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Problems With Neighbours' Children

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 7 Aug 2022 | comments*Discuss
 
Child Parent Neighbour Property Noise

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

What to Do About Noisy Children

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

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

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

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

What to Do if Children Damage Your Property

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

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

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

“Can I Have my Ball Back?”

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

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

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

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I have nightmare neighbours children swearing at me causing troublewith other children down the street drawing outside my house things that childrenshould not be drawing 2 of the children are not even old enoughto play out what do I do theye are making good me ill I already suffer from heart failure
Donna67 - 7-Aug-22 @ 4:34 PM
As a parent i know myself that most kids are loud, and id be worried if my kids were too quiet. I think you need to show consideration for neighbours though and theres a balance between kids having fun and becoming a nuisance. When ours were babies they were often woken up by kids screaming or banging on our door wanting their ball back. The best approach i find is to try and ask the neighbours as light heartedly as possible to chat with their kids about the issue. If you tell off/show annoyance to the kids or parents theyll likely think youre the one with the problem. If they dont respond on asking nicely youll prob have to put up with it unless theyre breaking rules (like noise after 11)
Gav - 4-Aug-22 @ 10:10 PM
Flo - do you live in Trelander Estate by any chance? Get out while you can it's only gonna get worse.
Ziimac - 28-Jul-22 @ 8:21 AM
Been reading these stories, new estate opened in January, mainly foreigners with kids. Next door is bareable, but the other side the women has 2 teenage boys and a young girl. The girl constanly s reaming orcrying very loud, the boys constanly pick on her which she gets louder and louder all day long. At night I hear the lads on gaming shouting till stupid o'clock at night. I can't take much more, it effecting my health and I have covid at the min so not on best form. Whatcan I do
Dmh73 - 27-Jul-22 @ 2:51 PM
Oh how good to read stories from people who would understand ours. Three feral girls under 10 next door.Moved in two years ago.Mother is useless- doesn’t work seems to hang around all day gossiping.Dad runs out the door 7am back 7pm even Covid in non essential job (get the picture ).The kids can’t play or interact without screaming or fighting every five mins. They have two frequent callers both boys (not from neighbourhood ) whose contribution seems to be to tease and make them scream harder.Scream on trampoline scream in paddling pool scream all the bloody time. Mother and mother of boys sit inside never reprimand never interact even.Whole neighbourhood avoids them. We wear headphones and have installed a huge wall / fence both front and back. From a large family myself and having raised 4 children and coming from an educational background I’m not angry at these kids.They’re bored and ignored and the reputation they have now locally will make their teenage life difficult.As adults they have nothing but anxiety depressions and broken relationships in front of them. All because of selfish parents.There’s a saying our way “ meet the kittens see the cat”.My comfort is to watch them degenerate into a psychological mess mainly down to poor genetics and bad mothering.
G - 22-Jul-22 @ 7:39 AM
I am currently sitting in my house and I have a big garden. It is very warm inside and I cannot sit in my garden because the neighbour bought a small pool for his kids and they are in it all day long, screaming their lungs out while having fun. This is a new house - I spent all my life savings in it and yet I cannot sit in my garden because parents are unable to tell their kids to be quieter. Some people should not have kids.
Fire765 - 19-Jul-22 @ 12:04 PM
Kirsty, you and your kids are part of the problem. We all pay mortgages or rent. Nobody wants to hear your kids screaming or have them throwing stuff over the fences all the time. There is literally no excuse. I have 2 kids that dont make a peep or bother anyone. Yes kids make noise, but there's a difference from kids playing quietly to screaming in the garden and making a racket daily.And yes we have all been kids but, my parents weren't scum and was also considerate to the neighbours and would tell us to keep the noise down if we had been to loud.. Have some common sense and decency
