Advice needed...NOISY, inconsiderate neighbors next door.

Mia_June 1, 2008

My neighborhood was a quiet place to live until a loud family moved into the house next to mine about two months ago. They are renters, and their landlord doesn't seem like the type that would get involved in doing something to stop any problems. When the new neighbors are not home, all is peaceful in the neighborhood once again.

Right from day one, these neighbors have been inconsiderate. My house is only about 12 feet away from their house, so we are close to each other. On the first night they moved in, a man (the husband?) stood on his front lawn from 10:45 PM to 11:15 PM talking on his cell phone like it's the middle of the day. The next night, from 1:45 AM to a bit after 2 AM, a man was hammering and drilling the bedroom walls that directly face my bedroom walls, and this woke me up...he couldn't wait until normal waking hours to install drapes. The next night someone was hammmering for a while after 10 PM. Okay, so I thought, maybe they don't realize that I can hear the loud hammering after hours or maybe they don't care. Hopefully, they'll get all settled in and things should be good, right? Wrong! Oh, one night at 12 AM, their visitors just had to beep the car horn while leaving.

The family who lives there consists of 6 people total: parents, 3 girls and a teenage son. Plus, they have people visiting at times, so there's more kids.

One afternoon, I heard a male voice outside, and when I looked out the window, I saw a man (the husband?) leaning over my front yard stockade fence with his arms hanging over my side of the fence while he talked on his cell phone...nice.

They blast heavy Rap music for a few (more or less) hours at a time on some days (not every day), and the stereo seems to be in one of the bedrooms that is next to my bedrooms. I am the only neighbor affected by the music because of the location of their stereo close to my house. The music fills my bedrooms and is very annoying. One morning, the blasting music woke me up at 8:30 AM and continued off and on until about 12:30 PM.

Several days a week, the 3 girls (and sometimes a kid that visits) ride and race up and down the street and circle around and around on their bikes for a good 4 to 5 hours or so straight, all the while screaming and squealing their heads off. They scream and scream and scream NONSTOP. The noise is insane, and even when they are not on their bikes just standing next to each other, every word has to be shouted. When the girls are inside the house, I can hear their loud voices through my bedroom walls.

I have seen one or more of the girls walk on the front of my property a few times and ride a bike up the curb and onto the very front of my lawn near the street. One of the girls sometimes rides alongside my stockade fence in their yard, and I have a foot of property that I own on their side of the fence so we can maintain the fence (I'm worried about possible damage to my fence and lawn). They have gone on other neighbor's yards. They cut through my neighbor's yard...none of the other kids in the neighborhood do this. One of my neighbors had to tell them to get off her property.

Oh, where are the parents? Nobody hardly ever sees them outside watching the girls. The parents seem oblivious and they obviously don't mind their girls screaming constantly for hours on end ruining the peace and quiet and taking over the street.

If a dog was constantly barking for one hour straight, some people would call the police because that is a nuisance. But what do you do when it's 3 girls taking over the street with their bikes, racing up and down the street and circling around and around while constantly screaming, hooting, and hollering for 4 to 5 hours straight? Plus, add the blasting Rap music into the mix. I know kids will be kids, but I have never experienced kids behaving like this.

This noise is interfering with the enjoyment of my home. I can hear them over my TV (I shouldn't have to keep a TV on to try to block out their yelling). I shouldn't have to close my bedroom doors to block out the noise (rap music and screams) from entering other areas of my house. I shouldn't have to close all my windows on a beautiful day to reduce the noise.

Please offer up any advice as to what to do about this situation. I would pay them to move away. And I'm not looking forward to when school is out for the summer. If you have experienced a similar situation, please feel free to share it with me.

