Home > Neighbour Issues > Problems With Neighbours' Children

Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 13 Dec 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
We live on my in-laws farm. The farm has two houses, and a house trailer. This Summer, my husband's sister and her family (with 2 boys ages 7 and 5) moved into the house trailer. The boys are over often, and my 2 year old son is often over at their house as well. Life is good. This past month, my family went on vacation for a week. When we can back, our storage shed's window was completely smashed. We have our kids out of season clothes stored in there as we don't have space in the house. The younger boy of 5, told me that the 7 year old couldn't get into the shed (which he had no business being in) so he smashed the window. The parents are aware, but have said nothing to me. But now we have to replace the window, or move all of our possessions out. It should be noted that the window had a small hole, but no rain was able to get in. Now we have a 2x3 foot gap in our shed's wall. Do I confront my sister-in-law even though she hasn't mentioned it to me? They are moving in a few weeks, but I'm so fed up with how undisciplined the boys are, that my instinct is to ask her if she did anything more than give her son a slap on the wrist. Today the boys were in our yard, and I told them they could play anywhere else on the farm, because I didn't want the other window to get broken, and the oldest son basically told me that he would just come and play while I wasn't home. I'm venting. There's pretty much nothing I can do if I want to save the relationship. ??
Julie - 13-Dec-18 @ 5:13 PM
Yeah, I feel for you all. I have a neighbour with a 7 year old girl, a single mother. What she does is send her daughter downstairs to my place to watch Netflix! I have told the child that I am a grandmother with no interest in watching TV all day, however, she keeps on coming.When I go out the back the girl hangs over the balcony and says that she is going to jump, when I go out the front of the apartment the girl climbs the wall and threatens to jump too! Meanwhile mum seems to be in bed all the time and takes no notice of her daughters well being, I am going crazy I feel like a prisoner in my own home.Jenny
JR - 21-Oct-18 @ 8:43 AM
We are having trouble with neighbours kids. 3 boys who climb all over the fence, throw numerous items into our garden, I’m not bothered about toys and balls I can handle that. It’s the dog poo that the kids throw over, broken glass, buckets of wood chippings etc I’ve had stones and bricks thrown at myself and cat. I have had words with the mother but she can’t handle any of them. Today I was sitting in my living room, door open and I’m being called c@@@ over and over again, stinky, fat - bare in mind these kids are 3, 6 and 7. I would love to be able to sit outside but can’t. I don’t particularly want to go to he council or police, I’m not sure if it’s at the level they would bother. It’s an owner property so can’t go to landlord. This is going on a pretty much daily basis in the summer for the last three years.
1982919 - 4-Sep-18 @ 9:34 PM
Hi I've had a family move into a flat next to me and they've been an absolute nightmare.The kids have taken over our communal washing area,scream and shout till gone 10pm of a night most days and they've stuck a trampoline virtually in the middle of the drying area.Not to mention they've chalked all over the slabs so if any of our clothes come off the line they get damaged.The parents aren't the nicest of people ive had words with them before about things but they don't listen or just tell me ah well kids have gotta play somewhere.I don't know what to do.
goody - 3-Sep-18 @ 11:46 AM
Wondering if anyone else thinks that this behaviour is out of order - our neighbours don't seem to so would like another point of view. House next door is rented and they are in their mid sixties. A big family with at least 15 grandkids - most if which are next door weekends, before and after school and all over holidays. If they see us and my 2 kids in the garden they scream abuse - youngest is about 3 and has an excellent grasp of the f word. Had various things thrown at us or roughly in our direction - bricks, rocks, plastic bottles full of urine. Am utterly sick of it. Yes,have spoken to adults 'in charge' -response - 'they're only kids'I see from a previous post this is a favourite excuse for lazy parenting/grandparenting!! Why bother having kids at all when they spend all their time at someone else's house?? Landlord clueless/doesn't give a monkey'sand happy to take money. Kids should be allowed to be kids - but damaging property and injuring others? No way. Either leave them with someone responsible or don't have a house full of kids if you work all the hours god sends. They are getting the wrong idea on how actions and consequences work. I work a demanding and stressful job, but my partner and I share the parenting and wouldn't allow our kids to behave like this. I know if one of my two threw a brick and hit one of the little 'darlings' next door there would be hell to pay??
