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Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 20 Jun 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Parent Neighbour Property Noise

You don’t want to be labelled a complainer, but sometimes your neighbours’ children can be more of a nuisance than a blessing. Older neighbours may remember a time when you could pay an unruly child’s parents a visit and you would know that any issues would be swiftly resolved, but these days you have to be extremely wary of what you say and do about children in the neighbourhood.

What to Do About Noisy Children

Whether you appreciate it or not, there’s not much that you can do about excessive noise during the day from children. Kids are exuberant by nature and it would seem a little bit churlish to try to curb normal noise levels, even if the screaming and shouting is getting a bit too much.

If it really is becoming an issue, your only course of action is to ask their parents nicely to have a word with them. If you work shifts or simply need peace and quiet to concentrate while working at home, a quiet word might be the best way forward. Explaining that you need to sleep some afternoons may make the parents try to keep their offspring’s noise down.

Noise is a common complaint – recent research by Noise Concern revealed that 43% of people had been bothered by some form of neighbour noise.

Excessive noise levels were also blamed for forcing about half a million people to move in 2006, just to get away from their annoying and Noisy Neighbours, according the National Society for Clean Air and Environmental Protection (NSCA). At the time, their representative Mary Stevens said that many problems with neighbours were simply a result of being inconsiderate, and could easily be resolved by using a little common sense...

What to Do if Children Damage Your Property

Your first course of action, especially if the damage was clearly accidental, is to make a conciliatory approach to the child’s parents.

As far as the law is concerned, you can technically sue a child for the cost of the damage if they are old enough to understand what they were doing, but this kind of legal action is rare and somewhat frowned upon by the courts. It’s also a fact that not many children have the cash lying around in their piggy bank to pay for the cost of a broken window!

If damage has been done, and an approach to the perpetrator’s parents hasn’t been successful, you can consider suing the parents of the child. This is only appropriate in cases where there has been negligence on behalf of the parent(s) – for example, if they trusted their child with something dangerous like an air gun. They could also be considered liable for the damages if you can prove that they failed to exercise the control expected of a parent, given the child’s age.

“Can I Have my Ball Back?”

It can be irritating but it’s just a fact of neighbourhood life that kids playing ball games will occasionally mislay one into your garden. If children throw or kick a ball into your garden or onto your property, you should hand it back to them, keep hold of it for them to collect from you, or throw it back over if you find it later on.

The children should not trespass onto your property to pick it up, although in practice many probably do. If there is any damage to your garden caused by kids trampling over it, you would be entitled to compensation for any financial damages that were caused.

Still need more information? Read more about ASBOs, parenting contracts, penalty notices and parenting orders in our feature: children and anti-social behaviour.

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I'm attached to a rented house, the lovely girl that rented it for 6 years left early June a family moved in, all I hear all day every day is the mum screaming and shouting at the two children they are quiet young approx 5 years old and 1 year old, the baby cries which babies do and that really dose not bother me it's the mother shouting asnd screaming is driving me insane, then the children are up stairs slaming or banging the wardrobe doors they could do it for 30 to 40 minutes constantly all the mum will do is shout at them, as English is not their 1st language I'm not able to understand what she's saying. I know the landlady very well she lived in the house for years before renting it asnd she phoned me before she re-rented to tell me a family was moving in. I'm not sure if I should give the family time to settle in as they are only there 2 1/2 weeks or I should just call the landlady???? I don't want to have an unpleasantness with the family but this is not even a month into a years rental contract and I'm going insane.
Nanny G - 20-Jun-18 @ 1:50 PM
Sar - Your Question:
My neighbours kids make so much noise everyday (whatever the weather). they scream from 12pm to late 7pm and play in my drivway (throwing footballs and climbing on our cars), I have seen them climb on our fence and try to open our car doors forcefully. they are driving me nuts, the landlord said they won't leave as he wants the house back to sell. The kids throw things into my back garden- sticks, balls and plastic sticks. one stick hit my arm and caused me to have a bruise. I don't know how to approach the landlord and what can he do. I hope they move as they are freeloaders scrounging the tax payers hard earnt moeny.

