06 Jun
Noisy Neighbor Dilemma

Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My neighbors have a pool in their backyard and it’s just a few feet away from our house. They frequently have pool parties that last until 10pm or so, and the noise level is really loud. I know it’s summer and they have every right to do this, but I hate it. I want to say something, but I’m scared they’ll get upset with me and it’ll forever change our neighbor relationship. Should I tell the Home Owners Association or the police? Or just wear earplugs until winter?

Signed,

I Hate the Pool People

__________________________________________


 
Dear I Hate the Pool People,

Ugh. Confrontations like this are usually awkward and uncomfortable for all parties involved, which is why I typically advocate for building a ten-foot brick wall around your property line, and generally avoiding any neighborly interaction.

But not everyone understands my methods.

Your approach to this particular issue is going to depend mostly on the type of relationship you have with your neighbors. Here, let me break it down for you.

Scenario #1: You guys are like, so totally BFFs.

Approach: This should be an easy fix. Mention the issue to them in a reasonable and light-hearted fashion. I suggest something along the lines of, “Sounds like you guys were having fun last night! What, did the law firm give Bob the whole summer off? HAHAHA! Anyway, that’s what went through my head when I heard my alarm go off FOUR HOURS LATER.”

Scenario #2: You don’t talk much beyond the neighborly head nod or pageantry wave.

Approach: This type of relationship will complicate things, but depending on the dynamic, you could still approach them. First, consider when they are partying. Is it on a Saturday night? Because if that’s the case, you have a weak case and will probably come off as a Complaining Cathy. Instead, maybe invest in some sedatives. (I have some you can borrow. My neighbors like to party too. Hi, Jenni!) But if this is happening during the week, and they seem like reasonable people, I’d suggest something along the lines of, “I hate to do this, but my husband/kids/mother-in-law/parakeet has been having trouble sleeping during your pool parties. Is there a way to keep it down just a bit after dusk?” Then maybe bake them some cookies to balance the scales.

Scenario #3: You guys are like the Hatfields and McCoys.

Approach: Do not confront. I am of the school that believes if two neighbors cannot get along, one of the parties is unstable, and it’s best not to approach such people with expectations of rational, adult behavior. A noise machine may help you drown out their partying. I have one to mute my husband’s snoring, the house settling, and prospective serial killers trying to pry open windows. Another option is to talk to the HOA. If you know for sure that your neighbors are in violation of your HOA’s covenants, file a complaint. This way, the snitch remains anonymous, and you don’t need to set up surveillance equipment out of fear of retaliation.

Good luck!

Kristine, TMH

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18 Responses to “Noisy Neighbor Dilemma”

06.06.12#1

Comment by Big ol' B with a capital B.

Definitely check your local noise ordinances. They have rules about noises past a certain hour. Of course, for us, it’s 11 pm. What’s the point of that?

Anyway, if it happens ALL the time, you can still call your local non-emergency police number and they will stop by and ask them to quiet down a little bit. Sure, they aren’t breaking any laws, but it will be enough to make them realize they are being inconsiderate.

I did this for our neighbor dog who barks at all hours, constantly, all day and all night. (Poor dog!) Anyway, they bring him in a lot more now as soon as he starts barking. Whew.

Good luck!

06.06.12#2

Comment by Plano Mom.

All great advice. An expensive, but passive option is to install the really nice insulated windows in your bedroom. It’s truly amazing how much noise pollution they block.

06.06.12#3

Comment by Peyton Price.

Psst…listen, neighbor.
I heard some busybody
plans to call the cops.

06.06.12#4

Comment by rojopaul.

Am I the only one who things the writer is being a little ridiculous? It would be one thing if it was 2 a.m. It sounds to me like someone is jealous she’s not invited. I can’t believe these people are partying every night. Maybe it’s just to start the summer off. I say chill out. Maybe if you are more neighborly, they’ll invite you over to join in the fun!

Big ol' B with a capital B Reply:

Nope, nope, nope. Very loud neighbors at any time of the day are simply annoying and inconsiderate–especially if one has young kids who are trying to sleep and then pop out of bed every 10 minutes to tell me that ‘the music is keeping me awake’. Nothing makes me want to slap a b*tch than said person waking up my kids!!!!

I keep my kids from screaming and running crazy outside before 10 am (especially on weekends) even though ordinances say they can be up and screaming bloody murder by 7. Why? Because it’s inconsiderate.

rojopaul Reply:

I appreciate that you are being considerate by not letting your kids run around too early. That’s very nice of you. But I don’t think a pool party that ends at 10 p.m. is being inconsiderate. In fact, I think it’s showing consideration to the neighbors that they are ending at a reasonable time. I think technically 11 p.m. is the limit in a lot of communities (as Sally also mentioned).

Personally speaking, if any kind of party was happening on a Friday or Saturday night, I wouldn’t start getting irritated unless the noise didn’t stop until after midnight. Would I be annoyed if I had trouble sleeping and if my daughters woke up and said they couldn’t sleep because of the music pounding (as has happened before)? Of course. But I am not the type of person to call the police for something that happens occasionally.

I guess I land on the side of not starting a war with the neighbors. It’s not worth it to me.

Big ol' B with a capital B Reply:

I just think that being considerate really can and should happen at all hours of the day regardless of time. I think that’s a huge problem with today’s society–no one cares about anyone else and only cares about themselves.