Spiderman - 12-Jul-22 @ 11:35 PM
Right reading though these comments have pissed me off I have a neighbour who gives my kids stuff back but he cuts them first why would he have to do that I can’t go into my garden becaue of this I have a daughter with additional needs that’s affects her behaviour so she has her meltdowns and I can’t help that what happened to the days where people would just get on and not fight and my son is 3 who throws things over and I get them back all cut up and they just deny it now I can’t even let them in the garden there own back garden so think before u start moaning about kids noise kids willl be kids we were all one
Kirtsy - 30-Jun-22 @ 8:06 AM
I'm at my wit's end. Moved in my house 3 years ago. 2 doors up are the neighbours from hell. Honestly have never met 2 more stupid adults in my life. They don't care about any other people. Their 2 kids are a nightmare. Bring all the other nightmare kids from around. In the summer we can't open our windows because the noise of the children shouting and swearing would make a sailor blush. I'm no prob but the language is awful. Youngest is 6. If anyone goes out to them the 2 irresponsible adults then bully you!!. Vile people it's got to a stage now where we are thinking of moving. They live in a council house and getting everything paid for plus selling drugs too. So they have no scruples and their kids are left to do as they like.
Flo - 27-Jun-22 @ 3:59 PM
Mavanjay,you are without a doubt one the main problems. That wishy-washy ,weak spinless attitude, couldn't care a less, scumbag attitude, is why society us becoming more and more put of control. If that's your attitude, your children will grow up to be worthless, uncontributing useless scumbags themselves. Teaching your childrenthat there is a time and a place for fun and games. Of course children should be able to have fun,but if they are causing so much distress, that a neighbour, needs to move shame on you. I tell you,I would like to see you try that round here,then see what happens. Children need guidance, and if they behave, disrespectfully, and a useless parent sits back and foes nothing, with the attitude, it's your problem, your digging a grave for your own child Honestly, I have idiots like you,and none of you cretins, or your pointless children, have ever gone far. Absolutely despicable, should be ashamed of yourself
Dav - 20-Jun-22 @ 7:03 PM
I am suffering from neighbours children’s behaviour it’s too much now .can’t tolerate anymore. 2-4 Before my next door neighbour used to hit my daughter when she was baby, stalls me a lot, torturing, bullying, glaring, intimidating.uffff God forbid I never wanting to make complaint since 4 years, I am just ignoring ignoring but it has very bad impact on my health. And now number 11, is using their 10-11 year child to pester or bully neighbours. He ring bell & smack my door 2 times . Once he used another boy he encouraged him to hit water balloons on my window. I complaint to that little’S mum that he is using ur child. Also, in my absence he comes in my back garden, my next door neighbour’s children told me. My neighbour is torturing me a lot . Number 11 and number 36 they are close family friends, now number 36 is parking his car at my place outside my garden, he has 4 cars 2 his own and 2 daughter’s and son’s. They park 1 car in their drive way but they do t leave parking space for me .I am single mum and suffering from neighbours anti social activities. It’s impact is too much bad for my health. I start shouting,I was not like that. They are ruining my personality. I am Depressed. Very nasty neighbours, evil neighbours.
Zee - 12-Jun-22 @ 7:54 PM
if you can't beat them just go that little bit better, I have powerful soundbars on my walls it drowns them out and some, soon stop there tomfoolery
ADI - 8-Jun-22 @ 12:13 AM
I'm tortured by kids deliberately kicking ball at my windows, there is a no ball games at the other end but not near my house, how do I rectify this to restore my sanity.
Bam - 26-May-22 @ 4:51 PM
We moved into our home two years ago. The entire estate is privately owned detached homes. One person decided to lease their home to the council and they have just single handedly destroyed the entire atmosphere of the estate. Between lockdown parties, gangs of unsupervised children calling over, insistent screaming, standing on the walls roaring at our CCTV cameras, retrieving balls up to 50 times a time even after we asked them on numerous occasions to wait I'm fit to scream. Parents retreat inside all day and scream at them from inside. I know these kids are ultimately craving attention but it is not my fault they are being ignored. I feel that me talking to them about accessing our home is the most attention they got in their entire lives and thus coming back for more. This week I bought the thick multipurpose motor grease and greased my side of the wall. Although watching their white tracksuits transition to a brown brought me monumental joy I know its only a short measure. Garda told us, wall toppers, cctv and wait it out. Why are all the rights with abusers. I think it was best put earlier in this post is to just spare yourself the pain and leave because these people will never change !