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There are no easy, convenient solutions to this problem. But the only sensible first step is to talk with one of the adults, preferably the "head of the household", and calmly tell them about the things that bother you. However they respond, listen to them as attentively as you wish to them to listen to you. And they will respond! If they respond in anger, just keep quiet until they "get winded". And then "parrot" back the most ridiculous things they said while angry, so that they will hear it again. But they may respond somewhat positively. Right now, your perception is that things were perfect before. These people have moved in and things are not perfect anymore. No matter what, things will be different so long as those people are there. Maybe a sensible conversation can make them somewhat better than they are at this moment.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 1:30PM
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Renters and Tenant Buyers can sometimes push a neighbor or beighbors to their linits. You say they are renters, so; I assume there is an owner of the property. I would contact the owner, if you cannot reason with these neighbors. How can the property owner do anything if no one tells him or her the problem(s).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 5:55PM
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We lived across the street from noise renters and we were in a town that had noise ordinances. When there were problems, we called the police and gave as much detail as possible. The police didn't come out all the time, but there did quite frequently. Their appearance helped tremendously. Other neighbors also called.

Surely, the home on the other side of this one has had problems. Touch base with them and see if they'd side with you.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 10:19PM
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My neighborhood was not perfect before this family moved in, but it was a good neighborhood where people were considerate of each other (except for one neighbor who moved, but she doesn't compare in any way or form to the new family), and there were never any kids that screamed and hooted for hours on end and took over the street.

From what I've witnessed so far with the parents, they don't seem like people who care about being considerate. It's ususally one of the parents who blasts the rap music, because all their kids are at school when the music blasts. The parents were outside in the front yard with their company, and their girls and the other kids visiting them were all over the street doing the screaming/hollering bit, and the parents did nothing but encourage the behavior. It was a small circus. How did the girls learn that it's okay to behave the way they do? The other kids in the neighborhood aren't like this. From my experience, considerate neighbors typically don't act like this. They don't even respect their "rented" lawn, as the girls ride their bikes on it.

So the problems are not a once every now and then issue (I could deal with that, and I wouldn't be here writing this); rather, the nuisance happens several days a week for hours at a time.

I don't know the neighbors who live in the house on the other side of this family, but I'll consider finding out their thoughts on the situation. Another neighbor on the street feels that the girls are a nuisance, so I'm not the only one annoyed.

What stinks is that a complaint (either talking to the parents or landlord or cops) may lead to the problems worsening or never improving. Sad to say the cops here don't tend to take noise complaints seriously, even though there is a noise ordinance.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:11AM
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Pardon the length, mia, some tips based on my experience and perspective.

How can the property owner do anything if no one tells him or her the problem(s).

I am so glad you said that! I had renters in one house that by all accounts were OK, no notable trouble for me as a landlord. But apparently the ruckus they were causing in the neighborhood (loud parties, music, lots of 'outdoor' noise into the wee hours) was driving several adjacent neighbors batty. Only when tenants moved out and we spent a month doing upgrades at the house did I learn from various neighbors everything that went on into the wee hours, and I was shocked! I had no idea. (But then I didn't go by the house at midnight or later, never had a reason to). I most certainly would have had a talk with my tenants. I put a clause in my leases (these are houses, not apartments) that they will abide by civil codes (trash, noise) and not disturb the quiet enjoyment of others. If problems became serious enough to warrant police intervention for noise, or had persisted to where town codes were being violated, I would have encouraged neighbors to call the town code enforcer or police (it helps landlords to have a record if it comes down to lease violations of this nature).

Those neighbors mentioned above approached me nicely, one almost sheepishly. It's a nice quiet family-oriented neighborhood where everyone keeps an eye on everyone and lends a hand. The neighbors there treat me as one of them when I stop by to check on things or do a repair. They appreciate that I keep the property up and I appreciate that they are extra eyes and ears for me, but not in an intrusive way, if that makes sense. (One neighbor has kept me abreast of the utility company's tearing up the yard and repairing landscaping damage they did. Helps me out because I can't be there daily.) They are all good people and I truly felt bad (and angry and embarrassed) that my tenants had caused them discomfort and I had no knowledge of it. It won't happen again. On the flip side, I have another house where the neighbor is a whacko. There's no other way to put it. She moved in 7 years ago, started complaining right away. I did my best to make sure my tenants weren't disturbing her, but after keeping a closer eye on the house and lending that lulu neighbor an ear for a bit, it soon became clear it wasn't the tenants who had issues but rather her. Doesn't matter who lives in the house, family of 4 or single adult, this woman is just a chronic complainer with way too much time on her hands. I could fill pages with her antics. So things have flipped around to the point I have to make sure she's not causing my tenants discomfort and I completely tune her out when she approaches me. Giving her a cordial inch causes her to attempt to snatch a self-entitled mile and I simply refuse to waste any time or energy on her.