Our Response:
Your landlord does have power to act. He can sell the property when the current lease term ends. He can also serve a section 8 eviction notice for breaching the terms of the tenancy agreement (antisocial behaviour etc). Regarding the criminal damage, contact your local police.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Jun-18 @ 11:54 AM
Mimi - Your Question:
I live in ground floor and a neighbor live on top of me , but their kids jump on up my roof every day ,and is disturbing me so much and the keep banging on my door too. I have a baby too please what should I do?Expeshally jumping on my roof

Our Response:
Have you talked to your landlord about this. Unfortunately children playing/jumping around in the apartment above you will not usually be sufficient for environmental health to take action.
ProblemNeighbours - 18-Jun-18 @ 9:17 AM
I live in ground floor and a neighbor live on top of me , but their kids jump on up my roof every day ,and is disturbing me so much and the keep banging on my door too. I have a baby tooplease what should I do? Expeshally jumping on my roof
Mimi - 17-Jun-18 @ 5:20 AM
my neighbours kids make so much noise everyday (whatever the weather). they scream from 12pm to late 7pm and play in my drivway (throwing footballs and climbing on our cars), i have seen them climb on our fence and try to open our car doors forcefully. they are driving me nuts, the landlord said they won't leave as he wants the house back to sell. The kids throw things into my back garden- sticks, balls and plastic sticks. one stick hit my arm and caused me to have a bruise. i don't know how to approach the landlord and what can he do. i hope they move as they are freeloaders scrounging the tax payers hard earnt moeny.
Sar - 16-Jun-18 @ 2:10 PM
myman - Your Question:
We have a problem family who rent a house in the close, they allow their own (and encourage other) children to run around the road screaming and shouting, running on other peoples front lawns, pulling front hedges and trees.The parents know this is happening and say 'it's only kids playing' and are not interested.What can be done?

Our Response:
You could have a word with the parents. There's no law relating to running around shouting and screaming - this is something that children do. If they are trespassing onto other people's property or causing criminal damage, the local police should be able to do something.
ProblemNeighbours - 11-Jun-18 @ 3:37 PM
We have a problem family who rent a house in the close, they allow their own (and encourage other) children to run around the road screaming and shouting, running on other peoples front lawns, pulling front hedges and trees. The parents know this is happening and say 'it's only kids playing' and are not interested. What can be done?
myman - 8-Jun-18 @ 7:59 PM
If footballs are being blasted into private property and causing damage, this is criminal damage. If the projectiles are causing injury, then this is assault.Especially if the parent was aware that balls were coming over, and continued regardless.If it has been happening for sometime after it first being reported, it could be considered malicious intent. It takes little common sense to work out that launching projectiles into a neighbors garden is out of order.Damaging property or causing injury, is a crime. There are parks to play in, or invest in a net and take care that projectiles aren't launched at your neighbors property.The entitled to play football at the expense of the neighbors brigade, wouldn't be too happy explaining their entitlement to injure an elderly person or child to a judge.
Phil - 31-May-18 @ 9:23 PM
My neighbours' children SCREAM and SHRIEK when they play. Not shouting or squealing, ear-splitting screeches. I would never want to spoil their fun, but I am deeply concerned that I'm becoming desensitised to the sound of children screaming. What if, God forbid, something is truly amiss one day, and I ignore it because my brain has filed "screaming child" along with "chirping bird" and "car driving by" as "meaningless background noise to be ignored"? It is DANGEROUS to let your children scream and shriek. I really like these neighbours and do not wish to make enemies of them, but I worry for the children. Should I say something?
Vvv - 28-May-18 @ 1:27 AM
I caught next door’s kids tearing down my fence because they were bored. Only quarter of it now remains due to vandalism. They are between 10-15 years old. What rights do I have to protect my property against these vandals. Especially if I catch them in the act. I was tempted to scruff the lads and march them home to their mothers. But thought I could end up in trouble. So I ended up going out there and reasoning with them that if they continue I will call the police and do you think your mum will be able to pay for that?! I really don’t know the best way for action.
Smithy - 27-May-18 @ 12:22 PM
Hi we are having trouble with the next door neighbours when the kids are playing in the garden laughing and having fun they not to loud because if they was to loud I would tell them to low there voice how do I go on about it
Donna - 15-May-18 @ 6:13 PM
Unhappy - Your Question:
My neighbours have 3 children. They also all live on Centrelink, but manage 5 holidays a year and a new car every 3 years. Hell, they have just been on a cruiseliner and are spending a further 10 days in Singapore. I work full time and have just had to cancel my 3 day break to Albany. go figure. Anyway, when they are home, they treat our street and adjacent park as their personal playground, encouraging undesirable teenagers to loiter around our homes. These "friends" of theirs, torment, threaten and bully other residents all day, every day. I have chatted ton some other residents who have admitted that their young children are continually being bullied by these "friends" when they go into the park for a play. I sent an e-mail to the mom and dad (my neighbours) highlighting the issues and expressing my concerns due to the fact that both myself and my 14-year old daughter have been threatened by these thugs. Her response. I'll give you their parents address and you can sort it out. The other day I asked a kid to stop intentionally breaking the trees in the park. My eyesight is not great and apparently it was one of her kids.She threatened me with the police for doing this. Anyway, our house is on the market now and I know of others that are contemplating the same, but pray, do tell me, can someone really have me arrested if I ask their kids to stop damaging public property?