deedee - 15-Apr-22 @ 10:12 AM
I live by 3 households with screaming kids. Specifically all boys under 10. 1 screams once a week. Tantrums. Spoiled kid. Only boy. My other neighbor boy screams almost daily and yells. Under 10 also. Sadly, the parents scream and yell at each other. Mainly the mother that does all the screaming. Other also a boy under 10 screams also spoilt. Al close proximity to me and several other households. We have one neighbor here that just tells the kids to FK UP. or yells at the neighbors. If any toys get tossed over the fence o fany of our houses, all kids just come over and retrieve their toys and or play on my driveway or another neighbors. Literally no respect from the kids. Poor parenting.
MarshmellowHuff - 18-Mar-22 @ 2:41 AM
We lived next door to a council house for 3 half years, we weren't told this when we brought the house, the parents had 4 kids who would run riot, partys, people round during lockdown, footballs banging against the fence, screaming at each other, burning things, it was never there fault when you had a go at them!we couldn't relax in the garden,and when you pulled them up on it, we where the bad ones, so i made there life hell, and would give it back they played the victim, and didn't like it, the only way is to move we did during the house boom, and sold the house making profit, and now we can relax in the garden again and even brought garden furniture, this Summer was awesome!
Legend - 8-Oct-21 @ 7:37 AM
High pitched screaming from little girls irritates the hell out of me and yes I have brought up a child of my own and no, I didn't put up with that. Nor would my own parents have stood for my sister and I screaming all day for no reason whatsoever!! It's not acceptable at all. We had no reason to scream so we didn't amd I don't think our friends would have appreciated it either!
Prof - 2-Oct-21 @ 7:12 PM
I read some ridiculous comment stating “don’t bully kids”! How about you don’t use your kids to bully your neighbours??. We were all once kids and some of us have kids or pets which a loud. But there is a limit to the sort of noise people can take. Yes London houses are not built with sound proof. But people’s space need to be respected why would a neighbours kids leave their own garden and come make noise or trample my garden whilst kicking their ball on my window, knocking on the door.. etc. Unless one is uncivilised and grew up in a sewer, we are supposed to teach our kids to respect other people’s properties, boundaries and space. Some people work and pay taxes that feed your kids. Therefore deserve respect and some peace. If someone can tame their pet not to make noise, how about a human being. There are parks, take them there and play till you drop. These properties are not designed for noise nuisance either. Teach them to disrespect other people’s boundaries, I hope they disrespect yours some day.Never make lame excuses “they’re just kids” for your bad parenting. Children above 5 years of age must be taught to respect others this includes teaching them not to be too loud past a certain time on school days. That they are living a healthy life” what sort of damn excuse is that?? If your kids make noise in your own small area that is very okay, but don’t let them do it in front of people’s doors. It’s that simple!!
NoExcuseForDisrespec - 29-Sep-21 @ 6:42 PM
I see most of the commentators on here have either no children or are lucky enough to have children who are angels! It is easy to blame bad parenting. I myself would be guilty of thinking this before I became a parent myself and realised it is never as straightforward as you think. Children are not robots and are not simply there to listen to commands. Home working? Well do you have have more rights to live the way you want to live then the children who are playing? Mental health issues? Parents can have more stress on their lives especially if they have to deal with children with certain disorders. It is not right to assume you've got it worse then them. I feel the way forward would be to compromise and have understanding and tolerance on both sides. And if one really cannot tolerate the situation anymore, then moving will be the only option.
mavanjay - 15-Sep-21 @ 8:43 PM