It would be SO MUCH simpler if I just let my kids run outside to play at 7:30 in the morning (they are up at 6 no matter what time they go to bed) than keeping them cooped up in the house. But I don’t. Some people enjoy sleeping in. I know I would!

Also, I don’t think the volume of music NEEDS to be so loud that it disturbs the neighbors. Most people can turn down their music by 1/3 or even 1/2 and STILL hear it just fine without compromising their listening experience. And you know what? So what if it is maybe a little bit harder to hear, if it makes 20+ neighbors’ experiences a little better, I think it’s worth it.

I also think that by having loud parties all the time they are the ones willing to risk starting the war.

06.06.12#5

Comment by Sally.

I understand that the noise can be annoying, but 10 o’clock isn’t unreasonable. Most places set the limit at 11 o’clock.

Now, if they’re blasting loud rap music with a heavy, move the pictures on the wall, bass line, that’s another story. That is unacceptable at any time of day.

06.06.12#6

Comment by N and Em's mom.

Good point about sleeping kids. It sounds like you don’t want to be ‘that’ neighbor. If you are on good terms, you could ask them to stop by when the party is in full swing to check out the acoustics at your house. Just changing the location of music or where they set up the food so people congregate in a different spot in the yard might make a world of difference. You may also want to solicit opinions the next time you go to Lowes or Home Depot- there may be a cheaper way to block some of the noise besides new windows.

06.07.12#7

Comment by Jues.

Would it be ok to sneak in to use the pool while my neighbors are at the store? Even if I don’t know them and have never spoken to them? Please let me know ASAP. I think they’re leaving in a few….

06.08.12#8

Comment by Angela911.

You have a couple of options. You can report it to the police and let them handle it. Most jurisdictions have noise ordinances in place and excessive noise at any time of the day is not permitted. You can also be anonymous and the neighbors will never know it was you. Or you can give them a taste of their own medicine. Find out when your city allows yard work and construction to start in the morning and get to string trimming under their bedroom window. Unless they are dense, they should get the hint that loud noises during sleepy time is not a friendly neighbor behavior.

06.12.12#9

Comment by MomofTeens.

My two cents… If the party ends roughly around 10pm or so, you need to get over it. 10pm is considered a reasonable hour in most communities (especially if it’s a Friday or Saturday night) where the majority of homeowners are under 55.

If you really can’t take it anymore, talk to your neighbor about it and start by asking if they can keep it down. If it continues, well then I guess you can call your HOA or police and let them handle it.

07.03.12#10

Comment by If I'm Not Miss America, Why Is My Swimsuit Being Checked Out | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] neighborhood has a community pool and I take my kids there about 3-4 times a week. Unfortunately, this summer, my friend’s […]

08.06.12#11

Comment by Ollie.

Problem here is that if your neighbors are allowing all this noise they are likely ignorant people. If they weren’t they would be telling their kids to keep the noise level down without being told. I have neighbors with an only child who is now 13 and I had hoped as this child grew up the noise level up screaming would go down. Sadly now they have more children coming over than ever of varying ages. Right now as I type this they have 5 kids over there including their own from 5 years old and up and all they are doing is screaming. You would think at some point a responsible adult would say to keep it down and not disturb the neighbors. But no, they keep having people over almost on a day basis, kids and adults constantly having pool parties. These ignorant people even mounted speakers outside and leave it on, sometimes after they go to bed at night. They are oblivious and ignorant. Best thing to do is throw green food coloring in the pool to make it turn colors So they won’t swim in it. I kid of course! Lol.
But seriously I have had enough.

09.05.12#12

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09.20.12#13

Comment by My New Neighbor is Making Herself at Home...In My House! | The Mouthy Housewives.

[…] a woman moved in behind us with her 12 year old son and he started coming over uninvited. This has escalated, however, and one […]

12.23.12#14

Comment by blue.

It is not the law that even matters. It is consideration. The neighbors can go ahead and have parties 7 days a week, 24 hours a day if that is what makes them happy, as long as their party is not going to prevent anyone else from living as they wish within their own home. People need to figure out that being thoughtful and considerate of others does matter. Turn the music down a little, it will sound just as good. Try having conversation instead of blasting the audio. Perhaps you have a neighbor who has a newborn infant, a neighbor who is seriously ill, a family grieving a loss who just is not in the mood to hear the part while they sit and think in their home, with all of their doords and windows shut, maybe a kid is trying to study or sleep, etc.
I live in a town house next to people who play music all of the time, 24 hours a day. It cause every inch of my house to vibrate. They through a loud party the same day that my mom died. they had the right, but we had the right to not have it forced on us. They seem to play some type of music that sounds like industrial machinery. Its a nightmare. I have been polite with them. They refuse to turn it down, ear plugs dont work because we can still feel the house and furniture shake. Also I have kids and need to hear them. I feel stuck. I wish I could sell my townhouse and move, but cannot. I cannot stand people like these people. Laws like, no loud music after midnight, are just totally USELESS/

07.12.14#15

Comment by jess.

We have a 24/7 noise ordnance here & I’m hearing base music because my neighbors are having a pool party & playing their loud music. I even heard the guy sing to the music. I live also in a detached house. If I call the cops, we look like the bad people but these people just moved in & we don’t know them. They also have like over 10 people swimming in their pool. But it’s the music that’s the worst part of it all.

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