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Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 15 Sep 2019 | 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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Hi thereI live in a four in a block and the neighbour who lives below me has a child who is I say probably about 3 years or younger but him and his girlfriend just let the kid run about his flat all day from 12am till 1am and they don’t take the kid out anywhere they just sit in his flat all day and I have to listen to his kid every day and it’s annoying i know I can’t do anything about the noise the kid makes but come on take the kid somewhere so the kid can run about plus I live near a play park so he could take the kid there I think my neighbour is just really lazy too that’s why he doesn’t take the kid anywhere it’s just so annoying my head is banging because all I’ve been hearing all weekend is banging and crying and screaming and shouting I live alone so it’s hard for me and I can’t even hear my tv because of it plus my neighbour doesn’t even put tv for the kid to watch I think that is why the kid is running about all day. I would love some advice on what to do? Because it’s effecting my everyday life and right now I just wish I could go and live somewhere else so please any advice would help thanks
Kimmyxoxo - 15-Sep-19 @ 1:56 PM
Omg! I live in an apartment building where this lady babysits up to 7 kids at a time ages are 1 up to 8 years old. She had no control over these kids so they're constantly outside my window playing and screaming like they all have a jalapeno in their ass. I totally get it that kids are kids and they need outside play due to limited space in an apartment but my other neighbor has 3 kids and that's another litter of kids for this poor lady. This mother leaves her kids at home alone with no supervision mind you (2 of the kids are special needs) once all the kids get together they yell from the top of their lungs right outside my apartment. My own kids don't drive me up the wall like all these kids do. I'm not only ready to call the apartment manager on the lady who's running a business out of the apartment complex but I'm also about to call DCFS on the girl who doesn't care about get kids and leaves them home alone from 3pm until 2am. I'm not a cop caller but I'm a stay home mother with a 2 year old who naps by the window all these bebe kids are screaming in front of and when I've told both the lady who runs an illegal daycare center and the mother who leaves her kids home alone if they can please tell the kids to keep the noise down especially while my toddler is napping and nothing seems to get through. The lady with the illegal center doesn't understand English and even though I speak to her in Spanish I just think she's in it for the money at 35 dollars a day for 7 full time kids and the other 3 she watches from 3pm until 9pm she's too overwhelmed. But I'm so ready to call DCFS on the other one. Any suggestions?? Sorry for such a long post.
Over the kiddos - 11-Sep-19 @ 7:50 AM
The Problem is you need Proof & other Neighbours to Complain to Authorities! Thats the Problem when all should take is an Email to Local Authorities & then a Warning Letter should be posted out to these Parents who usually Care more about Social Media Constantly faces on their phones instead of Looking after their Unruly Kids! As long as Parents get their peace They dont give two hoots who their kids Annoy & thats a fact of the way modern life is! Wrong So Wrong though!
LS - 4-Aug-19 @ 9:39 AM
Maybe you should contact Authorities as it may be in the Childs interest as it sounds like there could me more going on here if parents are not in a routine with this Child who knows what goes on behind closed doors they may need parenting classes to help them with some tips on how to get their Child in a routine I know it is not always easy with a 3yrs old though it seems these parents have no consideration for neighbours???
LS - 4-Aug-19 @ 9:23 AM
My neighbours across back garden put a Huge Trampoline right in the corner of her garden away from her house it faces onto my back door & windows the kids are dropped of by her two daughters and the so called Gran leaves all the kids all ages & their pals out in garden all day & night she shuts her back door on them & they Shout abuse at me they scream shout every time I go out into my garden no privacy & no peace after my work. They were cutting through my garden I put up a higher fence at a cost as my garden is quite big & they stand up on fence they look in my kitchen when my door is opened due to humid heat if I go out to hang washing, mow grass, water plants or try & sit out on my table & chairsthe loud noises & cheek starts banging a metal pole of their swing frame ect There is No Adult Supervision at all? They are making my life a dread & misery. Ive told the parents & I just got a load of abuse back! Which didnt Surprise me as They & The Gran want their Peace away from their Loud Kids & Someone else has to Suffer them Me?
LS - 4-Aug-19 @ 8:14 AM
We have a family behind us (gardens back onto each other) and the parents swear a lot and have parties every weekend but they let their young children oldest 8 years old run around the garden swearing at each other. We have young children in the family ranging from 6 months to 8 years old and we obviously do not want them using this language what can we do about this?
