Home > Neighbour Issues > Problems With Neighbours' Children

Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 2 Jun 2020 | 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 have all been young once I get in having fun noise may be made but my boundary wall is not a goal post, nor are my plants for the taking of damage. Have some parents stop worrying that their kids have no regards for other people’s property, are we not allowed to feel safe in our home. And why do they think it’s ok to not hold their kid accountable
Yohar - 2-Jun-20 @ 12:09 AM
Neighbour got ball stuck in a tre so him and his buddies thought let’s climb my brick wall in order to get in the tree, the wall has 4 bricks that have dropped out; and the cheek is whilst one parent has offered to fix the damage she is pointing out tree damage for a council tree root
Yohar - 2-Jun-20 @ 12:04 AM
We are constantly dealing with screaming kids 1 door down. I don’t mind a bit of noise here and there or children having fun because it’s what they do. But they are screaming their lungs at all day and shouting at eachother. It’s currently 9:40pm PM and they are screaming and shouting it’s beyond a joke. I’m 17 and sometimes I just want to go outside and enjoy the peace and hear children having fun not hearing a 13 and 15 year old scream like they are 7 it’s a bloody joke.
Zac - 1-Jun-20 @ 9:34 PM
I am sitting inside on a beautiful sunny day. Laughter and fun noises from a bunch of happy kids is ok for an hour or two. But there is no peace from screaming kids and yelling parents from mid morning until dark. All day! It's one family only. The whole neighbourhood is quiet apart from the chirping birds. These people have moved in recently and ruined it for dozens of homes around. They have swings and a swimming pool but the volume of noise is unbearable.
Gannet - 31-May-20 @ 4:30 PM
Lin, you cant read. You have a basketball ball court and a pool, this kid is playing in the street, on a road, we live in back to back houses, in the uk, kids at the age of 7 shouldn't be doing this, they should be inside and in bed. If they are outside they should of been brought up in a manner to consider other people, bangihg a basketball or kicking a football against people houses is not how I raised my child, maybe you should be reported to social services for being a crappy parent too. The kid is 7 not 17. Its would be different if they had a garden or basketball court or pool but they dont. He plays on a public road, which iscs danger yo himself and road users. Maybe you need some parenting lessons. Dont reply I don't want to hear your waffling nonsense.
P - 30-May-20 @ 7:57 PM
My parents raised me to be considerate. So when people were around, I played quietly. Didn’t harm me and my childhood. Nowadays I have to close the window on nice sunny days because the neighbours, which have an own garden, let their kids with friends play in our shared garden. High pitched screams all day. For me it’s bad parenting. A child can play and be taught to be considerate with people around.
Sandra - 30-May-20 @ 12:49 PM
Last persons comment you areobviously an inconsiderate person because I love children’s laughter and have raised two of my own great kids and I can put up with a lot but my neighbors kids and all there cousins and friends who come over on a daily basis and scream and yell playing on the basketball court and scream in the pool all 15of them or more all day and night until 11pm or 12 mid is just to much to handle. All of the neighbors have had enough but I guess we should be the ones to move. How about you move out to the boonies. Maybe you ought to pay attention to being more considerate to your neighbors sounds like you and your kids are the real problem. So stop being a defensive parent and deal with your entitled children.
Lin - 30-May-20 @ 10:43 AM
My neighbor allows his kid whom is 7 to play in the street until stupidly late time like 11-12 at night, I dont think this is good parenting l, what can be done about this?
P - 29-May-20 @ 10:55 PM
We have a pool and hot tub and 3 Grandsons. Our elderly neighbors behind us build their house close to the pool and on multiple occasions have cursed at our family when they were on their back porch. They told our 8 year old Grandson to shut the f... up while him and his Mother were together in the hot tub. They have also come to our front door and threatened to call the police. The kids are not allowed to be overly loud but the couple have been verbally abusive. They have never tried to ask us politely so we are at a loss. Please give me some help!!!