Jack33 - 16-Aug-18 @ 5:20 PM
My partner neighbors are slays causing trouble with my partner there children are out of control to cloning lamp posts etc threaten to damage our car etc one of the kids parents head butted my partner just a few weeks with moving in the street is the worst street he as moved on to for trouble it’s really a ruff area the neighbors told the police my partner had fallen when he hadn’t I wouldn’t have called the police if that was the problem
Sarah - 15-Aug-18 @ 7:02 AM
Does anyone know what I can do about a child that is constantly horrible to my child when ever she plays out in the neighbourhood? There is this boy 3 years older than her who is alway hitting her and spitting at her and breaking her toys. The parents don't care either. I'm at the end of my thether now and don't really know what to do.
Sarah - 12-Aug-18 @ 7:50 PM
My neighbours children are an absolute nightmare & in the hot weather this has got worse as they are out bouncing on their trampoline in their very small yard shrieking until beyond 10:30 at night… I have to get up early so getting enough sleep means earplugs, a room fan & closed windows.When I work from home it’s worse as it’s a constant screamathon from next door, giving me a headache on a daily basis. Before you dismiss my comments as “miserable old got” I’m not, I like the sound of children playing actually…. It’s the constant screaming & shrieking that I have an issue with & I also have a right to enjoy some peace & quiet in my home and my garden.Having children is a lifestyle choice & I recognise it is a hard job but if you choose to have children it is reasonable to expect that you parent them well enough to raise them as considerate members of society & that involves consideration for your neighbours too.It’s a bit like smoking – if you choose to smoke you shouldn’t force your second hand smoke on others – it’s inconsiderate to do this. The youngest child (3 years?) appears to have some behavioural issues – perhaps he is ADHD or aspergers, but he has a shriek that could break glass at 500 paces.I have HSP (I’m very noise sensitive) & fibromyalgia so have my own issues – however, in today’s societyit doesn’t appear that an adult’s opinions are not considered to be valid as a childs.Their welfare & preference always seems to priority no.1. the rest of us just have to suck it up because “They’re only kids!!!”….. which seems to increasingly be an excuse to avoid the hard work that being a parent involves.I certainly wasn't permitted to shriek like that 24/7 as a child. And before you advise that I speak to my neighbour I can see exactly how this would pan out…… because a parent who believes that it is appropriate to allow their children to play & scream very loudly outside nightly on their trampoline until 10:30pm, is very unlikely to appreciate a strangers comments or want to change their parenting style in favour of considering their neighbours…… what’s in it for them?.... If it continues I’ll speak to the neighbours on the other side – who appear similarly irritated by the noise.Hopefully two people raising the issue should alert this lady to the fact that this is an issue and is disturbing other people.
Lily - 7-Aug-18 @ 1:32 PM
Charly - Your Question:
My neighbours child keeps climbing on our flat roof and is trying to get into one of our rooms. We have caught him twice now and tonight we have approached the family. What can we do if this happens again? We own a hotel and it is one of our guest bedrooms.

Our Response:
You should contact the local police on the non-emergency number 101if the parents are not taking action.
ProblemNeighbours - 7-Aug-18 @ 12:58 PM
My neighbours child keeps climbing on our flat roof and is trying to get into one of our rooms.We have caught him twice now and tonight we have approached the family.What can we do if this happens again?We own a hotel and it is one of our guest bedrooms.