Kate123 - 28-Jul-19 @ 7:29 PM
I live in a ground floor maisonette the people above me have two children aged about 3 and six , theyre so loud they wake me up in the morning and they're screaming until sometimes 11 at night ,the parents let them play on the communal landing outside their flat which happens to be right near my bedroom window ! If they're not there they play outside my front yard some times in it until I've told them no .I feel like I don't get a moment peace my own kids don't stress me out so much . Is there anything I can actually do ? The parents are aware that I don't want them playing in my front garden/yard when my kids are not out . But makes no difference. And as for the noise I know it's kids but it is excessive
Arge - 25-Jul-19 @ 8:47 PM
If I've were you I would call child protective services.and report the problem children.who is playing dangerously this is not right that's is so wrong .all the damages will cost all of you thousands of dollars and get a hold of child protective services to talk to the all of the problem children's parents to give them a really big punishment for all of the trouble all of the problem children is causing .and stop all of the ruckus the problem children are causing
Waylon - 23-Jul-19 @ 11:54 PM
My neighbours two boys are the size of adults! In a 24 hour period I had four balls in my garden. I probably average 2/4 per week. They have sited a goal mouth almost parallel to my new fence in a pretty small garden. Every night I hear the ball thudding against my fence, I have had numerous broken plants, a broken solar light and now there is damage to a section of trellis on top of my fence. I am sooo fed up.When they were small it was different but they`re 15 and 11 and huge!
Gemma - 23-Jul-19 @ 8:22 PM
I have a every day problem with the mother standing outside allowing her little child to come onto my property dumping things over and basically trashing the place. The mother just stands there and watches like she's purposely using her little child to do her dirty work.What can i do to stop this cause the matter has been approached and unresolved. Please help!!!
N/A - 17-Jul-19 @ 5:03 PM
Be hitting people's cars not bet sorry typing error.
Robbie - 15-Jul-19 @ 9:15 PM
The nextdoor neighbors kids play football out in the street keep hitting people's cars with it I have already told them once they should not bet hitting people's cars don't take any notice the parents don't care seem to let them do what they want told them if it hits my car and damages it there parents will be paying out for it why should I any reply's will be much appreciated want to know what other people think need advice. And also they keep going on people's property to get there ball which is not acceptable.
Robbie - 15-Jul-19 @ 9:08 PM
Can totally agree with this. I live in a new estate, with a fair few families. Really quiet as a general rule but the little toerags next door are something else. Whenever I go outside to have a smoke I nearly always come out to at least three balls at once in my garden. I throw them back over whenever they’re there. Not only that a fence panel was already damaged but the kids dad replaced it but it still continues. Gonna end up losing my rag entirely one of these days.
Jack - 14-Jul-19 @ 8:28 PM
Almost 4 years ago new people moved in and they have been "a challenge" to say the least......but now they have a little boy---about 3 and they are out in the backyard after 10pm and later -----this little boy is screeching and screaming at the top of his lungs. They have awakened me countless times out of a deep sleep with their son's screaming at 2 AM!!!!It's proven pointless to call the police....from time to time I will get up early and make a racket in the side yard to wake them up----that has helped but they now continue with this screaming kid after midnight to 1 or 2 in the morning....my sleep has been destroyed. I plan to contact child protective services in hopes of getting some help but I do not want to create a trauma for the kid by having him possibly removed from the home. Any recommendations would be most appreciated.
