Complaints or sympathy? How noisy neighbours affect home life

A little boy playing with a toy drumImage copyright Getty Images

The news of a family who had been threatened with eviction from their London flat after their neighbours complained about their crying baby, received mixed reactions on social media and among our readers. Some sympathised with the parents while others agree with the neighbours’ response.

Many of you have shared your experiences of living with young children and living next to young families.

Dreading bedtimes

Anon from Guernsey: I had a family with a toddler rent the flat next to me – I own my flat. Every night the toddler would wake up screaming several times a night waking me up.

It was miserable being woken up like that and not having the power to do anything. I use to dread bedtimes.

I feel for parents having sleepless nights but it also means people suffer around them.

Jamie from London: I live in a ground-floor flat with my wife and 15-month-old daughter. Like all children, she wakes up at the crack of dawn and makes considerable noise. We are extremely conscious of this, but there is very little you can do with a toddler at that age.

Thankfully, to our current awareness, our neighbours haven’t said anything to us. And until house prices, deposits and nursery costs drop, we will remain in this current situation, despite our London wages.

Image caption The Wurth family were told they might be evicted because their baby was crying

Noise impacting on work

Chris from Essex: Much as I sympathise with the family, what about the people suffering the noise? I am in my current privately-rented flat for almost a year.

In mid-June, a couple moved into the flat above me with their baby. The noise has gradually got worse and worse. Though not one to complain, I eventually had a word with the landlord who spoke to the tenants.

However, the noise continues. To make matters worse I work from home, so it is impacting on my work. In order to sleep at night, I have to close all doors and wear earplugs, yet still the noise comes through.

I blame the landlord for putting them in there in the first place, that and not having proper insulation. Having spoken to the landlord again, he told them to end the noise or else they would be asked to leave, which of course puts me in a bad light.

Lisa from London: I’ve been issued with a noise nuisance letter. I’m also in a converted flat on the ground floor having three under five-year-olds in a tiny flat with very thin plasterboards.

I get scared if one of them wakes during the night needing the toilet as this is what upsets my neighbours upstairs. I’m not happy and feel very isolated. I have to isolate my children in their own home or go out for hours just to keep them busy.

I was running around so much I became poorly and had nobody to look after them. Now I’m to blame myself for this too. What else can a young mother do if complaints are constantly being made? My children are so young. They need to feel comfortable in their own home!

Image copyright Getty Images

‘Parents aren’t miracle workers’

Anon from the UK: We lived in a rental flat with an autistic child who, admittedly, was noisy but we always did our best to keep the noise down during the night. But our neighbours and the property management company were not understanding at all and would constantly harass us, even complaining about the noise during the day.

We were always polite and courteous but it caused immense stress and anxiety for us, in addition to the normal difficulties in dealing with a special needs child. Luckily for us, our landlord was understanding, although we eventually moved to a more family-friendly area. I totally sympathise with the parents who are stuck in this situation.

Eman from London: The capital is so cramped, it’s not easy to find a good private home for families with young children.

I have two boys under three years old and just moved to a private ground-floor flat. My eldest son who is possibly autistic – which we are waiting for a formal diagnosis – means there’s a lot of unexpected tantrums and screams, as a means of communication, and the normal cries and noise a one-year-old will make.

It’s noisy and loud having children at that stage, but it’s perfectly normal. What can you do about kids? They will make noise. Get on with it, have a better understanding of life. If it’s that bad, you can always use ear plugs or move out.

It sounds harsh, but I have young children. I would hate to be evicted from my home with my children because they are being children. Parents are not miracle workers to make them go quiet.

Quietness is something we yearn for. We deal with it as families, we expect you to deal with it as a society.

Produced by Paul Harrison, UGC and Social News team

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