Children Noise, Screamers, ADHD and Autism

Boy, some situations are just difficult to resolve. Condos put people on top of and beside others in close quarters, much like an apartment but what’s the main difference? Owners cannot escape as easily as renters.

I have written before about complaints involving child noise, night and day, of varying degrees, and the problems that it causes with the neighbors. It can be very bad. It can lead to feeling trapped, especially when on top of everything else, scary disclosures have to be made before selling or renting a place out.

Between this blog and my other one (California Condo & HOA blog), I have probably written on this topic 20-25 times or more. I just wrote a blog on the other blogsite (which can be accessed from the main page of my website along with this blog). I have written a Primer on Neighbor to Neighbor issues like this. I have covered to what extent the association should and should not get involved, and what options the parties have to try and resolve (and live with) the options. They are not all good. Resolution requires the involvement of all persons affected.

The latest topic hit two notes with me.

First of all, I often work at home. If I had to listen to a screaming baby it would be a distraction of the most serious nature, not as much because I cannot stand the noise, but because I would feel for the baby and the parents who have to endure this kind of suffering. This summer I lived and worked through a pool demolition which felt like a continuing earthquake for a week. That I could endure. A week of a screaming colicky baby might put me in the nuthouse.

Second of all, one of my children’s families has had to endure the actions of a distressed neighbor, who did not like kid noise AT ALL!

My children and grandchildrern experienced the kid noise thing right up front and personal. It was not the screaming experience but did involve two very active noisy busy youngsters. They could not have anyone over to their home without triggering a complaint of some kind from the neighbors below. It might be a complaint to the HOA, it might be a pounding on the ceiling, or it might be a visit from the police! Imagine an officer coming to the door during a play date mid afternoon to “take a report”. I am not saying the police did anything derogatory, but the strong knock on the door during a game of Candyland is disrupting.  

Also, the below neighbors at times pounded on the ceiling with a broom or some  other instrument and for a time the little ones thought it was a ghost and they were frightened. Then they got the impression some angry trolls lived downstairs (under the bridge, get it?) 

The parents did everything they could to mitigate, including spending most days outside, encouraging the kids to play in their rooms when home which were up another level, finding quiet indoor activities like crafts, going out on weekends. The kids slept pretty much 8 to 8 and all the comlaints were from daytime kid noise. The neighbor worked at home and expected quiet all day. It was not a pretty situation.

 They (my family members) moved as soon as they could manage it.  The stress of living next to constant complainers was just too much.
One might say “what business do they have bringing small children into a stacked townhouse situation where they know there are neighbors below?” Others might say “what business does someone who wants extreme quiet have buying a condo or stacked townhouse, especially a “lower” unit?
I say, have a heart. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and search for compromises that you can live with. If that takes moving to a different and better location for what you want, don’t discount the benefits of that. Staying and fighting back out of indignation that your “rights” are being trampled will no doubt escalate the situation and yes, make it worse for you as well as your neighbors.
 
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