Lulu - 14-Jul-19 @ 5:07 PM
The property next door is let to a couple who has two children , I was always told that the landlord would never let to parents with kids or pets , so I thought this quiet little cul-de-sac was right for me , but low and behold in they moved ! Worse day of my life , they are so noisy , informed the estate agent that property owners can no longer sit in their gardens to enjoy these nice warm evenings ,our wellbeing has well gone , they don't want to know , told us to speak to their parents , oh yeah and what will they do , yes Jack all , been looking for somewhere else to move to but why should I ? There should be adult streets only , can't like kids never have never will ,
Ed - 11-Jul-19 @ 6:33 PM
Hi Thanks for the informative article. Actually, I have an 18 month toddler who is hard willed and stubborn. So he cries a lot even with simple things like changing nappies and clothes. He throws a lot of tantrums and every action is actually a nightmare. He still doesn't talk so this makes him more frustrated. All of the noise are during the daytime and he sleeps usually at 8 pm or maximally at 9 pm. M neighbor came to my house and he banged aggressively on the door. He was very angry and shouted at us asking us to take the baby out and control him while inside the house. I admit that my little one is noisy but we tried every thing, got advice from sure start nurse but he still the same. Now, we take him out most of the day but we became very exhausted from being out all that time. My question, what is the accepted noise from someone at his age? and how can we deal with this situation till he passes this phase or till we move away from our neighbor? Thanks
Ahmed - 9-Jul-19 @ 6:12 PM
At 'Strawberry Gin Girl.' No one is telling you to stop the kids playing. If what your allowing to occur in your household is affecting the lives of others, those others have the right to take action against you. If balls are damaging property, you could be sued.If balls are hitting people, you could be in trouble. That's the law of the First World.
Phil - 5-Jul-19 @ 11:55 AM
Hi All, My neighbours daughter has befriended a number of kids recently (age approx. 12-15) who have become a nuisance albeit bearable (looking in through my windows, playing music in the street loud at night, leaving rubbish on the pavements).I can tolerate this along with the screaming rows she has with her dad inside the house and general however on 2 separate occasions this week I suspect they have vandalised a vehicle belonging to my dad when has been visiting me (someone has keyed his car on both sides).Whilst I don't have any physical evidence they have done the damage, what else am I to think?! The parents (my neighbours) are nice enough however seem to have little or no control over their daughter.Another neighbour went to them to complain about her behaviour recently but the daughter jumped in and screamed obscenities whilst the parents stood by and watched.. The kids hang around outside my next door neighbours house every night (we are in terraces) and with the summer holidays looming, I guess they will be a permanent fixture!Dad is insured but why should his premium increase because of their behaviour and are they likely to do it again each time he comes (he is at mine regularly at the moment and often stays over). Has anyone else experienced anything similar?
Vicky - 3-Jul-19 @ 4:54 PM
You folks too eh?This is the 2nd family to move in with yelling, screaming kids - this time around we get a football kicked over into our garden.I just throw it back over their side, but I can't enjoy a quiet sit out because of it.Admittedly, kids aren't my favourite fruit and you have to give them some leeway to play but blimey; here I am - it's a lovely evening and my windows are closed.Yours truly staring at a blinking computer screen airing my views. Kids?Who'd have 'em eh?
rufonious - 29-Jun-19 @ 8:11 PM
Hello paul, i can understand your frustration, if this is a rgular occurance you can contact the neighbourhood team. Most councils and police have officers that can tackle this problem. Speak to other neighbours and buold a case. Write the times and dates or names if you hear any. Teenagers are difficult to deal with whem in a large group. Best of luck. I hope you get peace. ??
Welshy - 26-Jun-19 @ 10:23 AM
Hi everyone, I live in a ground floor flat ,and a shop next door across a narrow road, my problem is I have kids outside my flat all afternoon and evening terrorising the neighbourhood, shouting screaming, playing loud music none stop, throwing stones at my window, I have a patio door on the side of my flat , but I can’t open it , because there all always at least 20 kids from 12-16 , if I ask them to be quite, I just get abuse and damage to my property, i have to watch tv on my phone with ear piece, because can’t hear my tv, I’ve already had , a nervous breakdown, please someone tell me what I can do , before I do something stupid
Paul - 22-Jun-19 @ 7:34 PM
Wow! Strawberry Gin Girl, what a huge chip you have! Just because you have 4, soon to be 6, kids, you seem to think you are entitled to so much! If money is tight, then why bring even more kids into the world?TAKE them to a park! All these people you have problems with, you say all are single? How do you know this? Just because someone does not have a horde of kids in tow, does not mean they are all single! I see many people who have kids who are at school when I shop. You say people, so called passive aggressive single people, should walk down a different aisle in the supermarket?? What if they want something in that particular aisle??Never mind, if they do that, depending on how many people with a horde of kids each, it could take hours to do their shopping, perhaps they are disabled, never mind, as long as you have the aisle(s) to yourself. How about.having your shopping delivered?? Why not ask the supermarket to close just for you to do your shopping? Why dont you keep control of your kids in a public place, not everyone wants to have trollies banged into them by kids, or barged into by your pram. Regarding eating out, perhaps again you could stop your kids running amok in a cafe, screaming for no reason. Taking up all the pavement is selfish, why should someone have to cross the road, perhaps a busy road, in order to accommodate you, so you can have all the pavement, perhaps these people might be disabled in some way, but never mind, as long as you force them into the road so you get your own way. Try thinking outside your bubble, you might find that others have their own problems.