Noise is a tricky one to deal with, but there are ordinances for that, and most standard leases contain a clause requiring tenants not interfere with quiet enjoyment of neighbors.

I'd encourage you to approach the owner just as you would speak to any neighbor, or how you wish one would approach you. For productivity's sake, calm and civil. An angry or aggressive manner is only going to make the owner defensive . Also wouldn't start the talk with "Your tenants...". LL's are not parents to other adults and it can be bristling when someone approaches as if we were. Much as we wish we did, we don't have magic wands we can wave to make all things perfect (although lots of folks out there seem to think that's the case). Tenants have rights and entitlements and it might be our house but it's their home and we can't mold a tenant's behavior or personality into another's perceived concept of perfection. ;)

So keeping that in mind, I'd suggest something like "Hi, I'm mia and live next door to your property on Maple Street, and there are some activities going on there that are causing some disruption for others on the block that we were wondering if you could help out with..." (Use "we" instead of "I" so you don't sound like the sole complainer.) I would encourage you to word it in a way that conveys you are certainly able to tolerate typical family neighborhood noise and activity, but the situation is going above and beyond that. Hopefully the landlord/owner is a decent person who cares and ask these folks to show some respect for others. I would discourage you from amplifying small typical noises into nuisances as that can readily backfire. Also, do keep in mind that the owner has a costly investment in the property and one of his primary concerns is that it doesn't get damaged. So point out behaviors that might perk his ears up and send a red flag to him. Like "I know it takes time to get settled in, but all that drilling and hammering at 2AM woke me up and it went on for a couple hours I had to be at work early the next day..." (As an owner I'd start to wonder what the heck they were drilling holes in & pounding during the middle of the night??) Or "I do understand kids will be kids but when the children ride their bikes in the street and then race them across the lawns screaming at the top of their lungs it's hard to tell if one of them has gotten injured or something. Another neighbor has already had to request they not ride their bikes on her lawn." (I know kids will be kids, too, but if they're showing zero regard for neighbors' property it tells me as an owner they're probably showing the same regard for mine.) Toss in a "we're very concerned for these children's safety due to the hours they spend riding circles in the street". Again, not much a LL can due about that either, it's a matter of parental supervision, but it shows if they're not being supervised outside they're probably not being supervised inside and that = damage. Or "I know teens like their music but it can be heard on the block during the day while the kids are at school, although it has started as early as 8AM, and I've found it necessary to shut my windows and interior doors to muffle the deep thumps of the rap music..." (That one definitely impacts quiet enjoyment and noise codes.) IOW, any activity you can tie into behaviors that could be a potential liability or potentially causing damage or potentially having a code enforcer or other law enforcement out there are the key ones. Not much a LL can do about where and when a tenant chooses to talk on their cell phone. BUT, to make him aware of what this guy does you could mention as an aside that you've been having issues with some of your fence posts becoming weak and although replacing them is in your future plans, in the meantime you're concerned when the tenant leans over your fence to chat on his phone, but you'll take that up directly with him. (Be ready to take responsibility for actions that a LL can't control but that affect you directly. That way it shows you're not going to him looking for a babysitter, but rather to help deal with the more disrupting, potentially damaging or liability type behaviors. It also shows the owner in an indirect way, so as not to make it his problem, that the knucklehead isn't respecting your space.)

I hope that makes sense. ;) And I hope the owner listens. Already, as a LL I don't like the sound of things. I would bet there's been some neglect of some sort on the inside because they are displaying signs of not being able to respect other's presence or property.

Another option might be to send the landlord a note, again civil, outline the issues and just sign it 'Thanks from the neighbors of 123 Maple Street'.

Anyway, don't overlook your local code enforcer, the ones in local municipalities where our rentals are located take their jobs very seriously and if they find a complaint valid they don't let up, even if it's a couple weeds allowed to grow high. ;) The last thing I want is them bugging me, so I make sure never to let things go that far.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 10:17AM
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You may have some valid complaints, but by mentioning all of the little things, it makes it seem like you are way too picky and it invalidates the rest of your arguments.