Our Response:
We can't see any reason why you could be arrested for simply asking someone to stop doing damage to a tree in a park. We are a UK based website and can only comment on UK laws though; we're not familiar with Australian law.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Apr-18 @ 12:32 PM
My neighbours have 3 children. They also all live on Centrelink, but manage 5 holidays a year and a new car every 3 years. Hell, they have just been on a cruiseliner and are spending a further 10 days in Singapore. I work full time and have just had to cancel my 3 day break to Albany ... go figure. Anyway, when they are home, they treat our street and adjacent park as their personal playground, encouraging undesirable teenagers to loiter around our homes. These "friends" of theirs, torment, threaten and bully other residents all day, every day. I have chatted ton some other residents who have admitted that their young children are continually being bullied by these "friends" when they go into the park for a play. I sent an e-mail to the mom and dad (my neighbours) highlighting the issues and expressing my concerns due to the fact that both myself and my 14-year old daughter have been threatened by these thugs. Her response ... I'll give you their parents address and you can sort it out. The other day I asked a kid to stop intentionally breaking the trees in the park. My eyesight is not great and apparently it was one of her kids.She threatened me with the police for doing this. Anyway, our house is on the market now and I know of others that are contemplating the same, but pray, do tell me, can someone really have me arrested if I ask their kids to stop damaging public property?
Unhappy - 18-Apr-18 @ 1:46 AM
Children - who would have them?????.Certainly not me.Same issues of noise pollution as everyone else here yet speaking to family/complaining to landlord housing association appears to do nothing except deliver noise-report sheets that I meant to fill out if sound disturbance occurs before 7am or after 11pm!.The abrupt yet acutely audible disturbances are active between 7pm-10pm. Logging complaints to landlord's are useless yet complaining directly to your local council and Citizen's advise should have much more legal clout.Explain that you have written several times to complain to tenants and/or landlords of the situation before going to either of these.
amazinglso - 1-Apr-18 @ 7:37 PM
We have been badly tortured by neighbours son. First he threw my sons vehicle on river bank.second time he uploaded my sons new vehicle online for throwaway price for sale. On complaining he came with his mom and said sorry.then he sent badwords on my mobile. Creating problem in parking regularly.on complaining his father came and apologized . Now he is putting photos online of my son and writing bad things.what best can be done to fix him permanently.
Abc - 4-Jan-18 @ 8:10 AM
T - Your Question:
I have just moved into my new house.As front of the house is open so I have decided to put brick wall so that it gives me some privacy with that in mind I have stacked all the bricks in front of my property so that they look a bit tidy before I properly build them in coming summer.Problem here is every now and again either few blocks are moved around or dropped on the ground by school kids I assume as this is the way kids use to go to school.As I have physically not seen anyone doing it so far. Now I am really frustrated with this kind of behaviour by kids. Now I am planning to video these kind of activities god know how long it will take to catch those culprits whoever does it. so that I have proof to show their parent what their kids up to.But capturing video without someone's consent I feel like legally this is not right.Can anyone help me or suggest me how should I deal with this.Many thanksT