Sammysmum - 21-Jun-19 @ 6:54 PM
I admit it. I don't like kids at all. Never did. I'm in my early 50's and have early 30's neighbors on the side of me with a pool and 3 constant screaming kids to the point where I have to close my windows and turn up the TV and that doesn't even help. I also teen neighbors behind me that stay up all night in front of a fire pit talking loud. I pay a decent mortgage, don't I deserve quite? Now I understand what 55 plus communities are all about.
John - 17-Jun-19 @ 3:28 AM
Goodness me. These are truly first world and bitter problems. I am a proud mummy to fourhealthy, cleverand fun loving children (and am 28 weeks pregnant with twins) and of course I let them playin our back garden during school hols and weekendsif the weather permits. I can't exactly coop them up in our house or let them go to a cafe or park on their own. Before anyone jumps on me I cannot always take them out as I have health issues, am heavily pregnant, have tons of housework to do and money can be tight. Also my husband works out of the home all day so he can't take them out either. Plus we have no familyliving near us to help out. So family outings occur typically twice a week on a Sunday and food shopping on a Saturday. When did we become such a selfish nation?I am sick to my back teeth of those without children or worse still older people WHO have grown up children (they should certainly know better) always judging us young families whether we remain in our home or dare to head out in public. Here is an idea: why don't you either choose tokeep your nasty views to yourself or support families: Offer to babysit/hold a shop door open if you see a mum struggling with a pram/offer to carry shopping bags home for a family. It would make for a better society! I could not make this up: If I stay home the neighbours (couple with no children) one side tell me off about letting my children play in OUR garden.On the rare times we go out I'm then abused... in our SUPERMARKET on so many levels e.g. Alwayssome passive aggressive single woman trying to squeeze past my pram or push past my children instead of sensibly walking up another aisle (which by the way is no hardship for someone on theirown to do!)or when EATING OUT - always some old person annoyed that my children are being excitable in a cafe and don't get me started when I am trying to use the FOOTPATH with four kids in tow AND obviously pregnant- I've had cyclists try to run into me and then abuse me for telling THEM off and to use the bleeding road where they should be , I've had single people (men and women in office clothes are the worst contenders)not move out of our way (literally stop dead in the middleon the footpath and sometimesglare at us) when it would have been overtlyeasier for them to step to one side to let us pass or quickly cross the road to use the foot path on the other side, I've had these idiotic phone zombies walk into us and more... Oh dearie me, I just cannot win so I develop a thick skin and ignore you haters unless you dare to tell my kids off and I will have a full on meltdown. For goodness sake they are kids and are naturally lively and playful therefore you either accept that or go somewhere where children do not frequent! It's like you hates don't want us and our children but then you're happy for children to grow up one day to support the likes of you!Maybe if we had a village to raise our children and gove
Strawberry Gin Girl - 9-Jun-19 @ 7:32 PM
Hi we have a side access at the side of our house which also runsalong the back to access our back gardens. I know children have to play but a new family have moved in to another road that the back gardens back on to the back access via a foot path from theirs. The children have start playing in the back access and using as a play ground during school holidays and after school as well as the weekends, this means we can not sit out in our garden which is causing my husband anxiety attacks. He is partially sighted and his at home most of the time. Is there anything I can do. Maxine
max - 3-Jun-19 @ 1:26 PM
My son is 7.. he occasionally kicks the ball over fence when in the garden. They used to throw them back but now they keep them for a week or two or forever. They pick the up and put in their garage or hide in other places in their garden. Is this legal??
