumpy on the stairs they will bang on the wall. Last weekend my son had a friend round and they were not noisy at all. The only thing they did was have a race up the stairs. At 4.30 pm. And the wife came over and had a mad rant on my doorstep for around twenty minutes about the noise! It got quite threatening as she mentioned her husband was going to come round and go mad. The husband I am
scared of as he has been intimidating towards us in the past with various threats and comments. He’s that type- has something to say about everyone!! But also quite happy to wake the whole street up by shouting out the window at someone walking past at 3am. I could go on…
it’s got to the point where we’re scared to have people over as don’t want another confrontation. I’ve kept a detailed diary and have spoken to a friends husband that is a lawyer but I don’t think there is much we can do?
Any suggestions? Am
i being unreasonable? Should I stop play dates and tell my son to tiptoe on the stairs? I just want a quiet life and to not feel uncomfortable in my own home! I want my child to have friends over and not feel that the neighbours will start knocking . It seems anytime we leave the house they are looking out the window and the same when we come back. I’m constantly on edge. They also never leave the house and very rarely have anyone round. Grandkids used to come over occasionally but not been seen for months? Help!!!! Is it me?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

171 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
8%
You are NOT being unreasonable
92%
AyeRightYeAre · 13/01/2024 18:52

Carry on living your life and don't answer the door when she comes over. You don't need to listen to that.

TeatimeBiscuits · 13/01/2024 18:55

they are being unreasonable. I would practice a phrase like ‘we are not making excessive noise’ and say that once, then close the door and don’t open it again

agent765 · 13/01/2024 19:07

They may be unreasonable but just to play devil's advocate, why don't you arrange to go next door while the kids are playing to see exactly what the issue is?

Finbrek · 13/01/2024 19:14

Kids playing is normal household noise. Even if they're running or shouting or whatever, it's normal noise because that's the kind of noise that kids make. Banging on walls, on the other hand, is not normal noise. It's intimidating and aggressive. I would say to her, once and once only, when she next complains, that the noise you're making is not excessive and could she please stop banging on the wall. And then after that just ignore them.

If she put in a complaint about you they'd investigate and then laugh at her.

clairelouwho · 13/01/2024 19:17

Honestly, if you live in a terraced house, you're going to hear your neighbours from time to time. That's just part and parcel. If they're so sensitive to it, they should consider moving to a detached home or looking into soundproofing.

I live in an end terrace. I can hear my neighbours and their kids, and I'm sure they can hear me bopping about the place. It's just life. Yes, sometimes their kids can get a bit noisy and my DP has nicknamed them the baby elephants for how loud they walk but it's all in good fun and I'd never dream of banging on the walls or going over and complaining.

So long as you're not holding all-night raves or making unreasonable amounts of noise at unreasonable times, I can't see how on earth they can complain.

I would, however, to attempt to keep the peace, try and tell your DS and his friends to not race up the stairs. I get it-kids will be kids-but if they're especially sensitive to noise and prone to being dickheads about it-it could be a small adjustment that can be made on your end to appease them.

But they sound like people who will complain if they hear you sneeze in the middle of the night. Perhaps ill-suited to terraced living.

Continue as normal-you and your kids have every right to enjoy your home. If they do come around again, just politely advise that you're not making unreasonable noise, and if they have an issue with it, they can look into their own soundproofing.

Daughtersandbristolian · 13/01/2024 19:17

Do not feel intimidated, ignore the door and carry on with your lives! Entitlement at its finest! Our neighbours make soooo much noise late at night often waking me and throughout the day but we are terraced and get on with it ! You aren’t even making unreasonable noises! Ignore the bullies 💯💯💯💯

GooseClues · 13/01/2024 19:19

Did they or you have a renovation 2 years ago?
I once lived in a terraced house where I could hear the neighbours on one side having a normal conversation but on the other they could have a party and it wouldn’t bother me. Clearly something was wrong with the acoustics and we suspected the issue related to fireplaces but I moved out before the landlord figured it out.

Pumpkinpie1 · 13/01/2024 19:20

OP have you made any efforts to look at what you could do to soundproof your home?
Do you have wooden or laminate floors throughout your home? Do you remove shoes when you come in, slippers are quieter. Is your sons bed on the adjoining wall? Rugs help absorb noise.
Yes I agree you have to live your life, but if there are things you can do to placate your neighbours ….it might be worth considering .

fifi1988 · 13/01/2024 19:35

Carpeted upstairs and on the stairs and shoes must be removed at the front door! Sons bedroom not next to adjoining wall! Only the stairs are next to them and that seems to be the basis of the complaints! Tbh I would have no issue if someone behaved and spoke to me in a nice and reasonable way as genuinely we are reasonable people. We have never once had an issue with neighbours in the past. I think we just need to try and get on with our lives 😀

OP posts:
Spirallingdownwards · 13/01/2024 19:40

Ignore them or tell them next time this is normal household noise during the daytime but if they believe there is a noise issue no doubt they will ask the council to monitor the noise. Believe me it won't fall foul of council noise levels.