Talking on the phone outside? Maybe a little annoying, but just close your windows when he's doing it.

A visitor tapped their horn once when they were leaving in the middle of the night? Wow, who cares!

Hammering and drilling when they first moved in? Annoying, but if it only happens once or twice forget about it.

Leaning on your fence that one time? If your fence can't handle that, then you should probably fix it so that you don't have a liability issue. Someone could get hurt because of your unsafe structure.

Riding bikes on their grass? Not your concern and I really doubt it's damaging the lawn.

Riding their bikes on your one foot wide strip of grass on the other side of the fence? Give me a break! Who cares!

Kids make noise. Are they making too much? Hard to tell since I'm not there, but since you are so picky about everything else that's going on, I'm leaning towards believing that you are being to picky on this issue too.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:46PM
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Moonshadow, thank you very much for all the helpful information you provided and for advising me on how to talk to the landlord of the tenants (if it comes to the point that I need to talk to the landlord). It's great for me to have the perspective of a landlord like yourself and to know how you would deal with valid complaints (not petty complaints). I think many times neighbors are afraid to tell a landlord that there's a problem (or wait until the problems get out of hand) because they don't know if talking to a landlord will make things worse or that the landlord will be willing to get involved, so they just try to live with the situation until the tenants move. Again, thank you so much for the advice and for your've been a big help.

I'm sorry that some of you don't understand the situation in my neighborhood and are misunderstanding me as well. None of you live where I do, so please don't make assumptions and rude comments against me. I am not the only one annoyed by the noise situation. I came here asking for advice, but some of you were not nice...this is supposed to be a helpful web site.

There are plenty of kids in my neighborhood and they make kid noises and do kid things (nothing nobody would ever complain about), yet they don't scream up and down the street for 4 to 5 hours straight and ride bikes on other neighbors' properties like the kids next door. None of you here can make a determination as to how bad the noise is unless you witness it.

Lucy, I wrote the words "Rap music" what? If the tenants were playing rock music, I would have written "Rock music." I appologize for stating the specific type of music that is being blasted from next door. It really doesn't matter what type of music is being blasted, because music is music. I never said the tenants next door look different from the old neighbor who moved out - that is your assumption. Yeah, I would feel the same if the music being blasted was Frank Sinatra or my favorite music. Who the heck wants music being blasted into their home for hours?

I mentioned the other things like hammering at 2 AM and talking outside late at night to show that perhaps the parents are not considerate enough to think about the neighbors. And if that's the case, they may not care that their kids are being a nuisance, so it might be difficult to talk with them about the constant screaming. Therefore, I had a concern about how to approach the situation.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 1:12AM
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Do these people ever sleep? Find out when they sleep, and give them a taste of their own medicine. And make sure the noise you make is real loud, loud enough to wake them from their stupor. And do it often, not just once or twice. They'll get the message.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:51AM
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I'm afraid the suggestion I made earlier today is not very constructive, and reflects my own frustration with similar experiences. Some years ago, when we lived in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Manhattan, we came to the realization that persons of different backgrounds do not share the same noise level and cleanliness standards, nor do they all share the same attitudes about boundaries. It was one of the considerations that led to our moving out of the city.

Perhaps the most outrageous example of lack of consideration of one's neighbors was of a fellow who wanted to hear his favorite music while washing his car, so he propped his radio on a window sill (the window was open) and played it at full volume.

Of course, these problems are not confined to urban settings. I think there's probably some truth to the view that 90% of these kinds of problems are caused by fewer than 10% of the population.

I feel for you. I think the only way to affect their behavior is if you AND OTHER NEIGHBORS AS A GROUP put together a statement citing their offenses and, if possible, document this by recordings on a camcorder or whatever, and go to the local police with the evidence. Another way of proceeding is to hire a lawyer if he can press the landlord to pressure the tenants to behave themselves, possibly under threat of eviction.