Our Response:
You can erect CCTV on your own property as long as it doesn't film the public road. You can put up a notice telling people that CCTV is in place on your front garden.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Dec-17 @ 11:33 AM
I have just moved into my new house. As front of the house is open so i have decided to put brick wall so that it gives me some privacy with that in mind I have stacked all the bricks in front of my property so that they look a bit tidy before I properly build them in coming summer. Problem here is every now and again either few blocks are moved around or dropped on the ground by school kids I assume as this is the way kids use to go to school. As I have physically not seen anyone doing it so far. Now I am really frustrated with this kind of behaviour by kids. Now I am planning to video these kind of activities god know how long it will take to catch those culprits whoever does it. so that I have proof to show their parent what their kids up to. But capturing video without someone's consent I feel like legally this is not right. Can anyone help me or suggest me how should I deal with this. Many thanks T
T - 19-Dec-17 @ 9:52 AM
Flippin' kids eh?A few years ago now, we had a noisy family living at the back of us. The younger daughter used to stand in the lane screaming her head off.Their response to my concern - "we can't do anything with her".To cap it all, the older girl had a great pair of lungs, where she would talk by shouting.They also had a rescue greyhound which would bark if a leaf fell.My constant complaints, then police involvement eventually encouraged them to move.Never had trouble like that since. The present family use discipline with their two children and what a difference; we hardly hear them.They have a trampoline too.
Toosey - 27-Oct-17 @ 9:25 PM
Take a ball and go and kick it against the parents fence and smash their plants ... see how they like it. The inbred low life.
Ballcrusher - 26-Oct-17 @ 11:27 PM
My dad has my neice living with him and she has special needs.. anyways there is a boy who lives across the square from them and he is constantly throwing stones an eggs at their house ( others also but more his) even at them when they are getting out their car.. one time he opened the front door an egged my dad.. my neice is scared to leave my dads side he has told police council and social services an all saying they can do nothing..
kim - 11-Oct-17 @ 4:53 PM
Hello I live in an end bungalow surrounded by other houses the area is mostly fine but I have a wall garden where I have sufficient plants to stop local brats running across it (council refused a fence) but I still get the odd child climb on top of the wall run down the steps (that lead to front door) as if my property is for them to play on. I am older than them but how can I deter this without becoming a witch that yells at them to stop as its on my property. You never see parents around. We don't get much bother but I can't stand kids running along my wall and steps like its some sort of castle. Wish I could take my bungalow/garden elsewhere.
Fedup - 5-Oct-17 @ 3:45 PM
At what time should kids stop being loud. My neighbours kids aged 9are out till half 9 sometimes 10pm at night screaming shouting . We live in an ajoining ground floor flat to there 3 bed house (housing) i can't even open my daughters window as they are that loud which results in her being to hot .. Not to mention struggling to get her to bed. I have mentioned it to the mother her response is " my kids are just playing " I'm at my wits end housing don't seem to want to know and my anxiety is through the roof.
Diana - 23-Aug-17 @ 7:11 AM
Children are constantly playing football down the side of my partners property(it's an end house) the football continuously bangs against the house and the fence and is causing bowing and damage to plants by knocking down trellis on the fence snapping them at the base! (Sorry frustrated gardener here) Their ball comes over the garden on a daily basis and has ruined countless plants, hit Windows and yesterday bounced off both of our motorcycles with some force. We have asked the children on countless occasions politely to control the ball to prevent this from happening and taken up the matter with their parents to no avail. I have even witnessed them planing to 'boot the ball really hard' at the fence. When the ball came over yesterday and hit the bikes I refused to give the ball back to the first set of children that knocked- explaining the ball was under my partners bike and I refuse to touch it until he has inspected both bikes for damage upon his return, that he would be back in two days from his trip. I explained again to the second child that knocked (he owned the ball) at which point I received a barrage of abuse from some woman in the street claiming it was theft if I didn't return it, again I explained that it was not as he could have the ball as soon as the bike had been inspected by its owner for damage. She didn't like that. Later a gentleman knocked with the child (scrap the gentle part) claiming to be the child's father wanting the ball- I pointed out that I had already explained my stance to both lots of children and the woman that screamed at me and then explained it to him. He then offered to take the ball and leave his details, having never seen this man before and not appreciating his intimidating demeanour I refused. He then threatened to phone the police, I invited him politely to do so, after all they could then witness everything and take all his details should there be any damage for insurance purposes etc. He then said he was going to do it because it's theft I again explained that his child had been asked on several occasions to not play with the ball down the side of the house if he could not control it and there is plenty of open areas (fields and purpose built football areas) just doors away that he had been warned that the ball was doing damage and that he was aware of the bikes in the garden and had continued to play there. I explained AGAIN that until the bike had been inspected I had no intention of moving said ball I wasn't getting involved in case of any ramifications, the bike belongs to my partner and he will deal with it accordingly upon his return. He then complained that his child would have to wait, which he would have had to do even if I hadn't been there because the house would have been empty?!? Again I invited him to call the police but stated they had more important things to do on a Saturday night than fetch a child's ball back so he shouldn't expect them to hurry. He left disgruntled. At n
AmIInTheWrong? - 20-Aug-17 @ 2:05 PM
Rie - Your Question:
I am having problems with my neighbours complaint about the children playing in the garden. We both work and the 2 younger children go to nursery full time. We don't get home till after 6pm and the children are in bed at 7 and 8. We also have an 13 year old who enjoys playing football. He trains 5 nights a week so the children only really play in their own garden at the weekends. The older child was playing in the garden at 9:30 at night when the neighbour came out and aggressively started shouting at him for making so much noise. I don't want to start an argument what can I do

