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Old 04-12-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default noisy neighbors

this has been bugging me lately, now that warm weather is approaching and school will be out soon.
I have these neighbors. I've not ever really talked to them or introduced myself, they live catty-corner from me in the back yard, and there is a big shrub in that corner of my yard, making face to face contact kind of difficult.

But i sure can hear them!

there are at least 4 kids, and i think they're all boys. ages ~12 to ~3.
then, the man that lives there, who i believe is the brother of these kids mother, has a race car that he tinkers with---at night. So at 10pm, 11pm, or even 1,2,3,4 or sometimes even 5 in the morning, he is out there firing up this car. And if that's not bad enough, the kids stay out all hours too.

I don't know what to do. I've lived here 5 years, and i think they've been here 3 years. I've never confronted them, though i've called the police once after he fired up a chain saw or some kind of loud piece of machinery and woke me from a dead sleep at 10:30 pm. It got slightly better after that, but if i hear him out there starting up the car, which is a race car so it's louder than a normal car, i just cannot go back to sleep. I'll lay there trying to sleep and block out the noise, but it's like the more i try to ignore it, the more it agitates me. I feel like i shouldn't have to deal with this.
It's the same with the kids. maybe they are slightly quieter than they would be in the day, but not much. There have been times that i've dreamed of a child screaming only to wake up and find that I was really hearing a child screaming!

I'm not sure what to do. I'd like to actually talk to them, maybe in the daytime, not in the middle of the night when i might not be as polite about it. I'm not sure how much noise people are allowed to make. it's a small housing development neighborhood. it's probably 50 yds from my house to theirs.
but what would i say?
Is i too much to expect peace and quiet in the middle of the night?
and it happens often, but it's erratic when it will happen. there's no set schedule, so i never know if it will be a quite night or disturbed sleep. Sometimes it's nightly, all week long.
sometimes it will be quiet till about 1am, then it all starts.

I can deal with the occasional bump or scream as the kids run from the car to the house if they get home late in the evening or something, but it's like these kids have no bedtime in the summer.

I feel like i'm going crazy over this. i loooove summer, but i'm dreading this. It makes me prefer winter and rainy nights, cuz at least i know they won't be out! But i find myself tensing up when i think of it, or look over at there house, if i hear the kids during the day, and that can't be good for my blood pressure.
I don't know if i have a right to complain. for the most part, the kids talk in normal voices, but at night, when the rest of the neighbor hood is asleep, it really carries, same with the car starting up, or saws or hammers etc.
In the daytime, it might bug me, but i'm reasonable and i can accept that other people have their hobbies and kids just make noise, but at what point is it extreme and at what point do i have the right to complain?
And.....at what point do i just become that old nagging hag, who complains about every thing???!!!!

any advise?

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Old 04-12-2009, 05:04 PM   #2
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Yikes.What a dilema.Well..I know myself well and I would have to say something.I am the ultimate crab when my sleep is disturbed.I think approaching them kindly during the day would be best.Maybe a small white lie would help.How about "I am having some medical issues right now and I would really appreciate it if you could try to turn the volume down after 10pm".The less confrontational the better.I know people that live in neighborhoods with bad blood between neighbors, police involvement and such.Id hate to see you go through this.But on the flip side, its your home and you deserve the respect of a peaceful existance.Are any other neighbors having concerns?Maybe you can team up and take care of it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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LOL - my neighbors opened a day care, and run a landscaping business out of the house, so I KNOW your pain.

Why not talk to some of the other neighbors and see if they share your feelings. If they do, approache them as a group and explain the situation. Is there a noise ordinance where you live? If so, you could also give them a copy (or even send it anonymously).

Finally - I suggest that you buy some nice earplugs and use them when you sleep. DH has super sensitive hearing (he can hear the street sweeper and snowplow 15 blocks away) and they work for him

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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I wouldn't speak to them- I tried that with my neighbors and all they did was argue with me. I was totally respectful, like hi how are you, I'm your neighbor, blah blah. Listen I hope you don't mind but do you think you could keep it down after 10 pm, my husband and I both get up very early for work (hubby 5 am me 6 am). I was totally nice and basically was given crap by them...

I was like okay I tried talking now I'm just going to call the police. I called the police each time they made noise after 10 pm. Didn't speak a word to them after that. Just kept calling- one after the next after the next. Soon the police told them they had to obey the quiet ordinances and further action could be taken against them. Since then not a peep I hope that over the summer they don't go nuts again- but hey I'm willing to call again
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Old 04-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #5
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I'd just suggest calling the police. If you do that, they'll never really know WHO called to complain, unless you're the only neighbor. Then there won't be that tension that will exist if you confront them face to face and it ends badly. Maybe my way is the "cowardly" way out, but it beats being awakened every night and having to live in fear of retaliation in some form or another.

If your town is like ours, there's a noise ordinance and they'll be ticketed for every subsequent valid complaint after a first warning. That oughta stop 'em...

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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In an ideal world, I would like to suggest you going over and talking with them like civilized folk do. But unfortunately, I don't think I would. There are usually noise ordinances if not through your Home Owners Association, than through your city. Does your police dept. have a non-emergency number? If so, call it.

Oh, yes ditto on the noise fines. A lady I know was ticketed for several days because her dogs were left outside all day long barking.

"Be who you are, say what you feel. Those who matter, don't mind. Those who mind, don't matter." --Dr. Seuss

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