All of this assumes that there are laws or local codes on the books that these people are breaking. Local authorities usually don't like to get involved in these disputes. But if you can show a repeated pattern of violations of local codes, you can force them to act. You are entitled to enjoy a reasonable level of quiet and tranquility in your home. It will take a bit of doing and some legal expense, and it won't be pleasant, but you can make the local authorities act.

Another approach: These days on the Internet it's possible for nominal cost to do a background check on people. I would bet my eye teeth that these people have a history, probably a long paper trail. If you can establish that, you can go to the landlord and say to him, "Look what you've done to us. When their lease comes up for renewal, triple their rent and get rid of them."

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Mia, I totally sympathize. I've had many renters next door and none of them were a problem except one. It was horrible, and unless you've experienced day in and day out noise and crazy behavior, you can't imagine how very insane it can get.

I like haus-proud's idea of giving them a taste of their own medicine. Maybe blast a tv out the window too. I'm not suggesting a feud, because that would make things worse. But some people just don't get it unless the shoe is on the other foot.

What I finally did was call the landlord and unload on him after about a year of craziness. He only got interested when I mentioned the dog that jumps in my car when I open my door. (Poor thing probably wanted to get away from there too.) I guess they had a no dog rule. Anyhow, when he went over and talked with them, he found they had trashed the house too, so he got rid of them. My guess is that people who don't respect the neighbors also don't respect the rental property.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 1:01PM
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Try this website for some help

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 5:03PM
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I would try writing them an anonymous letter. State what your concerns are, loud music, children running wild, of course, you're concerned for their safety. But word it in such a way that it could have been written by either next door neighor, or back yard, or across the street neighbors. Basically, you want to make them aware there is a problem to start with, but not reveal who is writing. Then go out and get some fairing strips and put nails in them and line the edges of your lawn, bikes with flat tires are hard to ride. Get an air horn, and use it when the kids start their screaming, it should get their attention. Then you can ask them to keep the noise level down.
You also may want to check into your state laws concerning renting. Our state has laws that prevent this kind of behavior. If the renter is guilty of breaking the law, it makes it easier for the landlord to remove them. Do let the landlord know, too. Valid point that they may be trashing the property since they are so inconsiderate of everyone around them. Good luck. Get video and audio, too.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 11:43PM
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Then go out and get some fairing strips and put nails in them and line the edges of your lawn

NOT a good idea. someone steps on one and you will be responsible for hospital bills and a big lawsuit. you can use soemthign like that buried under ground for car tires, cause the ruts they cause would allow tire to nail contact. but to be effective against bikes it must be above ground and then someone else gets hurt.

as far a writing a letter, that does no good. usually it makes things worse. the mentality is that if they don't like it now, let me show them how i CAN do what i want.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 11:36AM
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Thank you all for the new advice and for being understanding. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the situation, so I'll think carefully about the advice given here. I'm not going to put any spikes in the grass or anything on my property where someone might get hurt. It's a great idea to get other neighbors involved in complaining.

I'm unsure if they'll get the hint if I play my music really loud, however, then they may end up blasting their music more often and louder than before. Does fighting fire with fire work most of the time? I've never been the type to retaliate. At least they don't blast music every single day, though the last time was 2 days ago, and I could hear their music above the noise of my window air conditioner.

About a month ago, someone from that house vandalized my two year old fence that separates our yards. One of the wooden slats was forced forward towards my yard as if someone was trying to break it...there are marks in the wood where someone banged on the slat (the damage is too high up for a little kid to have done it). So a member of my family went to their house and spoke to the husband about the vandalism, that this time we will repair the damage but next time we will call the police. The man didn't have anything to say. We took pictures of the damage. Well, I don't understand why they did this to my fence since I don't even know them and have never spoken to them before the fence was vandalized. I think it's nasty what they did.