Our Response:
There's not much you can do to stop a neighbour complaining at you in this way - if you find it's getting too much, have a polite word with them and tell them that what your family is doing is not unreasonable. (Make sure the noise stops at 10pm to be sure of this). If you feel that mediation or some other kind of alternative dispute resolution is needed ask Citizens' Advice for contacts.
ProblemNeighbours - 8-Aug-17 @ 12:35 PM
I am having problems with my neighbours complaint about the children playing in the garden. We both work and the 2 younger children go to nursery full time. We don't get home till after 6pm and the children are in bed at 7 and 8. We also have an 13 year old who enjoys playing football. He trains 5 nights a week so the children only really play in their own garden at the weekends. The older child was playing in the garden at 9:30 at night when the neighbour came out and aggressively started shouting at him for making so much noise. I don't want to start an argument what can I do
Rie - 6-Aug-17 @ 9:18 AM
We have a family at the back of us and the child is obsessive about football slamming the leather ball off the neighbours gable end from 16:00 till gone 10:30 pmCan not speak to parents as they claim racism at every interaction and the mother truthfully does not care.It is unbearable as the continual thud can be heard through shut patio doors and over tv.Several complaints have been to runnymede and they do nothing. So the question is why can't one of the many adults take this annoying kid and his football down to the local park - 10 mins down the road
Pigeon - 2-Jun-17 @ 10:04 PM
I have just moved into a new build estate and everyone has moved in at the same time, I'm having some issues with the neighbours kids though. It's started with throwing balls into our garden (sometimes 5/6 by the time we got in from work) and the kids were staring over our fence constantly without saying anything!We asked what their problem was and ended up in an argument with the parents! Since then the kids feel like they have won and know we can't say anything back so we stopped throwing the balls back over and we're waiting until the kids came round to get them which has caused this issue to stop. We have also spent a lot of money on screening and trellis to block their garden so that they can't peer over the fence, however they still peer out the window and shout silly comments and giggle! I know they are just small kids but they have no manners and are so cheeky! We feel like we are being intimated by a group of children! We just want to be able to go into our garden without wondering whats going to happen Any suggestions?
Rach - 27-May-17 @ 7:07 PM
Daisy - Your Question:
Two kids from my street have been playing football outside my house with two others teenagers from a street nearby. They were repeatedly kicking their ball into my garden and coming in to get it back, so I asked them to stop. It has happened a few times since.Tonight they were running in and out of my garden after the ball again and I asked them to stop. This illicited a pretty rude response from the two who don't live nearby and they started deliberately running into my garden making noises. I went out again and saw that my hedge had been damaged by their games. I told them to stop and said it wasn't on to be behaving like this. They did stop, but I'm concerned they'll be back before long. What is the best way to deal with something like this? The two boys from my street were apologetic but the other two were quite confrontational. I'm a woman living alone and not used to having to deal with things like this! Would be grateful for any advice.