Charly - 5-Aug-18 @ 11:08 PM
I have been living a nightmare for 3 years. Within 3 days of moving in we could see why the previous owners sold and moved! The house directly opposite (3 meters at angle of 25/30 degrees) is owned by an older lady (70+) who has already raised her 4 kids years ago, but she has been lumbered with her grandson (mother refuses to take him as she has abusive partner and refuses to leave them; so she is not allowed to have him!). He is perhaps the worst behaved 13 year old I have ever met, starts fires, vandalises our/neighbours property, shouting & swearing CONSTANTLY, threatens his nan (slit your throat, stab you up), attends no school as even the "special/troublesome" school has barred him from attending...Unbelievable really! What do "the authorities" do about it..? NOTHING! Police are called 3-4 times a week; he laughs at them and refuses to let them in (last week they had to kick the door in-breaking it-she hasn't the money to fix it..there goes the neighbourhood). When the social worker attends the house he tells them everything they want to hear and acts all sweetness and light (even washed his car whilst he was there; throwing the soapy waste water all over our garden plants whilst he was at it). As far as social services are concerned "there isn't a problem", despite the ASB representative recommending the house was not fit for a child, and that the environment is not suitable for a 13 year old who requires discipline and re-enforcement of rules and social norms. The nan tolerates it as she has no income and relies on the benefits she receives as his principal carer, to keep the roof over her head...and while I sympathise with the situation she is in; how can this possibly be right in any way shape or form?! Her selfishness is damaging both the child and the community/our quality of life. It seems we are utterly powerless to be able to do anything. So far I have reported untold number of crimes to the police (always asked for evidence, so now we have CCTV installed), spoken to the council, met with the ASB representative multiple times, and now even instigated the "community trigger" with the support of THE ENTIRE STREET...still nothing has changed! When did the hard working, ethical, self-disciplined members of society become 2nd class citizens to this workshy, sponging scum, I ask you??
JohnnyBoy - 27-Jul-18 @ 2:00 PM
FEDUP TOO - Your Question:
Hello I wish I could be more positive about the summer but with the 6 weeks school holidays starting from after tomorrow my anxiety is high. So much so I am trying out antidepressants to help calm my nerves.Last night about 7pm I went to close my living room blinds when I thought I heard the horrible football being kicked against the window. I went to look and 3 young kids aged 10 or over where bascially using my window (it has a outside ledge at the bottom) for their own amusements.I angrily knocked on the window and one of the girls looked at me and then they all left, naturally I was feeling upset by this and reported to 101 police.I don't like kids using my area for their play since they have their own gardens, surely why bug mine?They're not nasty by nature but I find this intimidating behaviour.I know kids are kids as parents say and yeah I probably played out but never got too close to someone's house.I hate how they make me wish I could move as I like the bungalow but during the summer we get so many other kids that move into the area to be with their friends and the horrible screaming and shrieking begins.I am lucky enough to house sit occastionally so I miss some of it but thank goodness for wireless headphones.I have tried to contact the local Your Homes Northumberland Council but they just refuse to help unless we know who the kids names are. How can I prevent the kids from using my property for their personal entertainment?

Our Response:
Have you talked to your PCSO or community policing team about this? Most are approachable by email and are willing to talk to the children in question to advise them about where it's acceptable to play etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 23-Jul-18 @ 12:47 PM
Hello I wish I could be more positive about the summer but with the 6 weeks school holidays starting from after tomorrow my anxiety is high. So much so I am trying out antidepressants to help calm my nerves. Last night about 7pm I went to close my living room blinds when I thought I heard the horrible football being kicked against the window. I went to look and 3 young kids aged 10 or over where bascially using my window (it has a outside ledge at the bottom) for their own amusements. I angrily knocked on the window and one of the girls looked at me and then they all left, naturally I was feeling upset by this and reported to 101 police. I don't like kids using my area for their play since they have their own gardens, surely why bug mine? They're not nasty by nature but I find this intimidating behaviour. I know kids are kids as parents say and yeah I probably played out but never got too close to someone's house. I hate how they make me wish I could move as I like the bungalow but during the summer we get so many other kids that move into the area to be with their friends and the horrible screaming and shrieking begins. I am lucky enough to house sit occastionally so I miss some of it but thank goodness for wireless headphones. I have tried to contact the local Your Homes Northumberland Council but they just refuse to help unless we know who the kids names are. How can I prevent the kids from using my property for their personal entertainment?
FEDUP TOO - 19-Jul-18 @ 9:13 PM
Hi ther We live in a small cul de sac and every morning our neighbours 3 children (all under 6) play out in the cul de sac, screaming and arguing, from 8am even on a Sunday. This week I said it's not fair to be woken up every Sunday morning when I work 6 days a week, Sunday is the only day I can sleep in. She told me she's told them loads to keep the noise down but they won't listen, and it's not her fault. She can't help having 3 kids !!!!!!
