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New neighbour noise

Hi,

Just wanting some opinions on how we should handle this situation as we are really not sure what to do- it’s not a typical noisy neighbour issue.

Just to clarify up front, my husband & I own our house. We're in no position to move for at least a few years. Husband works M-F 9-5 but I’m a full time student and work a few evenings a week so I’m at home a lot during the day to study etc.

Our house is semi detached. The house attached to ours was lived in by a single middle aged guy for the first couple of years we lived here. Really quiet, no issues. He has since decided to rent it out. So the next year it was a couple with their 3 year old son and a newborn baby boy.

There was the odd bit of noise from the toddler and the newborn cried a lot as expected but it never bothered us. You could always hear them tell the toddler to calm down if it got too much and the newborn crying etc was no problem as we wouldn’t expect anything else and they always seemed to be as considerate as possible with trying to keep them calm.

The dad was always out at work all day, the mum was on mat leave but always had the kids out and about and come 7.30pm every night we never heard a sound. Great neighbours but they decided to buy their own house so a new family has moved in.

It’s a young-ish mum, her partner and a 3 year old girl (from what I have gathered it is not his child but thats not really relevant). They have been here for less than 2 months and we are at our wits end already with the noise the child makes every day.

She screams and shouts constantly. I mean ear piercing, nothing drowns it out, screaming. On Saturday, even with the washing machine on, my husband cutting the grass, and some music playing, all we could hear were her screams. It’s those toddler ‘NO NO MINE!!!! NOOOOO’ demonic screams when she doesn’t get her way. Except it’s all the time. She seems to even wake up screaming and shouting.

Now, normally I would prefer to go in and speak to neighbours directly about any issues but a couple of things have made it awkward to do so.

First of all, it would seem the mum has cancer which must be quite bad as she recently shaved her head. We do not want to make an already horrible situation worse in any way.

Also, she came in and spoke to my husband one evening a couple of weeks after they moved in (I was at work) to say if noise of TV was ever too much to let them know but her daughter has hearing issues so isn’t aware of how loud she is- but no mention of what we should do/say if it gets too bad or what she intends to do about it..just sort of told him thats how it is.

Also, I assume neither the mum or boyfriend work. Maybe she is off sick, but the boyfriend certainly doesn’t go out to work. So they are in all the time and never take the child out. Even at weekends. The child is also regularly awake until 10-11pm at night.

Unlike the last family, who we could hear telling their toddler to calm it down if it got too much, there is apparently absolutely no discipline whatsoever. My husband remarked that we knew the same of the last families toddler pretty quickly because you could hear them telling him by name to behave- whereas he has never heard this child's name.

So, how do we handle this? As we never felt the need to say anything about another family with a child of the same age PLUS a newborn and yet this one child is driving us crazy, I definitely don’t think its a case of us being unreasonable about the level of noise children can make. There are loads of kids in this street of similar ages who are great, we have nieces and nephews, my husband coaches 4/5 year olds and we hope to have kids of our own- so we know they can be noisy and to a certain degree it can’t be helped. But this is another level.

It's affecting our life in our own home. I’m struggling to focus during the day on my uni work and in the evenings we are mostly just going to sleep early as we can't do anything else. There is no getting away from it. Should mention we don’t really have the funds for me to spend on travelling elsewhere during the day.

How do we approach it when the mum is so sick, the boyfriend isn’t the childs dad and they said she has hearing difficulties which they obviously believe excuses it? To us it looks like its more a case of bad behaviour. Hearing issues or not, I’ve heard her speak at a perfectly normal level the odd time. And the volume is so loud it will need to be addressed if she is going to be in nursery or school with other children.

Do we approach them? What would we even say when its a discipline issue- it’s not for us to tell them how to parent. Or do we go to the letting agent and say we would normally address it ourselves but feel uncomfortable doing so so can they have a work or ask the landlord to contact us?

Help please!! I am currently revising for exams and after that will be around the house all summer and cannot take months on end of this.
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Replies

  • thorsoakthorsoak Forumite
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    Could you use headphones whilst you are studying?
  • I could but always found them irritating to wear.
  • thorsoakthorsoak Forumite
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    It's a tough one and I cannot make any suggestions other than getting to know your neighbours and use headphones whilst you are studying.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Hi,

    Just wanting some opinions on how we should handle this situation as we are really not sure what to do- it’s not a typical noisy neighbour issue.

    Just to clarify up front, my husband & I own our house. We're in no position to move for at least a few years. Husband works M-F 9-5 but I’m a full time student and work a few evenings a week so I’m at home a lot during the day to study etc.