Mike - 29-May-20 @ 8:10 PM
Next door kids scream all day long asked the neighbours if they would ask the children to keep the noise down, the mother looked at me gone out , I come home from work and I have to listen to this din , l enjoy my garden but I just dont want to sit out there anymore,
Despair - 26-May-20 @ 8:43 PM
We have neighbours (the dad is a social worker or psychologist!) whose 3 kids scram constantly, even if they are enjoying themselves.Every utterance is at the top of their lungs.They made it impossible for us to enjoy our backyard.We were initially welcoming, but relations cooled after the husband heard me muttering (ok swearing) under my breath last summer as I tried to use my backyard while his kids were screeching.I went out to wander in my garden early yesterday morning and, for the first time, decided to ask the kids directly to please try to keep the volume down that day as even at that time some people were trying to sleep. (The three kids were on their own in their backyard making a lot of noise as usual - had the parents been out there, I may have asked them.) So, nothing changed.I wandered to my front yard and then I hear a scream like a banshee.It was qualitatively different from their typical (but still horrid cacophony), so I figured one of the kids had really injured themselves.Then my 24 year old son came out to tell me about his “triumph”.He couldn’t take it any more ( he had a headache and had been trying to do work calls in his bedroom amidst all the screaming), so he went out on our deck and screamed like a banshee.The kids took one look and ran into their house!They were quiet for the rest of the day!A miracle! And when they came out, they always seemed to have one parent with them.My kid is prepared to do it again, if they start up again.We keep grinning while enjoying the bird sounds we could never enjoy before. Oh and, by the way,I did seriously consider whether I am just a cantankerous old b....h, but all of us agree that these kids are atypical.My kids were never that loud and if they had been, we would have done something about it.I’d love to know What others think of our ‘solution’.
Miffed - 24-May-20 @ 12:39 PM
We have neighbours (the dad is a social worker or psychologist!) whose 3 kids scram constantly, even if they are enjoying themselves.Every utterance is at the top of their lungs.They made it impossible for us to enjoy our backyard.We were initially welcoming, but relations cooled after the husband heard me muttering (ok swearing) under my breath last summer as I tried to use my backyard while his kids were screeching.I went out to wander in my garden early yesterday morning and, for the first time, decided to ask the kids directly to please try to keep the volume down that day as even at that time some people were trying to sleep. (The three kids were on their own in their backyard making a lot of noise as usual - had the parents been out there, I may have asked them.) So, nothing changed.I wandered to my front yard and then I hear a scream like a banshee.It was qualitatively different from their typical (but still horrid cacophony), so I figured one of the kids had really injured themselves.Then my 24 year old son came out to tell me about his “triumph”.He couldn’t take it any more ( he had a headache and had been trying to do work calls in his bedroom amidst all the screaming), so he went out on our deck and screamed like a banshee.The kids took one look and ran into their house!They were quiet for the rest of the day!A miracle! And when they came out, they always seemed to have one parent with them.My kid is prepared to do it again, if they start up again.We keep grinning while enjoying the bird sounds we could never enjoy before. Oh and, by the way,I did seriously consider whether I am just a cantankerous old b....h, but all of us agree that these kids are atypical.My kids were never that loud and if they had been, we would have done something about it.I’d love to know What others think of our ‘solution’.
Miffed - 24-May-20 @ 12:37 PM
@Zane There should certainly bea limit to the amount of shrill SCREAMING comimg out of children's mouths, PERIOD. They can AND SHOULD control that. Ever heard of PTSD? No- one, ME, should be triggered while sitting in their, my, own living room minding their, my, own business.THERE'S NO REASON TO SCREAM BLOODY MURDER.Why should I have to close all my windows and doors and turn the tv up to drown out SCREAMING? That's not playing.That's SCREAMING. It's rude af and UNNECESSARY AND PREVENTABLE. It's called PARENTING YOUR CHILDREN and more people NEED TO BE DOING IT.
Lydia - 23-May-20 @ 11:48 PM
I don't understand how to reply to comments, so if "Regarding Neighbour" is reading this, do you know what colour their house is? I think I know who you're talking about.
Hillary Jansson - 22-May-20 @ 11:52 PM
Dozens and dozens and even hundreds of amusement parks, for screaming and doing sports in, in a row. Where there used to be gardens for relaxing and gardening. Not the least consideration of other people.
Lara - 21-May-20 @ 2:21 PM
Since it is all about children, offspring, underage, nowadays, and there are no more gardens, with flowers and trees and potagers. It is just amusement parks for screaming. Football field, trampoline, in a lot not big enough to fart in without dozens of people hearing. There is no respect what so ever for other people so that even symbolically young parents would realize that other people don't enjoy hearing it and even try to respect other people. when they can, minimize the noise to others and maximize the noise to themselves with where they have their noise. People are very selfish and cruel and especially families but older people as well
Lara - 21-May-20 @ 2:11 PM
There appears to be a lot of general whining on thIs site from people with unrealistic expectations of their neighbours.If you don’t like noise move, preferably to a detached house in the middle of nowhere. Kids make noise, dogs bark, people are free to sit in their hot tub if they so wish. People need to consider if it is indeed them who have a problem rather than the so called ‘noisy’ neighbours.
Zane - 20-May-20 @ 9:57 PM
Any comment to a parent about their little darlings being anything else but perfect will be received like a bucket of cold sick!! So in the absence of rational discourse I advocate for calling the authorities about noise abatement legislation being enacted
Tree - 20-May-20 @ 3:48 PM
I just want some advice on a situation that’s bothering me, so everyday I can hear a child screaming. It’s not just at a one burst it’s constant for hours at some points. I live in a maisonette and have neighbours between the problem property, its mad like sometimes it’s completely normal but then it hits 11:20 ish and like clockwork the screaming begins and then I hear it in the evening as well. It’s stressful. I don’t know what to do the parents have never been welcoming enough to approach so I’ve not interacted.
Regarding neighbour - 19-May-20 @ 8:57 PM
I live in one room and kichen with my dwughter and husband. peoplesupstairs 3 childrens always jumping screaming shouting TV louder talking louder so both parents and kids.wake up every morning noise crying bang the ceiling they don't care talk to them don't care.not just that throwing stuffs on the stairs where my bed and daughter bed.they drive me and my daughter crazy .my daughter cant nap cant watch TV with noise nowy daughter start cry with noise put her finger in her earsso can't hear them and advice what can do please or soon we will b in crazy hospital help.thank u
Loubna - 15-May-20 @ 5:23 PM
We moved from a small terraced house a few years ago to a semi-detached house. We own our home but next door is rented. I've always worked from home (even before COVID-19) as I struggle to focus with lots of noise around me. The original tenants were okay - average noise and one of the parents had a noisy kid from another relationship come over every weekend but it wasn't the end of the world. They moved and a lovely lady with a couple of cats moved in and never made a noise. We had a great friendship and could be honest about noise if there was ever an issue (but there wasn't). When she left a family of four moved in - a couple younger than us but with two young children. They were pretty noisy whilst moving in (to be expected) but it slowly changed as their eldest (i'm guessing about 5-6) started sprinting and jumping around the house. She does this everyday for about 2-3 hours in the morning and 3-4 hours in the late afternoon. I get that kids make noise but this is unbearable. Playing, walking and laughing is fine. Screeching, sprinting and jumping on and off furniture is not - their kids have zero boundaries and are allowed to run riot. We have a newborn and I feel we live our lives on tiptoes to minimise noise - we have rugs everywhere to cover the wooden floor, move the baby into another room on the detached side when crying and just generally try to be respectful - but with nothing in return. I have been in the house as we got on well with the previous neighbour and know that even with our conservative behaviour, they will still hear the odd footsteps or door closing from us so they must know how much noise we hear from them. The latest bane in my life is Joe Wicks (The Body Coach). Joe's morning P.E lessons fall at the same time as our newborns' nap. Despite glorious sunshine, our neighbours nice big garden and Joe Wicks saying 'do this outside if you can', they choose to do it in their living room which links to ours. This is essentially 30 mins of floor shaking, banging and screaming - which in turn sets our newborn off screaming. The baby, then out of sync with the routine is then 'off' all day and has interrupted sleep at night. As I mentioned, there is no way they don't realise the noise they are making. To be fair, the mum is actually a lot better at controlling the kids. Now that the dad is at home it is awful (and we can tell who is in charge of the kids based on the noise i.e. if mum goes out shopping etc). I know the average time someone stays in a rental in the UK is two years and we are getting close so fingers crossed!
InconsiderateNeighbo - 14-May-20 @ 5:29 PM
"If there is any damage..." It is not realistic to expect any compensations in case of damage to your property or health. If you are an honestconsiderate and decent person you do not use your kids as an excuse to ruin other people's lives to start with. You take them to do sport to places since you know you suffer also when you have to listen to screaming and banging person other than you (your familymembers involved)
Herd mentality victi - 14-May-20 @ 2:56 AM
I am going crazy too with nine screeching, screaming, crying toddlers in my apartment complex. The neighborhood is noisy enough. Now I have to deal with this. When I moved here, there weren't any children. At that time the complex was quiet. To save my sanity I bought a sound machine for every room and sleep with one on. It's not ideal, but it does help.
Driftwood - 13-May-20 @ 11:13 PM
I am stalked and harassed and the target of a noise campaign. Since 2006 different people scream, shout, yell, use power tools, dogs bark (10 dogs within 50 metres radius) etc etc. There is constant noise from the street and neighboring yards, this is Finland. My health and my children's as as well as my house has been broken by construction going on basically since 2006.
Eve - 13-May-20 @ 8:05 PM
We are a happy family of 4, kids both due to take exams next year. The lock down has worked quite well as we are all working from home quite happily.Sadly we are unable to have doors or windows open in the house due to children next door who basically cannot talk to each other and only dream at each other of let out a massive screech when not getting their own way! The giggling and laughing is ok but very rarely happens, they now have a hot tub, so when 5 ok occurs and we want to sit out back garden you get the whirl from that. Sadly today they also got a trampoline and all our privacy has gone now. It’s all about just being considerate to the neighbours! Which they have no idea the amount of notice from 7am to 7pm sadly feel like a prisoner in my own house!
Jsw - 9-May-20 @ 6:29 PM
Re.noisy children. Look on the bright side - kids will have to go back to school eventually. It may take 6 months, but it will happen. STAY SAFE
Mary - 9-May-20 @ 3:59 AM
Noise of any description (be it from loud music, screaming kids, barking dogs) shouldn’t be tolerated.I put up with a neighbour’s barking dog for 8 years, but have only recently reported it to my local council as now in Lockdown l am at home 24/7 and am no longer prepared to listen to its constant yapping. Totally agree with a previous comment ‘l can’t wait for this pandemic to be over’
Berry - 9-May-20 @ 3:52 AM
Just been reading all of the previous comments about inconsiderate, noisy neighbours.WHAT A SELFISH LOAD OF PEOPLE THERE ARE IN THE WORLD. It doesn’t seem fair how a small scum-bag minority can make decent, law-abiding citizens’ life such a misery.BRING BACK MR BRONSON I SAY AND WIPE THE B&$T@RD$ OUT!
Dr. G - 8-May-20 @ 10:02 PM
Would like to also add that everytime me and my children walk in my own home my neighbor will bang up with her broom
Na - 24-Apr-20 @ 10:18 AM
I can see that all of the comments are from single people who have no children of their own and/or pretend that they were never children themselves, I'm a mother with 2 child, I live in a one bedroom council flat on the top floor, the block of flats are at least 50 years old or something as my neighbor that lives downstairs from me says she's lived her since they were built but I honestly don't believe her, anyways I moved here from a hostel when my now 6 year old son was just 2 months old, all was ok with her until he learnt how to crawl and then walk and then run, so although I was proud of him learning all these new skills, (I'm not going to tell him off just for learning everyday skills and skills he'll be using for the rest of his life) I still had to TEACH HIM to use his quiet feet, which he never understood and still doesn't at his age of 6 (he has severe autism and no speech) neighbor started to knock on my door aggressively and shouted at me to "shut you brat up otherwise I'm going to the council!" I'm sorry but that's not how you reason with someone to keep the noise down, I told her politely and ignored the fact that she was yelling in my face that I do teach my son to not stamp his feet, run, skip and jump,telling him to use his quiet feet, usually does this when he's either happy, excited or having a tantrum which I would move him somewhere soft like his bed to carry on with his screaming and crying, I'd stay with him until he stopped and calmed down, she yelled at me saying my not doing my parenting right and that I should smack him for what he's doing, now I don't do that to my children and that's so disgusting I just shut my door. Ever since then she's been knocking for no reason as now my son is 6 and yhh sometimes he will get angry and stamp his feet and throw things that's just life, I now have a nearly 2 year old and she only gone and complained to the council about him too, he has more understanding than my 6 year-old so whenever bi tell him to use quiet feet he'll stop and walk nicely but there is things going on in parents homes that you don't know about, you don't know how hard it is to keep children quiet, my kids are in bed sleeping by 7pm and awake by 6am and that's normal, they are both quiet untill 8 am and then I do activities with them but my neighbor made me out to me a bad mother and she don't know the half of it so I put a complaint in about her aggressive behaviour but nothing has been done. Makes me sick how selfish people can be!
Na - 24-Apr-20 @ 10:09 AM
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