Football - 1-Jun-19 @ 4:21 PM
I live in a housing association flat for 4 years. Neighbours live in a cul de sac, with range of children, after 3 years of them Repeatedly kicking their balls on my fence and walls, this has now stopped, as housing officer has managed to send letters out to them. Now no one speaks to me. Which is fine.However just gone to make a drink to find 4 of them running around in my garden, jumping over washing line etc. . I live on my own and it scares the hell out of me!! Yet if I report this, will their behaviour ever change, but I will report this as they were not invited (obviously), but it’s horrible experience. They do knock my door to get their ball, so they are just horrible because their parents are rubbish. It all does need to be reported to the necessary agencies. But wow
Clarissa - 19-May-19 @ 9:35 PM
Update on last post. Balls have continued to come over, deliberately. Last Monday was the final straw. 5 balls, one kicked at the bird feeder, some 12 feet from where it was kicked, almost knocked it off the wall, I saw this, by visiting boy who also was swinging on our fence until I banged on the window, fence is getting looser due to next doors behaviour, small brush in same area, 2 toys, one dirty nappy and 2 pieces of dog poo. My husband bagged it all up, inc dog poo, carefully and sealed, and we are waiting for her to come and ask for the balls! No ball games since last Monday. Getting quotes for new fence this week, it is our fence according to our deeds and Land Registry records. The other side to them have replaced a fence, which is not theirs, due to these kids making holes and throwing stones at their dog. The female next door does nothing to stop them annoying either side, she just sits smoking in the garden while on her phone!
Sammysmum - 5-May-19 @ 5:43 PM
Next door neighbours have been a problem since they moved in 4 years ago. The stress has caused medical issues and the smoke is thought to have caused me to have blood clots in both lungs, according to 2 senior chest physicians.They both smoke, particularly when I venture out the back door or come in the gate. He has on numerous occasions shouted to her "she's out there", and out she trots with cigarette already lit. Cannot see to my plants at all, not even at 11.00pm, hang washing out, and could never sit in the garden. She has constantly thrown her butts into our garden, but denies it, so how is it we have had hundreds in our garden since they moved in?She knows my routine, weekly shopping, regular appointment, which I am in the process of changing. He has thrown glass into the garden too. They have 4 kids, the 2 boys are now at the stage where they kick balls, at their windows, at our door and windows, outside light, and at our fence, numerous balls come over on a daily basis, max count = 9 usually 4. Also lots of litter, paper, polystyrene broken up, toys. She has been verbally abusive on several occasions, tells me I am old, not long to live and why don't I go now! She has also threatened to hit me but was pregnant at the time. She does not get on with many people around here, only 2 fellow obnoxious ones. She creates if we have a workman here, saying they cannot park in the road, they were not blocking her in/out, and were parked responsibly. Several other people have had workmen, not been verbally abused as our were. Kids climb on our fence, he stores everything against our fence further down the garden, (gardens are 30 feet long x 15 feet wide, even soil which was about 2 feet high. When the paddling pool was put up, he lodged the feet so far under our fence they came into our property! The fence is getting damaged, however if we replace it, all their stuff will have to move; doubt if they will be agreeable. Previous owners were lovely, so we replaced the fence with a 4 foot one, with hindsight it should have been as high as we could. Had previous contact with Environmental Health, neighbours refused to go for mediation. Recently contacted Citizens Advice, who agree it is antisocial behaviour, to call council or police. We would like to move, so will need to declare this. She has told us to move as we don't fit in here as we are old! Lots are older, apparently none of them should be here either! Sorry about length, but my stress levels have rocketed recently.
Sammysmum - 15-Apr-19 @ 11:51 AM
I moved in to a new home 4 years ago in los angeles.We were never told when we bought the house that the neighbor had an autistic adult that would scream his lungs out to the point it would make you jump when your sleeping. You can call it a rude awakening because of the decibels he screams at is alarming. My wife and i both have very high stress level jobs and the last 4 years our life has been a living nightmare with these screams. So i wanna know if I can sue them because this has disrupted my peace. It is no different than having a neighbor blasting loud music at random times throughout the day and you know people will call the cops why because it is a noise violation disturbing the peace. Now that autistic man has the right to scream and yell his lungs out I do not have right for peace? He has more rights than me? I guess i need help to know what to do. I have called social workers on them and they know we called but yet they still throw the autisic man in the backyard near our side so he scream and yells for 4-6 hours straight. At this point I want to sue them for robbing me of my Joy in my home. I can not find peace here and for me to move is stupid. Thanks for any help.
Unlucky - 29-Mar-19 @ 11:29 PM
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