Almost all of us can understand how annoying noisy neighbours can be – whether it’s people completing DIY jobs on an otherwise quiet Sunday afternoon, children shouting as they play in the sunshine, or dogs barking. And although those noises can be disruptive, most of us also know that it’s all part and parcel of living in a built-up area, and the loud sounds don’t usually last forever.
But one mum has been left “absolutely fuming” at her neighbour after he knocked on her door this morning to demand that she tells her three-year-old daughter to “be quiet” in her own home. The mum – who lives in a flat above the neighbour who complained – confessed her daughter had been running up and down the hallway at the time, but said she was just being a toddler.
In a post on Mumsnet which was made at around 7:45 am, she said: “Hi all. Wondering if I’m being unreasonable to be hacked off? We’ve literally just had a knock on the door from our downstairs neighbour. We live in a maisonette, we’re in the top flat he’s on the bottom. He said ‘listen, can you tell your kid to be quiet and stop running around?’.
“I am honestly speechless. We have a three-year-old and a newborn. Yes, she was running up and down the hallway and laughing, but she’s three and doesn’t understand she needs to be quiet at certain times of the day. We’ve lived here for four years, and never had any issues or complaints from other neighbours or the ones who lived below previously.
“I am absolutely fuming but I don’t know if I have a right to be. To me, if you live in a shared building you run the risk of hearing noise. And it’s not as if we’re playing music or running the washing machine. You know, noise you can prevent or limit. Does he expect us to gag and tie up our child?”
Commenters on the post were split over the issue, as some agreed that her neighbour should expect to live with noise if he’s going to live in a flat, but others said her neighbour had a point as her child was running around at a time that is still considered as “early” – especially on a Sunday.
One person said: “Your neighbour can’t move into a ground floor flat below a family with young children and expect silence. It is normal family noise.”
While another added: “I think your family needs to be able to relax in their own home. A toddler running about is normal. You will just have to tell him politely that this is normal family life.”
But someone else disagreed, noting: “A three-year-old can usually understand the instruction not to run. Considering it’s still early on a Sunday morning, you are being unreasonable.”
And they were backed up by another who wrote: “Before 8 am on a Sunday? I wouldn’t be too impressed. Yes, neighbours have to accept some family noise, but it sounds as though you weren’t even trying to keep your three-year-old quiet. You should be more considerate.”