It wasn't until after the fence was damaged that we politely told the little girls on two occasions to not ride bikes on our lawn or walk/run on our lawn, but they still do it at times. When they were screaming their heads off for a while right by my house, we asked them nicely to please tone down the constant screaming/hollering, but they ignored us and continued screaming. They ride their bikes across an elderly neighbor's lawn and up and down people's driveways as if it's their own home. I understand why the girls act the way they do. I mean, if their parents accept their behavior and never supervise them or get involved with them outdoors, the girls are just going to keep on behaving the way they do because they don't know any better.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 8:19AM
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don't for a second think the damage to the fence could not be caused by kids. they could have been playing with a hammer or anything and just hit it until they broke it. a couple weeks back one of our tower sites went offline. turns out some hoodlum kids saw the electrical disconnect and turn it OFF jsut because. no reason, just because it was there. the disconnect is now locked in violation of local fire codes, but at least we won't have millions of dollars of communications equipment go offline due to some hyperactive kids with no impulse control.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 1:02PM
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Wow Mia - these are new neighbors?
I know you complained about a noisy neighbor with a single child in 2003, 2004, & again in 2006. And another neighbor with a pool in 2006.
You sure have had your share of bad luck with neighbors.
I sure hope it improves!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 2:18PM
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Is it way over the top to suggest getting some kind of injunction to keep them off your property and also telling them to just tone down the volume? I wouldn't try the fire-with-fire thing in this case though, it rarely if ever works.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 6:07PM
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I would go to a good local lawyer and ask if a hi tech approach might work -- maybe a videorecording of the noisy activity, along with a device that measures the sound level WHERE YOU ARE, so that you can build a case with hard evidence to prove your allegations against these people. I would keep a daily log of the disturbances they create. It's the cumulative effect that is ruining your quality of life. That's the only way you can document it.

If these people are making you miserable, you need to fight back with all the legal means at your disposal, or move out.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 6:55PM
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I know you complained about a noisy neighbor with a single child in 2003, 2004, & again in 2006. And another neighbor with a pool in 2006.
You sure have had your share of bad luck with neighbors.

well now, that reminds me of a saying my grandmother had " if everyone around you has a problem, maybe you are the problem."

it is either that or just extremely bad luck with neighbors.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:12AM
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I know you complained about a noisy neighbor with a single child in 2003, 2004, & again in 2006. And another neighbor with a pool in 2006.
You sure have had your share of bad luck with neighbors.

davidandkasiewrote: well now, that reminds me of a saying my grandmother had " if everyone around you has a problem, maybe you are the problem."

it is either that or just extremely bad luck with neighbors.

Because of the above comments, I feel the need to mention that I came to this forum in the past seeking advice about my next door neighbor because of her screaming and neglecting her child on a daily basis for the whole time she lived there. Her boyfriend was arrested and the police were at her house for a warrant, so there was a lot of trouble at that house. She moved out and then this new family of 6 moved in, and they are the ones that I am asking advice about now. Other neighbors have talked to me about the problems with these 2 sets of neighbors, so it's not just me noticing the noise and blatant inconsiderateness. And my friends have made comments to me. Unfortunately, it's this one house next to me where the problems have been happening, and other neighbors have made remarks about it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:54AM
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then it is definitely the 2nd part, bad luck!

sorry you have to go thru this.

maybe it is time to look for a new area to live. my grandmother's neighborhood was always nice and quiet, no probles for 30 years. now you cannot even leave your car unlocked while taking in the groceries!

my parent's neighborhood was one of the more upscale when we moved in during the late 80's, but now it is going downhill as well. the HOA pretty much dissolved and folks do what they want, rules prohibit renting any portion of any house, yet many are rented all teh time. gangs of kids roam and destroy things, i figure at the rate it is going it will be truly run down in 5-6 years.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 10:49PM
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Better they're renters than buyers though, maybe the 3rd sent of renters will be quieter. You'd really be sc***** if someone loud bought the place and stayed for years. Bad neighbors also own houses ya know.
You might ask the landlord to try to find a better quality of renter although he is restricted somewhat by law about questions he can ask.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:36PM
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davidandkasie, I'm so sorry about what has been happening with your grandmother's and parents' neighborhoods. It's sad to see a good neighborhood go downhill. As for the gangs of kids vandalizing things, why aren't the police putting a stop to this kind of thing?

marys1000, I'm glad that the people next door are renters, but they seem like they're here to stay for a while...they're settled in, they love the neighborhood. Of course, I can't see into the future.