Josieposie - 15-Jul-18 @ 2:35 PM
Hello. I would really need you to help me with a verry delicate issue. I have a neighbour that constantly disturb me and my 2 kids because they say we are to loud, we walk to fast in our house, we are noisy. I really dont know what to do, I understand that she has a very silent environment being just her and her partner and cats, but I have 2 small kids, one is 4 and the other one is 2. I allready don t let them dance or sing to not make noise, they are not aloud to run or play with remote control toys so they dont disturb. I talked to my neighbour and said we are sorry and we are doing our best, but she still shouts at my kids to shut up, even when she hear them shouting outside. We are verry stresed about that and yesterday may 4 yo said that for Christmas he wants a new house where he could dance and run and sing. Trust me there are only a few moments during the day when they get excited about something or argue over a toy or stuff like this, we go outside most of the day. I just don t think is fair that my kids not be happy in theire house and be affraid to dance because our neighbour shouts. I am really really unhappy with this situation... Thank you for reading my mail.
Alina - 14-Jul-18 @ 10:41 PM
My neighbour has a disabled teenager and believe he can have temper issues and throws stuff and I fully understand and care for a person with needs. But the other day he chucked a rake over the fence and narrowly missed my 4 year old. His parents allow him in the front garden but he can get out and on several occasions goes through our bins and throws stuff everywhere while children are playing on the front and having narrowly missed my child with what could of caused a nasty injury. I can not help that his parents and not monitoring him. I know he needs the life of any other child but believe if I was in there shoes I would be out with them and making sure they was first of all ok but also not putting themselves in a position that they could injur somebody i have mentioned this to his parents. But what do I do if it persists. I don't wanna make a complaint do not know how to deal with this sensitive matter any advice?
Lew87 - 11-Jul-18 @ 4:44 PM
Hi we recently bought a house and have lovely elderly people either side. The house next door but one are housing association with children. One is disabled and whilst I have no issues with disabled children they are allowing her to be in the garden on her return from school till 8 or in this case 9 o clock at night. Her only communication is by screaming and I mean high pitched screaming not her fault at all but it’s becoming so annoying. We have our tele on and door open and it’s that loud we have to shut the doors and windows. My issue is should the parents not be a bit more considerate to other residents ? I have an autistic grand daughter and when she decides to play up I take her in so not to annoy other residents. I really do not have any problems with anyone with disabilities but are the parents being inconsiderate what should I do ? I am dreading the school holidays
Mojo - 6-Jul-18 @ 9:29 PM
Ss- Your Question:
The tenants next door has two kids and they scratched my car in my driveway on purpose by jumping on it and throwing rocks. I have evidence of them doing it but the tenant won’t open the door even though she is inside, I live in Hounslow can you please tell me what to do and if possible an email address or web link. Don’t really want to fork out as it was the neighbours fault for not keeping an eye on the kids and they should pay. Please help

Our Response:
You should call the police for incidents of vandalism etc.
ProblemNeighbours - 4-Jul-18 @ 3:04 PM
The tenants next door has two kids and they scratched my car in my driveway on purpose by jumping on it and throwing rocks. I have evidence of them doing it but the tenant won’t open the door even though she is inside, I live in Hounslow can you please tell me what to do and if possible an email address or web link. Don’t really want to fork out as it was the neighbours fault for not keeping an eye on the kids and they should pay. Please help
Ss - 3-Jul-18 @ 7:52 PM
I have lived in this bungalow for 11 years mainly surrounded by OAP's like me.Last year a new family moved in and their garden backs onto mine.I don't know how many kids they have but definitely more than 2, and they scream all day long when they're not at school.I am dreading the school holidays and at the moment |I have to keep all doors and windows shut.There are laws regarding barking dogs, loud music, rowdy teenagers, anti social behaviour but nothing to stop the little brats screaming their heads off.This doesn't seem reasonable to me as I already have health problems and am heading towards a nervous breakdown because of them.
marina - 30-Jun-18 @ 6:39 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments