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Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 15 Apr 2024 | 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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@GemmaMay Then you should live in a detached house as you have a noise origin out of your control and you do not have the right or entitlement to spoil other peoples peace. If you want neighbours to get hostile with you carry on with that attitude, you cannot simply disregard neighbours concerns, what do you expect is going to happen next?
Agma - 15-Apr-24 @ 8:30 AM
Just so you know, I am a parent to an autistic child, and to clarify - i do not "let him" Scream all day, Do you really think that all parents of autistic children don't try? Ignorant people you are! Shall i muzzle him? Tape his mouth shut? How would you like me to stop him screaming? And yes I have tried asking, telling, begging, threatening. Does any of it work?! NO! because he is AUTISTIC. He has a learning difficulty. So take your heads out of your arses and perhaps try not to tarnish all us lazy parents to autistic children with the same brush! And perhaps maybe educate yourselves on autism before making stupid comments like the above! My neighbours have threatened to shut our f***ing kid up for us, told us he should be in a nut house, we shouldn't live here with a child like "that", all sorts. I am scared to go out in the garden with my child for fear of further abuse. And no, I can't move.
gemmamay - 30-Mar-24 @ 5:50 PM
Unfortunately, although it's far from a new problem, in the passed decade it has become much MUCH more of a problem. Education, or rather, the lack there of, in basic common courtesy, common sense, empathy, respect and humility has been replaced with misplaced entitlement, arrogance and aggression. It's #mememe not #metoo. There really ought to be a mandatory educational course for new or expectant parents. One has to to drive and operate heavy machinery, and bringing up, caring for and living with children is just as dangerous and much more hard work... It's getting more depressing and more incomprehensible how the very BASICS of humanity are not only ignored and rejected by the public but also by the bodies who are meant to assist in enforcing it. In fact, poor behaviour has become practically encouraged. Orwell's Animal Farm barely had an inkling of where we are headed. There are nice people out there, but sadly, bad apples are contagious. I've lived next to 'parents' who allow their poor 5yr old autistic child to not only CONTINUOUSLY loudly squeal and scream while violently banging walls, (with any apparatus he can find and/or his own body parts) but also let him climb up on to 12ft+ tall garage roofs and jump about completely unsupervised. This is 6-7 days a week between the hours 4:30am-11:30pm. While I completely appreciate looking after a child is very stressful and a lot of work, and more so when the child is mentally and/or physically disabled, basic parenting is always required. It is a parents job, not the government or council or school system. Being a parent is a big and hard job, but hugely rewarding when done well. Treating others how you expect to be treated isn't rocket science. It's heartbreaking how poor parenting and general behaviour is not only rife but so many seem completely ignorant of the effect it has on the children and everyone around them. It's a pandemic that's a lot worse than COVID. Much, much worse.
Sad - 27-Feb-24 @ 4:00 PM
Lad's aged 10 years and 11. Approximately 6 of them at once playing football in one of the boys garden. Shouting and swearing. Using the N word. Every other word they're shouting is the F word. Their in and out of neighbours gardens climbing over fences to get their ball after kicking it in. My husband works from home. I work nightshift. This goes on before school then as soon as they get back. This is really effecting our mental health. The single parent is never around. Let's the kids do as they please. She's also not approachable as I've had a word with her in the past and seems to think it's okay as her boys in his own garden with his mates. Also bearing in mind there's a park with a big field and goal posts only a 2 minute walk away. What do I do?
Lucy - 13-Feb-24 @ 1:58 PM
@Bee, don't kick off whatever you do, the police do not care about you're situation or whos right, (in your case you). Your neighbours could accuse you of verbal affray, which is a crime and one the police will pursue. Best option is to move and if you are a homeowner and don't report it to the council as it will have to be declared when you sell and may put off a buyer. Other effective options are loud music when the noise gets too high and insulation. Suffering in silence is not an option, make their lives as difficult a Good luck, its an absolute nightmare but don't lose your temper and stay within the margins of the law. Unfortunately, problem neighbours are everywhere now as no one wants to do anything to help you.
Agma - 30-Jan-24 @ 7:27 AM
I'm so annoyed right now. I live next to two crackhead parents who have 4 kids, 1 being autistic. All boys. Over the years it has progressively got worse. It's now 12.50am and they are running and banging. Of course, the two crackhead parents don't have a job. So they have no respect for anyone else. The children are literally 3 and 5, with two older boys. It's Monday and a school night. How are these children not in bed. WTF? What do I do? It's a semi detached house in a quiet neighbourhood. And I get lumped in with two in bred crackheads who can't parent worth a damn. I'm so fed up. No one wonder people lose it. This is going on for years. I've reported them on countless occasions when they decided to beat the head off one another at 4am. I'm going to lose it if I don't get help, get some sleep. Is it really that hard NOT to be an asshole?
Bee - 30-Jan-24 @ 12:55 AM
I have only been in my home 10 months and I absolutely love it. Apart from the couple next door who have a 3 year old daughter that does nothing but scream. She’s woken me at 4am screaming. I screamed back (this was in the summer when the windows were open which made it even worse). They seem to spend all day long slamming their wardrobe doors (probably the child doing it) and running up and down the stairs. It drives me nuts. My daughter is 16 and my son is 19 and we live quietly and are mostly at work/school/college but on my days off and evenings I am a quiet person. I tend to read rather than watch TV and my own kids now they’re older are out doing their own thing. I have started to keep a diary of the racket and plan to speak with them about it. They are here on work visas from another country and I hope and pray that the visas expire and they go home. The kid is still awake at midnight most nights, they seem to have no routine with her and she spends most of her waking hours screaming and crying. She must be in their room which backs onto mine. It doesn’t help that they seem to have nothing in their house. No furniture to speak of so nothing to absorb the noise. My last two houses were detached so I had forgotten how noisy neighbours can be. In contrast, we hear no noise at all from the people on the other side of us which kind of proves that the other neighbours are excessively noisy. I think some people can be very selfish. My children were young once too so I know they can scream but there’s a limit and children need routine and sensible bedtimes. I was also always very conscious about my neighbours and wouldn’t have kept them screaming next to a party wall the way these people do.
Mrs Simons - 9-Dec-23 @ 11:23 PM
Inconsiderate parents everywhere, I am sick of it.I have chosen not to have children, why do we have to put up with bad parents with their screaming, crying miserable kids.They have been going really loudly now for 3 hours the visitors below me.There seem to be 8 people in a tiny one bedroom flat, made of of 4 adults and 4 running, screaming, crying kids. Why don't they take them at least out to the park?They kept me up until 1pm last night and have been noisy all day.Since 6pm it has been off the chart.I just want some peace and to know I can sleep. The worst is there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Just hate bad parents!
Parents are so selfi - 11-Nov-23 @ 9:01 PM
Our neighbours below work from home. We are a family of 3 with a daughter aged 3. We can’t live in peace as everything we do annoys them. We are always worried they will knock or message us to complain which is there main choice, whenever we are making some noise. They complain when we vacuum and any time my toddler runs. We don’t make any noise outside of the allowed hours. Our daughter goes to bed at 7:30 and wakes at 6/7am. I know they are recording everything we do and they have said they have contacted a lawyer. We are trying our best but also need to live our lives, we try to be as respectful as we can but inevitably there is noise as it is a flat. They complain so much that it is now causing me anxiety and I also now feel like we are being harassed by them. We have just blocked them so they can no longer message us to try to relieve some stress.
Tkel - 29-Oct-23 @ 9:59 PM
My neighbour has an autistic husband and son. We are a family of 4 with two girls aged 7 and 4. We can’t live in peace as everything we do annoys them. We live paranoid they will ring the bell to complain. We can’t have anyone over without a complain. We don’t make any noise outside of the allowed hours. The kids go to bed at 7:30 in the evening. It’s really affecting my ptsd. I can’t live apologising for living my life. Help !! I’ve tried to be understanding and talked to the girls. We are trying our best but we live in a terrace house on a busy road.
Laucita - 24-Oct-23 @ 12:01 PM
We lived a happy life until a family with 6 kids moved next door. The mother is completely unstable, the father cannot stand his own kids noise and keeps leaving the house or going into the garden with his headphones and he phone while the kids literally destroy everything around them. They sound like a thousand rhynos and it’s constant. They don’t go to bed before 11pm even on school days. We have tried everything, talking to the parents, talking to their landlord… it is a nightmare and to make matters worse the mother keeps constantly yelling at them and drinking, playing laud music and insulting us constantly …
Mike - 2-Oct-23 @ 11:03 PM
Foreign and British problem families are often entitled, arrogant and unlikely to respond well to diplomacy. The only solution is to fight back, becouse the law and support is not on your side if you are without kids, and as I was told by police when this last happened to me "you'll just have to put up with it". My problem family finally moved out a week ago but that is far from the end of the matter. Next door is a rental and it's a toss of the coin who I get in next. This happens again, I will put my house on the market and get a boat, no government will put a family on the street and with the housing crisis getting worse, there is less and less chance of getting any of them out.
Agma - 26-Sep-23 @ 11:43 PM
I live in the UK, we have a field infront of the houses where the kids play. One kid inpeticular is 10 has is a real bully towards my two. He swears at them, says nasty things, uses his fingers to swear, called my youngest the N word, he even went to punch my eldest who's autistic. The mother and stepdad don't cate they leave him to roam around. I feel topped, I've told him off and he told me to mind my own business. I've lived here all my life and now my kids can't have a nice childhood when he's out. The only time it's peaceful is when he's at his dad's every other weekend and then all the kids play with no worries. He's the problem and I'm sick of it.
Nic - 25-Sep-23 @ 11:26 PM
Childens play area has been placed 5 metres from our property {bedroomwindow} by the local council. We were not informed this was going to happen, The council said they had informed me, i sent three emails asking of proof with no reply. I have now found out no noise assessment was carried out. The council has since carried out a noise assessment by their own emplees with no training on how to assess noise. This is conflict of interest, they always come back saying, no noise nuisance. The Goverment Ombudman ask me to keep a log, i did, council came back, NO NOISE NUISANCE. The council and Ombudmans are both partly funded by the Goverment. I have asked, does a childrens play area make a noise, they never answered. Of cause childen need places to play. There is a play area 5 minutes from this location. It is causing a lot of stress, they know its wrong.This is what you expect to happen in countries like russia. Not just being used by under 8s but adults drinking alcohol and taking drugs.Also because there is a mound in the centre used BMX rider every so often. The noise polution is not fare. Ive sent date stamped videos.theyve said it cannot be used as evidence. A company has sound equitment but they wont £3000. If anyone has any ideas please help. Want recording equitment is excepted in uk courts.
Help007 - 24-Sep-23 @ 4:39 PM
I have 2 children older is 3 years and a half and younger is 2 years and 1 monthe Most times they are not sleep early or weak up at midnight or after midnight crying playing shouting do everything and my niberhod in downstairs is old man and woman they don’t have children and he say i will call police if make noise and we are sleeping at 10 and you must don’t make any thing after 10 even he say don’t walk in your house because i can hear your steps .. I don’t know what to do my children to small to oby the low and make them keeping quiet
Shlk - 20-Sep-23 @ 11:39 PM
My neighbours kids are becoming an issue I currently don't work due to severe mental health issues, so I'm home all day, I try and get things done around the house to keep myself occupied, which sometimes means going into my garden. My neighbors two young kids immediately come out when I'm on the garden and will question what I'm doing and won't leave me alone, it's every single time. There's been a few times I have been sat in my living room and if they can see me they will shout for me, to the point I barely go into my living room and if I do I close my curtains so they can't see me. They're also incredibly loud and are constantly shouting and screaming, on top of that, they are always aggressively kicking a ball against our fence that has started to weaken the structure. My anxiety is getting worse due to this and the parents don't seem to care, they will be aware the kids are pestering me and won't do anything. I can't even move house.
Paz - 13-Sep-23 @ 5:12 PM
Neighbours kids stole an ashtray from next doors balcony and threw it off, 5th of September supposed to be in school saw the mum drop them off home, clearly aren’t sick or coming back from dentists
Link - 5-Sep-23 @ 1:09 PM
Hi, our neighbours child is constantly throwing things into our garden 2 stones narrowly missed me on Saturday. He has thrown anything he can get his hands on, dust pan and brush, empty recycling items, the latest was a stress ball with water beads in it now if my granddaughter or my dog got hold of this before me it the item is toxic when injested and could have been a very dangerous outcome. The parents have no control this child is feral, when approached about the child's behaviour, they don't even open the door and have little understanding of the English language. Please help....
Sally - 4-Sep-23 @ 12:13 PM
Hi how can I stop the kids kicking my front door it is every day and nite how can I stop it what can I do about it A.S.P
Nick - 26-Aug-23 @ 5:15 PM
We have annoying neighbours next door like Clive and Emma, daughters (Chole and Lilly) and Penny the dog who keeps barking at 9 or 10pm. Clive and Emma have invited their parents over for a party.
Burgess - 8-Aug-23 @ 5:08 PM
I bought a new house 2 years ago in an area in western Scotland and didn’t realise I would end up seeing and hearing about 50 kids playing on road in front of my house every day…. Constant screaming, bouncing balls, bikes horns, arguing etc…. Now bear in mind all these kids have gardens where they can play but their own parents can’t stand them so they tell them to go and play outside and (as a result), become someone’s else problem. I work from from with regular zoom calls with customers and no matter what, they can hear these kids. I blame the parents, and the belief that there is nothing you can do or say because that’s what kids do, they are exuberant…. What would happen if me as an adult, I would play football in the street, hit people’s cars and houses, play in their front gardens, sometimes chap their doors and run away and scream, would be that acceptable? People invest their life savings to buy these properties and the whole experience is ruined by failed parents and failed families
Alex - 28-Jul-23 @ 10:01 AM
I bought a new house 2 years ago in an area in western Scotland and didn’t realise I would end up seeing and hearing about 50 kids playing on road in front of my house every day…. Constant screaming, bouncing balls, bikes horns, arguing etc…. Now bear in mind all these kids have gardens where they can play but their own parents can’t stand them so they tell them to go and play outside and (as a result), become someone’s else problem. I work from from with regular zoom calls with customers and no matter what, they can hear these kids. I blame the parents, and the belief that there is nothing you can do or say because that’s what kids do, they are exuberant…. What would happen if me as an adult, I would play football in the street, hit people’s cars and houses, play in their front gardens, sometimes chap their doors and run away and scream, would be that acceptable? People invest their life savings to buy these properties and the whole experience is ruined by failed parents and failed families
Alex - 28-Jul-23 @ 9:59 AM
I am currently living in a so called 'ghetto' area where discipline is rare and conflict is a everyday thing. I have this neighbor who has a 16 year old son. Many times he and his group would kick their bam over until they almost kicked out he window one day. At this pont my mother got fed up. They terrorized neighbours all around them. The 16 year old boy sets fire to his crew to cause destruction and trouble everwhere they go. They respect no elder. A few months ago he made a snide comment to my gay uncle who is twice his age. My uncle got so upset he lightly beat him but there was no blood at tho point I intervened with one of the girls who tried to jump in. His parents came and wanted to know nothing about these past few montbs on going comments and shade that was being thrown even after we compained by her many times. Now recently he kicked the ball over again and my mom being old fashioned decided she was fed up and she was not going to give them the ball to teach him a lesson. He accessed the premises and asked her for it she denied him and he started shouting rude words at her telling her she's a 'poes' and a 'naaier' in other words. In our place, this is extremely rude words. He told her she can do him nothing. I begged her to go to his parents to peace this out but ah said that knowing their parents her whole life they will keep doing norhing about their kids like every other time. He now tries to terrorize all in the house everytime we leave. Spitting she one walks past or making a comment with his gang. They are all young but they are all terrible, rude and completely havw no control. She called the police but i feel this is not going to bring peace and it might bring a long line of hate. The police has not come. But i am so stressed to the point where I feel like neither peace or violence will solve this I do not want to lift my hands for kids younger that me as it will not be seen as the right thing to do. He knows he cannot go to jail because he is underaged. I font know what to do and i just want to keep the people around me safe. I feel so threatened, hated and targeted because of something so small. I don't know what to do we have done everything. Please help...
Tee - 14-Jul-23 @ 4:45 PM
Read Betseys concerns re teenage child on internet and can understand. We have a 12 year old next door currently in internet games 9am all day till his mother comes home from work around 5.30pm he has his tea and then he’s back on the games the entire evening till late. He’s actually screaming and shouting and we are struggling to enjoy our own home and privacy. We can hear him even at the other side of the house. It’s becoming quite uncomfortable and we don’t want to cause friction but it seems unhealthy to me for a child to be on games on internet for over 8 hours a day ! We are retired and living in a mid terrace with lovely neighbours on the other side but don’t know how to address this current situation ? Any help or advice ?
Millers - 13-Jul-23 @ 3:15 PM
We are living with hell, our neighbors 10 year old daughter has virtually every behavioral issue known and is out of control...if she is not swearing (f this c that) at her parents, she has a piercing scream with is distressing, cries continually, screaming at her parents 'don't hurt me'....it sounds like a scenes from the Excorist...this occurs in their garden and inside their home and these frequent episodes last for several hours. We have raised concerns with the mother, who just told us to mind our own business and to have some sympathy with their dysfunctional childs behavior....and she works for a nursery! Please, can anybody offer any guidance?
Chop - 9-Jul-23 @ 9:54 AM
I to just moved from a lot of stress hell from thugs where i lived for 10yrs as said moved in april 2023 to more hell a freeloading druggie thug constantly stomps on floor my ceilingand her up there got kids she lets run riot especially the boy runs, jumpsthuds, stompstorments the girl she squealsearly mornings wakes me up it is hell she tells them but no control also a dog they torment you can hear it they don't take the dog out must be a squalor up thereshould be booted out its ANTISOCIAL why dont others in block do something i dont get listened to i a 64 yr old woman on ownthe scum play on it
Sylv - 22-Jun-23 @ 4:09 PM
OMG. I'm living next door to crackheads! They have 4 kids, 3 dogs and the parents smoke weed 24/7, not a job between them mind. They have no respect for anyone, the noise, the rows, the rubbish and the absolute state of their front and back garden. It's covered and I'm not exaggerating, covered in dog poo. With the hot weather and the weed, it's just awful. They literally stink. I've reported to the dog warden on several occasions, the housing association a few times. Why is no one listening? It neglect. What else can I do? I pray they move or get evicted.
Bee - 11-Jun-23 @ 11:02 PM
Two problem neighbours, one I suspect is drug dealing. The other has 4 children, constantly smokes cannabis to the point the smell and smoke gets into my house. I reported her last week to the police as I just couldn't take it. She knows it's me and screamed at me in my garden. Told me to go to her door and say it to her face if I have an issue. What do I do? I haven't even submitted the housing complaint yet and I'm fearful of the reaction.
Garden1 - 21-May-23 @ 11:07 AM
Police does not want to deal w ASB in Uk. Law allegedly moved powers to councils. But councils have no money nor employees to deal with enormous amount of ASB. Those who are in job to deal with mountain of complaints toy with complainants. Banner "children will be children" is thrown about implying they can do all they like. If you complain anywhere, they acuse you of hating children, while you point out at dick parents w zero morals, they still keep broken record that you hate kids. All is left to agrieved to try and fight in civil court. But high chances of losing time and money puts them off. So wild, nasty, abusive, derilict, selfelentitled, egotistical parents whose children are copy of them, rule the streets and neighbourhoods. Unless you have access to a gang to scare them off, you are likely to learn they have it and they will go after you instead. They do not know how to converse so talking to these bullies, is futile anyway. Even if culprits are given brand new built properties to live in by councils and housing associations, these two landlords do nothing to curb it. No demoting tenancy, no ASB orders unless you have 24/7 months on end clear cut evidence! Who does! The culprits do just enough so it is not enough to get them reprimanded!
@#$%& - 21-May-23 @ 1:30 AM
new neighbours moved in last month (i live in an apartment) and their 6-8 year old Boy keeps knocking on our door and running off, we have him on camera coming up to the door, looking into the box we left by the door for delivery people to leave parcels and then knocking loudly, it's a Friday around 1:30pm he seems to be home alone perfectly well and healthy, he's just a little brat, usually when we're coming up the stairs and he's coming down he doesn't move or let us past he pushed past us, his mum notices and doesn't say anything, the only problem is we can't warn them because we aren't sure she knows much English, she's either Polish or a Ukrainian refugee and works all day so we can barely get time to talk to her, any advice is welcome, anything racist will be reported
Link - 28-Apr-23 @ 2:13 PM
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