    Our house is semi detached. The house attached to ours was lived in by a single middle aged guy for the first couple of years we lived here. Really quiet, no issues. He has since decided to rent it out. So the next year it was a couple with their 3 year old son and a newborn baby boy.

    There was the odd bit of noise from the toddler and the newborn cried a lot as expected but it never bothered us. You could always hear them tell the toddler to calm down if it got too much and the newborn crying etc was no problem as we wouldn’t expect anything else and they always seemed to be as considerate as possible with trying to keep them calm.

    The dad was always out at work all day, the mum was on mat leave but always had the kids out and about and come 7.30pm every night we never heard a sound. Great neighbours but they decided to buy their own house so a new family has moved in.

    It’s a young-ish mum, her partner and a 3 year old girl (from what I have gathered it is not his child but thats not really relevant). They have been here for less than 2 months and we are at our wits end already with the noise the child makes every day.

    She screams and shouts constantly. I mean ear piercing, nothing drowns it out, screaming. On Saturday, even with the washing machine on, my husband cutting the grass, and some music playing, all we could hear were her screams. It’s those toddler ‘NO NO MINE!!!! NOOOOO’ demonic screams when she doesn’t get her way. Except it’s all the time. She seems to even wake up screaming and shouting.

    Now, normally I would prefer to go in and speak to neighbours directly about any issues but a couple of things have made it awkward to do so.

    First of all, it would seem the mum has cancer which must be quite bad as she recently shaved her head. We do not want to make an already horrible situation worse in any way.

    Also, she came in and spoke to my husband one evening a couple of weeks after they moved in (I was at work) to say if noise of TV was ever too much to let them know but her daughter has hearing issues so isn’t aware of how loud she is- but no mention of what we should do/say if it gets too bad or what she intends to do about it..just sort of told him thats how it is.

    Also, I assume neither the mum or boyfriend work. Maybe she is off sick, but the boyfriend certainly doesn’t go out to work. So they are in all the time and never take the child out. Even at weekends. The child is also regularly awake until 10-11pm at night.

    Unlike the last family, who we could hear telling their toddler to calm it down if it got too much, there is apparently absolutely no discipline whatsoever. My husband remarked that we knew the same of the last families toddler pretty quickly because you could hear them telling him by name to behave- whereas he has never heard this child's name.

    So, how do we handle this? As we never felt the need to say anything about another family with a child of the same age PLUS a newborn and yet this one child is driving us crazy, I definitely don’t think its a case of us being unreasonable about the level of noise children can make. There are loads of kids in this street of similar ages who are great, we have nieces and nephews, my husband coaches 4/5 year olds and we hope to have kids of our own- so we know they can be noisy and to a certain degree it can’t be helped. But this is another level.

    It's affecting our life in our own home. I’m struggling to focus during the day on my uni work and in the evenings we are mostly just going to sleep early as we can't do anything else. There is no getting away from it. Should mention we don’t really have the funds for me to spend on travelling elsewhere during the day.

    How do we approach it when the mum is so sick, the boyfriend isn’t the childs dad and they said she has hearing difficulties which they obviously believe excuses it? To us it looks like its more a case of bad behaviour. Hearing issues or not, I’ve heard her speak at a perfectly normal level the odd time. And the volume is so loud it will need to be addressed if she is going to be in nursery or school with other children.

    Do we approach them? What would we even say when its a discipline issue- it’s not for us to tell them how to parent. Or do we go to the letting agent and say we would normally address it ourselves but feel uncomfortable doing so so can they have a work or ask the landlord to contact us?

    Help please!! I am currently revising for exams and after that will be around the house all summer and cannot take months on end of this.
    To be honest you approach it no differently than any other.


    Friendly chat, complaint etc.


    BUT I do worry your focus is on lack of employment and paternity.


    Frankly neither is relevant and you seem to be judging these people. For what it's worth to me a guy has taken on a lot of responsibility looking after a cancer sufferer and her young child!


    That aside, neither the LL nor the Letting Agent can do anything about this legally.


    The fact you cant sell is totally irrelevant.
  • spadooshspadoosh Forumite
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    I could but always found them irritating to wear.

    More or less irritating than a child you (or apparently its parents) have no control over?

    Theres nothing you can do to stop them making the noises, your options are limited to preventing yourself from hearing the noises.
  • Just to clarify..

    The being at home all day bit- was more about the boyfriend, she is obviously very unwell, but he has a big audi in the driveway and does nothing all day, so could take the child out a bit more to give her some peace and maybe the child wouldnt be so crazy being cooped up all day. I do wonder how they can afford the rent of £600pm and car etc with little or no income- would hate to think he was taking advantage of her situation, relationship seems fairly new.

