How do I complain about loud babies?

showmanMarch 31, 2006

I am a college student who has been living next to neighbors with extremley loud children. The mother is especially loud when she gets upset with the babies, screaming and fussing at them at any hour of the night. They have three children. One is around nine years old, and never has been a problem. But the other two are 1 and 3, and very VERY loud.

Here's my situation- sometimes They have complained to management about me when I will have a late night tantrum with my computer. The landlord will tell me they complain about me. Oddly, I never have complained about them, because I feel that since they have kids, it's acceptable. But recently I have not had tantrums, and have been very quiet and respectful. But their noise persists. And the landlord tells me it's a violation against both our leases if either one of us complains, and that if complaining continues, I will be evicted.

How, then, am I supposed to complain about their noise levels at night? They are a Hispanic family, and so the mother yells in Spanish. This isn't to be racist, but it's just that I can't really communicate with them personally about their noise level, because they know very little English. They are in a one bedroom, mind you, and have 5 people living in it. I asked the landlord if that was even legal, and she claims it's none of her business.

My mother pays my rent. When I told her about my loud neighbors and the crying of the babies and how the mother yells at them, she told me not to complain and just deal with it. So now if I complain and get in trouble for it, my mother will have a fit. So what should I do? Obviously no one can know what I'm going through night after night. Our bedrooms conjoin, meaning the walls seperate both my bedroom and theirs. My computer is in my bedroom. So Most of the time I'm in my bedroom and can hear everything that goes on with the babies and mother screaming at them. I've tried being patient but it's not working. I've kept my noise level down, and they stopped complaining. But now their noise level is still going on, and yet I feel trapped because If I do complain, it's apparently still a violation against my lease. If I don't, the noise will continue. What do I do?

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Babies cry. You cannot do anything about it. They cry at any hour of the day, however, the mother's screaming is something *she* should exert some self control over. If you are having a tantrum, it's very possible it was waking up her children.
I do not think it's legal for a landlord to evict a person for registering a complaint, if "quiet enjoyment" or some sort of house rules about noise is listed. Check with your tenant/landlord laws or consult an attorney.
In the meantime, consider moving the computer to another room?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 10:20AM
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Kids will be kids, but I don't know how your able to study with all that racket. If it were me, I'd tell my mother I need to live somewhere else so I am able to focus on my school work. If you can't, tell her you will have to come home to live with her until you can!

If the landlord is violating tenant occupancy laws, it IS your business. You have the right to "quiet enjoyment" of your rental space. 5 people in a 1-bedroom apt sounds excessive. Especially with small children. You could find out by contacting the housing authority/tenants organization for your area. Look on the internet or at your local building dept for ordinances that affect where you are living.

How loud do your "tantrums" with your computer get? Is this why your mother says to just deal with it? If you are part of the problem, you can't expect too much sympathy. However, I know that excess noise can make anyone batty so I sympathize with your situation.

If the issue of moving is about money, maybe you could get a place with another student? Preferably, someone who's studying the same thing you are so you would have compatible interests and schedules. Does your college offer roommate matching services? Check the bulletin board. Just don't hook up with someone who wants to party late at night while your crunching for a test. Try to find someone with a similar major.

Another option is to go to a senior center and see if any seniors have an extra room in their house they would be willing to rent out. You'd get all the peace and quiet you need. Might even get a few home cooked meals!

You will figure out a way. Just keep asking questions like your doing here and something is bound to come up. Here are a couple links that might help. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2006 at 2:20PM
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I'd be careful about the 'senior center' suggestion when it comes to peace and quiet. As we all get older, our hearing tends to go and that can mean turning up the TV louder. But the clientele is a lot easier to deal with, usually.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Reminds me of a story my mom told me - when she had her first colicky baby who screamed all night the neighbors banged on the wall and told her to "shut that kid up!" and she just hollered right back "what the hell do you think I'm trying to do??"

I recommend investing in some earplugs.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2006 at 11:40PM
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You should be glad you are able to live in an apartment and not a college dorn....than you might learn what noisy really is.
I say get ear plugs and learn to deal with it.
Linda C

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 12:54AM
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LOL - I was just thinking back to living in the dorm after a year. The noise was so bad I thought I was going to go out of my mind. I moved back home just so I could study.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 3:18AM
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Well it's been a while now, and I've kept my part of the deal up by being quiet. I haven't made any noise and have not recieved any more complaints.

However, the blessid neighbors are NOT being quiet. The mother continues to yell and scream at her children at late hours into the night. I banged on the wall the other day when she started screaming, and she just banged back and screamed at ME in Spanish. So this isn't fair. Should I consult my landlord about her? I mean, if she needs to yell at her babies, at least she should have the decency to take them into the living room- so I can't hear them as well. Thoughts?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 2:52PM
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well, maybe you should comfront the neighbor and ask her if it would be possible to keep noise level down even though I know it is hard to with kids. But she complained about you for just a short tantrum, you would think she could control her noise a bit too. I had a neighbor above me when we lived in an apartment and his girlfriends child would be there running back and forth on floor. we put up with it all day until 10 p.m when we went to go to bed. By then, I took a broom and hit the ceiling from room to room. They got the hint and stopped but finally they moved. Now we moved into a rowhome and dont know which was worse. good luck. kim

    Bookmark   April 22, 2006 at 7:56PM
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I cannot believe she has 5 living on a one bedroom apartment. To me, that is ridiculous. I would write a letter to your office asking them to talk with her about her screaming. They are suppose to work with you on noise levels. I mean, yea, kids cry and all but the mother should try to lower her voice to a proper level. If I were you, I would keep complaining or try to find another place in meantime. If you're mom is paying you're rent there, then I do not see it being a problem to find another place. Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 1:17AM
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