DelilahBucket · 13/01/2024 19:41

As the neighbours who have to listen to next door banging every thirty seconds all day every day, I will say it's very wearing being at home and listening to it constantly. To such an extent I hate being in my house if they are home. No it doesn't start early or go on late, but it's the never ending noise that is the worst. Oddly enough though, our neighbours are the aggressive ones, worse if they've had a drink.
So all that said, it depends on frequency. Offering to go in their house to listen when they are complaining, as someone else has suggested, would be a good start.

Kalevala · 13/01/2024 19:42

If it's normal daytime noise between 7am and 9pm then I'd ignore them.

MattDamon · 13/01/2024 19:48

Seems like the stairs are the biggest bugbear?

Assuming that they don't complain about you and your husband tramping up and down the stairs, an 8-year-old can be taught not to stomp.

Snowydaysfaraway · 13/01/2024 19:51

Find your voice. Take a deep breath and tell them to fuck off. It is very therapeutic op... And effective..
We had 2 locals meet under our window every Saturday for weeks. 1 of their ddogs barked the entire 45 minute conversation.. I shouted to shut that bloody ddog up.
Oddly they changed their route... They keep on at you because you allow it. Imo..

Sodndashitall · 13/01/2024 20:22

Well it's hard to say OP. You definitely don't sound like you're making g unreasonable noise but people do get very triggered and then anything can set them off. I live in a terrace my ex beigh (rental) were so noisy that everything they then did annoyed me. Even if it wasn't per se unreasonable.
So is there something you can do to meet half way? Ask them what is the worst noise eg stairs and then tackle that alone? Or alternatively if you really feel they are bang out of order then just ignore and do as PP suggested, reply with this is normal household noise in reasonable hours

noctu · 14/01/2024 08:58

DelilahBucket · 13/01/2024 19:41

As the neighbours who have to listen to next door banging every thirty seconds all day every day, I will say it's very wearing being at home and listening to it constantly. To such an extent I hate being in my house if they are home. No it doesn't start early or go on late, but it's the never ending noise that is the worst. Oddly enough though, our neighbours are the aggressive ones, worse if they've had a drink.
So all that said, it depends on frequency. Offering to go in their house to listen when they are complaining, as someone else has suggested, would be a good start.

I agree with this. It really depends on the frequency as well as the level. It's almost impossible for any of us on here to judge.
We lived next to a family of 5 and it was awful - the banging around, slamming doors, hoofing it up the stairs was never ending. They weren't awful people but it was a combination of not realising, not really caring, and probably not being able to do much about some of it anyway with young kids.
We moved into a detached house.

NotQuiteNorma · 14/01/2024 09:21

Do either of you rent? I would be considering treating this as harassment by now. They are using intimidating behaviour to try and control you.

Youcancallmeirrelevant · 14/01/2024 09:26

I'm going to guess they have downsized to the terreced house and are used to detached houses.

YANBU, carey on with your lives, and i just wouldn't answer the door anymore, or just keep repeating its part of living in terraced houses

Floofydawg · 14/01/2024 09:41

Why do the kids have to bang on the walls though? This would do my head in. They can play without banging on walls.

bobomomo · 14/01/2024 09:50

If stairs are the main issue then teaching an 8 year old to walk carefully on the stairs should be easy enough. I can hear my neighbours on their stairs too despite not hearing them speak, tv, music etc - it's vibrating from how they are installed I think. I don't think you can do any more except try to encourage walking not running or stomping

WeightoftheWorld · 14/01/2024 09:55

Floofydawg · 14/01/2024 09:41

Why do the kids have to bang on the walls though? This would do my head in. They can play without banging on walls.

I think you've misread, my understanding was that it's the neighbours banging on the walls, not the kids!

Oldraver · 14/01/2024 09:56

Did you really stand there and let your neighbour rant at you for 20 minutes ?

BritneyBookClubPresident · 14/01/2024 09:59

They have chosen to live in a terraced house

The noise levels you describe are reasonable

BritneyBookClubPresident · 14/01/2024 10:00

If they are being aggressive contact the police

FETFirstTimer · 14/01/2024 10:00

I would live normally & have a camera installed covering any interactions at the front door. I’d ever point it out to them if they came over & not engage with any of their complaints.

It sounds like living like this doesn’t suit them rather than you being an issue.

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