The noise has become so bad lately that I can actually record it inside my home, and people who I'm talking with on my phone can hear the screaming. I've had to keep my windows closed, but the noise still enters my home. Since last week, the noise has been concentrated in one area from their back yard where they hang out every day now. The screaming, squealing, shreaking, yelling is CONSTANT and has been lasting from a few hours to eight hours straight almost every day that it doesn't rain. Last Friday, the noise was constant from 11:30 AM to 7:30 PM. And it happened again for about four hours straight on Saturday and Sunday. They are the only family in the whole neighborhood that is making noise like this. My other neighbor is glad they don't live right next door to them.

So I read the noise ordinances, and they specifically state that it is unlawful for a person to emit noise that goes beyond his or her property boundary that exceeds 55 decibels from 7 AM to 10 PM. By the way, 60 dB is normal speaking voice. So if the screaming or loud music reaches the dwelling of another person, then the noise ordinance has been broken. It states that there is a fine for each violation. I phoned the police department asking for advice on handling the situation, and the officer said I can have an officer come over to listen to the noise and possibly talk to the noisy neighbors. I'm not sure about involving the police yet, but I can't live like this. Unfortunately, the town noise ordinances are not well-enforced, and other people I know have had to deal with ongoing situations that were not helped by the cops.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 8:34AM
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Since your neighbors are making you so miserable, it's time for you to think about spending some money to resolve the situation. Find a lawyer who can help you figure out a way of forcing the TOWN to enforce the noise code. Another thing is that this kind of HIGHLY UNUSUAL noise-making that is as CONSTANT as you say it is seems to me is probably just the tip of an iceberg. Either a lawyer or a private investigator can do a search of computer records in the public domain and find out about these people. They probably have a paper trail that can fill several thick volumes. If you're computer savvy, you can probably do the search yourself. You can probably bet that the landlord did not bother to investigate these people -- not because he doesn't care, but because he just doesn't know how to go about such things. If you found a lot of damaging evidence about the reputation of these people, you can at least bring it to his attention, so that he'll be motivated to get them out when their lease runs out.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 9:49AM
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the cops do when they can catch them. problem is most of the time no one knows who it was. i should not have said gans, i should have said groups, cause it really is nto what some would consider a gang. it is jsut groups of kids roaming around and doing what they want. most of the kids who live inteh neighborhood are not the problem, it is usually visitors who cause issues.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 12:41PM
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Life is too short for this aggrevation. Can you move??

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 2:46PM
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When I was younger, it was a certainty that any problems from the neighbors would be met with greater problems for them. I didn't get headaches, I gave them.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2008 at 6:01PM
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Find a lawyer who can help you figure out a way of forcing the TOWN to enforce the noise code.

The unfortunate reality is that most (all) police department have limited resources and noise complaints tend to be low on the list of priorities. Most of us would agree that a burglary has a higher priority than noise (unless it's noisy burglar :-) ) The police have to be present when the offense happens too. Call, they come by 30 minutes later, no noise, no ticket.

Mia's best course of action, as you suggested, is to work with the landlord to either have the lease terminated or not renewed when it expires.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 8:04AM
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I echo an amalgamation of the responses I've read above:
You're correct in that it is frustrating sharing relative close proximity to people who don't share your same values of consideration and respect.
However, that is the risk one runs when living in a free nation- a "melting pot" of cultures. Anyone is allowed to live anywhere so long as they can afford to do so.
I certainly agree that you are obligated to at least try and speak to the tennants.
I caution going straight to the LL as it could have the very opposite effect you desire: You wind up with neighbors who see you as "that b tch next door" and/or a LL who sees you as someone cutting into his/her income by making it impossible to keep people in his/her house.
Calling the police probably won't do much more than annoy everyone- the police most of all. As mentioned, they have to "catch them in the act" which is unlikely unless you're willing to live by the phone and window like Mrs Kravitz from Bewitched, "AAABNER! AAAABNER!" Am I dating myself now?

Most of us have "that neighbor" that drives us crazy. My way of dealing with it is becoming their friend:

"Hey, I noticed you guys were up sooo late working on the house I was wondering if you needed any help? I know how frustrating and stressful it is when you lose sleep over those long nights of unpacking and putting stuff away..."

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 6:16PM
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