Ive been living in my rented home for the last three years & two out of those three years has been a living nightmare, next doors daughter simply cannot be bothered to look after her kids, so she palms them off to the grandma (Next Door to me), I have numerous health problems, & its like living next door to a fully fledged child day care nursery, the banging, screaming, were at out wits end, weve begged the council to move us as its taking a toll on my mental health on top of my physical conditions & its simply not fair on others, they dont give a toss about others, weve tried complaining & its useless, weve literally had enough.
slimjim - 13-Sep-21 @ 9:48 AM
I solved my problem with 4 horrendously (home schooled) noisy kids next door with the use of white noise! Headphones on, the sound of heavy continuous rain on a loop and voila I cannot hear them at all. Wish I’d thought of this last summer during lockdown when it was unbearable. I sat in my garden all day today reading and it was wonderful. Try it, it’s a revelation if your problem is one of noise. I feel so sorry for you when I read some of your stories - it makes my problem seem almost insignificant.
Linda - 7-Sep-21 @ 9:57 PM
What about a ball against the fence - football, tennis ball - even the Dad comes out and plays with the 6 year old. We are talking a small terraced house garden in a city. Not a big garden. We all have minimal space and live on top of one another. When this family, our direct next door neighbours are away - you could hear a pin drop. No one else seems to use their gardens for anything remotely noisy. It’s not just the contact football being kicked, smashing against the fence, being bounced, or actual football matches being played - it’s the family rows. Not just the two youngest children but also the parents get involved and scream at the top of their lungs. One day last summer the Dad said the 5 year old was ruining his life and other days told him to stop being a d***.
Enough - 6-Sep-21 @ 9:55 PM
We recently moved to a new build estate. We have an open (unenclosed) front lawn and drive way. I've planted lots of small bushes around the perimeter of the lawn. One of our neighbours (opposite and to the right of our house) is an absolute thug of a man. He just looks, sounds and is aggressive. You just know when someone's a horrible piece of work. He has 3 young feral kids. I have never encountered 4, 5 or 6 year olds so feral. They are always outside screaming, cycling, leaving their bikes in the road for us to move when we need to get on or off our drive, and most annoyingly, they are cycling over my lawn and in between my fragile bushes, as well as playing on our driveway and ringing our doorbell sporadically. It's extremely annoying. They're in our faces all the time, and I'm waiting for the day that they ruin hundreds of Pounds of vegetation on our lawn. I have no problem with kids playing, but they need to respect neighbours peace and property. I have spoken to the kids once or twice to no avail. Usually, I'd approach a parent, but I just know that no matter how politely I speak to their thuggish dad (he doesn't live with a partner) he'll just respond petulantly and aggressively. Any advice?
Harry - 3-Sep-21 @ 6:34 AM
Kids playing is fine Kids screaming for hours on end right outside my window? They can do one. I’ve taken to playing obscene music at full volume out the window when the kids are out there screaming. Parents now complaining that I shouldn’t subject children to foul language like that well tit for tat Karen control your spawn and I’ll control my music
FxckYourCrotchGoblin - 25-Aug-21 @ 4:44 PM
New people moved in 5 yrs ago, not spoken 1 word to eachother, renovated bungalow. Constant noise for 4 yrs. kids had trampoline up for 3 yrs constantly jumping on and noise levels, screaming shouting. All the kids from all over, came over to play. Same deal with the 10ft high play fort.they have 2 kids 6 and 8 kids, would come round to play, up till late October. No respect no value. Parents never tell the kids to be quiet, they disappear,inside.why do some parents never tell kids off outside. Also constant sleepovers both adults and kid.party’s not telling us there will be lots of cars coming round.
Angry dad - 22-Aug-21 @ 4:13 PM