    Paternity- I did say in my OP I didn't think it was relevant but just pointing it out incase it would be inappropiate to discuss it with him and should I only speak to the childs mum but again dont want to give her more issues when she is so ill

    And pointing out we can't sell- again this was just due to having seen similar posts in the past where people are just told to deal with it or move, so just making clear moving isn't an option so would like advice on how to deal with it.

    Not really a fan of husband & I wearing earphones all the time in our own house. They irritate my ears so not going to wear them when trying to study.
  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    Just to clarify..

    The being at home all day bit- was more about the boyfriend, she is obviously very unwell, but he has a big audi in the driveway and does nothing all day - Or he works from home and cares for his sick girlfriend and her child?! , so could take the child out a bit more to give her some peace and maybe the child wouldnt be so crazy being cooped up all day. I do wonder how they can afford the rent of £600pm and car etc with little or no income- would hate to think he was taking advantage of her situation, relationship seems fairly new. - Who on earth are you to judge their relationship or their finances?

    Paternity- I did say in my OP I didn't think it was relevant but just pointing it out incase it would be inappropiate to discuss it with him and should I only speak to the childs mum but again dont want to give her more issues when she is so ill - You aren't a teacher or a social worker, you seem fine discussing it with a bunch of strangers on here....

    And pointing out we can't sell- again this was just due to having seen similar posts in the past where people are just told to deal with it or move, so just making clear moving isn't an option so would like advice on how to deal with it. - it's YOUR problem you cant sell though.

    Not really a fan of husband & I wearing earphones all the time in our own house. They irritate my ears so not going to wear them when trying to study.


    What is it being your own house got to do with it, it's their own house too....


    (yes it's rented, but in law it's like they own it)
  • gazzak_2gazzak_2 Forumite
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    The child will soon be starting nursery if she's 3, then pre school when she's 4 so you'll soon start getting the days back and hopefully the evenings as well as school tires them out nicely.

    Noise cancelling headphones all the way.

    Oh and please ignore the obvious trolls on here who are already trying to get a reaction from you.
  • edited 26 March 2018 at 1:56PM
    need_an_answerneed_an_answer Forumite
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    edited 26 March 2018 at 1:56PM
    You really have 2 options.
    speak with the neighbours and let them know just how easy noise travels or put up with it and hope that they don't continue to rent for that long.

    noise is a subjective thing,what irritates some doesn't bother others and unless it is at unsociable hours then its very difficult to do anything about it.
    If for example you worked away from the home you probably wouldn't hear the majority of the noise.

    You did mention that the neighbour called round regarding the TV noise you could use this as the starting point to perhaps explain that it's not the noise from the TV that is an issue but you are hearing the child quite frequently.
    I assume that if she is deaf then she is herself unable to regulate sound quite as easily and it's not as simple as being able to regulate the child in the same way that previous tenants have,she too has a medical condition which needs to be factored in to the situation.
    Being non hearing is not the same as being unruly or disruptive and its very sad that you seem to want to compare her to a hearing child!

    Playing the devils advocate here too,is it possible that you have considered how much your noise carries to them?
    Having a washing machine running,lawnmower and music on at the same time isn't exactly a silent existence.

    I suspect that many of your dislikes perhaps run deeper than the noise and have more to do with the lifestyle of these neighbours.
    Sadly as others have said a dislike of a situation does not mean that the Landlord has any obligation to you to intervene
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  • thorsoakthorsoak Forumite
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    Just to clarify..

    The being at home all day bit- was more about the boyfriend, she is obviously very unwell, but he has a big audi in the driveway and does nothing all day, so could take the child out a bit more to give her some peace and maybe the child wouldnt be so crazy being cooped up all day. I do wonder how they can afford the rent of £600pm and car etc with little or no income- would hate to think he was taking advantage of her situation, relationship seems fairly new.

    Paternity- I did say in my OP I didn't think it was relevant but just pointing it out incase it would be inappropiate to discuss it with him and should I only speak to the childs mum but again dont want to give her more issues when she is so ill

    And pointing out we can't sell- again this was just due to having seen similar posts in the past where people are just told to deal with it or move, so just making clear moving isn't an option so would like advice on how to deal with it.

    Not really a fan of husband & I wearing earphones all the time in our own house. They irritate my ears so not going to wear them when trying to study.

    I'm being honest about this - your apparent fixation on how they can afford the rent/the big house/his unemployment/unwillingness to take the child out are a problem.

    Maybe the mother would prefer to wear headphones so that she too does not hear the noise that she her own daughter makes, that she is unable to lessen.
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