Our Response:
Could you find out their details from the other neighbours' children and write a polite note? If not, speak to your local PCSO, a word from him may be sufficient to stop this.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-May-17 @ 1:42 PM
Two kids from my street have been playing football outside my house with two others teenagers from a street nearby. They were repeatedly kicking their ball into my garden and coming in to get it back, so I asked them to stop. It has happened a few times since. Tonight they were running in and out of my garden after the ball again and I asked them to stop. This illicited a prettyrude response from the two who don't live nearby and they started deliberately running into my garden making noises. I went out again and saw that my hedge had been damaged by their games. I told them to stop and said it wasn't on to be behaving like this. They did stop, but I'm concerned they'll be back before long. What is the best way to deal with something like this? The two boys from my street were apologetic but the other two were quite confrontational. I'm a woman living alone and not used to having to deal with things like this! Would be grateful for any advice.
Daisy - 23-May-17 @ 11:16 PM
Hi, I have a question about legal rights my neighbor may have about my toddlers throwing things over the fence into their yard. First, about a year ago, it was bubbles and m&'s, by my step daughter (if you have a step child, you may know how difficult it is to teach one to adapt to new rules). I punished the older kid, and she personally apologized, along with making her stay to clean the pool and whatever else they wanted her to clean. Now, with my toddlers (ages 1 and 2), it has been a hassle keeping them from throwing their toys to one another and on the trampoline, to occasionally over the fence. They do not do it intentionally and I have apologized and told the neighbors they may throw it away if they prefer not to toss the items back. As for yesterday, it happened to be clumps of clay from the ground, into the their pool, which covers 2/3's of their yard, directly behind our fence. I have no clue as to when this happened, other than when I left their father watching them while I ran errands the day before. I apologized immediately, but before I could open my mouth, or offer to clean it myself, they turned it into an attack on my lack of parenting and not controlling my children. The conversation quickly escalated into a verbal attack, in which I turned and walked away. They then called the sheriffs department and the deputies said it wasn't a big deal. Now, I do take full responsibility for my children's throwing toys and am working hard to teach them this behavior is not allowed, and also willing to cover any damages that may come from it and clean up whatever they make a mess of. But, the neighbor doesn't care, just that it must stop! Theyalso told the officers something about a lack of tending to children and living conditions, which they quickly dismissed after spending some time in our home and meeting our children. Seriously though, what was their intentions with that?! Why would you try to make me out to be a terrible mother when I have only ever apologized and tried to be civil?At this point, what am I to expect from them, legal wise? What are their rights and mine in this situation? I just don't know what to do, other than hide inside my house and never let my little ones into the backyard. This has become so stressful and caused me so much anxiety. If anyone has any advice on dealing with rambunctious toddlers and taming the ravage toy playing, I'm open to any advice, but please no critisism. I don't know that my heart can handle much more of that. One person is enough. Thanks.
Frustrated101 - 23-May-17 @ 10:34 PM
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