2 options 1. Ear plugs 2. Get a humidifier that will interrupt external noise Othwerise pls dont bully families trying to lead a healthy life....its a part of children growing up, unless of course there is concern on mistreatement of these children. Ear plugs will do the trick, but I suppose they are not the not comfortable. So take option 1 or 2 and deal with your own problems unless of course we are talking about noise past 11pm I have a similar situtation...for 20 years i listened to my neighbours cats fighting at 5am and didnt complain...now i have neigbours complaining at 9.30pm because a 2 year old cries....so from the other side....no....if you are sensitive to others sound. Nobody has a god given right here to interefere in families trying to lead a healthy and happy life. Most people dont realize flats in London are not retirement homes or detached houses, and flat are not soundproofed for low frequency sounds (deep bass, walls, floors etc) Children are not robots, a city is not a village. You working from home and needing peace and quiet is nothing to do with children playing, those are your needs...and its not first come first serve in terms of who says how it will be. Having children is not illegal, children playing is not illegal...I have lived in a flat where only thin boards separate floors and believe me you could hear every footstep..
Not Reallt - 21-Aug-21 @ 6:59 PM
2 options 1. Ear plugs 2. Get a humidifier that will interrupt external noise Othwerise pls dont bully families trying to lead a healthy life....its a part of children growing up, unless of course there is concern on mistreatement of these children. Ear plugs will do the trick, but I suppose they are not the not comfortable. So take option 1 or 2 and deal with your own problems unless of course we are talking about noise past 11pm I have a similar situtation...for 20 years i listened to my neighbours cats fighting at 5am and didnt complain...now i have neigbours complaining at 9.30pm because a 2 year old cries....so from the other side....no....if you are sensitive to others sound. Nobody has a god given right here to interefere in families trying to lead a healthy and happy life. Most people dont realize flats in London are not retirement homes or detached houses, and flat are not soundproofed for low frequency sounds (deep bass, walls, floors etc) Children are not robots, a city is not a village. You working from home and needing peace and quiet is nothing to do with children playing, those are your needs...and its not first come first serve in terms of who says how it will be. Having children is not illegal, children playing is not illegal...I have lived in a flat where only thin boards separate floors and believe me you could hear every footstep..
Not Reallt - 21-Aug-21 @ 6:58 PM
Parents still do the kids will be kids and allow screaming, shouting, swearing. They seem to forget not 9-5 mon-fri anymore with jobs and even if kids in back garden sound does travel. Message local council over it with noise nusiance, volume of children. Record DBA if can. I'm in same boat. Neighbour kids screaming reaching over 70dba till gone 9pm from 6.40am nightmare
Emmalou - 21-Aug-21 @ 3:51 PM
I just went totalkto my neighbours i cant take this anymore i work night shifts or late evening i need to sleep during the day these kids come over in my garden make noise while im sleeping i cant remember how many time i have asked them to atlist keep it down i went to their parents trying to talk to them they got angry and told me theres nothing they can do its just kids but for christ sake they are in my garden i was not going to bother if they were playing in their own garden making noise there screaming there we had a heated conversation i cant wait to move out of this place its like living in a ghetto he said hes got 6kids he cant do anything about it i go to work pay tax so that people on benefits can sit fart and disturb my sleep working in a mental hospital i need to be very fresh and fit
Pinks - 20-Aug-21 @ 3:29 PM
Ferals or Animal farm when referring to the ones near us. I live on an estate and about last year things started to kick off when 2 families moved in near by. The one closest shouted, screamed and then started to bark back at any dog that barked near by. Then then got their own dog and every day depending on the weather we got the kids barking and screaming. Thankfully they were moved on due to the ongoing problems and complaints from others. The other family are true ferals, with no boundaries, no respect for people or their property, no volume control and they are just encouraging every other kids in the area to join in and make everyone's life a misery. It's 21.33 now and they have only just gone in.Since earlier today it's been non stop screaming and shouting and this is every day. One of the girls about 4 or 5 has this very aggressive, angry shout with a tongue that would put a sailor to shame. I can swear with the best but this one and her friend are pro's and they will call you names or make comments as they pass, even try to stare you down. The brother is a about 7 and a piece of work, will deliberately cycle out in front of cars and terrorizes the local animals.It's gotten to the point now that it's with local community policing but that won't stop the ongoing noise problems. I can only hope if renting they get moved on as soon as evictions are allowed to happen again.
Elle - 19-Aug-21 @ 9:37 PM
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