Neighbor complaint becos of toddler running in the apartment

Sumangala - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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We recently moved to this 3rd flr- 2 bed apt, we didnt find any 1st floor one and our old lease was expiring.

Our downstairs neighbor came to see on on our 2nd day there. We thought it was a welcome visit, unfortunately not. He complained of too much noise. We apologized saying we were moving it and probably thats the reason for the noise. We did however mention and show our almost 2yr toddler.

Few days later when my toddler was running from his bedroom to teh hall (it took him few days to adjust to the new apt), we hear this loud baning on our floor. He was banging the ceiling to show us his irritation. We tried to control our son, but obviously as every parent knows it is hard to make a 2yr old sit in one place.

They did that a few times, esp in the evening times. My son wakes up at 7am, leaves for daycare at 8am, returns 5:30pm and sleeps by 9pm. On weekends, obviously its different. Esp with the weather not good, cant take him to the play area so he does jump around a bit on weekends.

The downstairs couple again came to complain. We tried to explain that its hard to stop a toddler from playing. And we werent really making noises at odd hrs so there wasnt much we could do. She went off saying it didnt sound like one kid but like 20kids running around. This really ticked us off as here we were trying to make life simpler for all, restricting our sweet toddler who obviously is at an age to play.

We did complain to our leasing office the next time they banged 5 times in 10mins (at 5:30 pm on a weekday).

The office told us to direct the couple to them next time they complain.

Anyone faced such an issue pls let me know how to handle this?

what does teh law say (I am in Texas)?

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Jennifer - posted on 02/11/2010

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I used to manage apartment complexes. For some strange reason, toddler feet really are like drumsticks on a drum when they do anything more than walk softly across an apartment floor. Don't bother laying down extra rugs it won't help enough to make it worth the expense and extra trouble to clean (not to mention that they will bunch up and your toddler will trip and make even bigger noises). Check your lease/house rules for the quiet times and try to schedule your toddler to sleep during those times. Don't try to get back at your neighbors and do try to make a game of walking softly with your toddler (not only is it quieter but teaches walking habits that are kinder on the joints/feet). That is the extent of what you can "reasonably" do to prevent disturbing your neighbors.
Now, go knock on your neighbors' door (this puts them off-guard and catches them when they aren't fueled by anger/frustration so they will be more receptive). Say something like, "Hi, I'm Sumangala and this is my son. I just wanted to apologize for how crazy things have been. Moving is difficult for everyone, especially little children. We don't mean to disturb you and we are trying to teach our son to be respectful of others. Unfortunately, every time he accidentally makes a noise, you make noise back! That makes it very hard for him to understand why he can't make noise but you can, and he thinks that you're playing a game with him. So if you could please be patient and give us a chance to teach him, without playing the noise game and banging on the ceiling, I'm sure he'll learn how to be as quiet as possible. Thank you so much for being so patient and understanding!" Try to practice your speech so you can rattle it off with out giving your neighbor a chance to respond until the end. That way they'll hear everything and you'll be giving them a chance to take a nobler path. If you want to really have an effect, have your son make a special drawing for the neighbors or give them a pretty flower. If they won't hear you out or shut the door on you, just write this out in a nice little note and put it on their door.
Finally, write down what you did including the date and time, and ask the manager to put it in your file. Some people are just flat out cranky and angry at the world and others are just very lonely. By reaching out, you'll take the wind out of the cranky ones and make a friend out of the lonely ones.

Kristen - posted on 02/08/2010

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Yeah, it would be one thing if he was stomping or constantly jumping off of things, but just running? These people sound like they're complainers. Like Amanda said, refer them to the management. If they continue to bang on the ceiling, report it to the office and see what you can do about getting that stopped. General living noises are permitted and noise ordinances don't generally go into effect until 9 or 10pm. I do recommend trying to put down some rugs or something to see if that helps. Its always nice to try to be accomodating where yu can, but I think we all agree its not fair for these people to try and make you strap him down and plug him into the tv all day.

Amanda - posted on 02/08/2010

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Well I dont know about where you live, but complaints about children playing in my area arent even legal (a child has the right to play and enjoy their own home). I also dont know if you have area rugs or runners down your halls? If you dont have rugs down you might want to consider investing in some, a lot of appartments in my area actually have this in the lease (children or not). Knocking 5 times in 10 minutes is harassment, and I would for sure write down everytime they come to your door, so you can complain about them. Also next time they come to your door tell them politely that they are no longer welcome to knock on your door, that way the rental office have a reason to speak to them. Noise laws are different from city to city, just go to your citys website and look them up.

Maria - posted on 02/13/2010

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I don't know Texas law. Noise ordinances in my state are created by the local city government. Usually noise ordinances allow for this type of noise to happen when walls or ceilings/floors in apartments are shared. If you are playing loud music, or if you've got a drum circle going on in your apartment, that's one thing. But normal movements of a child or any person are not going to be restricted.

The neighbors really can't do anything, and the leasing office was right for you to direct your neighbors to them, so they can advise your neighbors on everyone's rights, and what neighbors are expected to tolerate in an apartment setting.

Jeanette - posted on 02/12/2010

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The next time they come to complain tell them if they can't stand noise above them they should have gotten a 3rd floor apartment. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard! I worked for an apartment complex and never heard a complaint that silly. If the leasing office isn't able to do anything about it I would consider contacting the police the next time they come banging on your door. I wouldn't answer the door until the police arrive either. The police might consider this to be harassment of some sort.

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Claire - posted on 11/08/2011

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thing is what annoys me is alot of people seem to think kids should walk and not run and not jump. and saying a parent who cant control this is a bad parent, the young couple havnt said this about me personally. but in general people can think this. and tbh i find it a disgrace. kids have the right to be kids aswell in a reasonable time. because u are letting ur child have fun for a bit then say " right thats enough calm down " u know? none of this walk no running at any time or dancing . they are not in prison and sertainly not in the decades of " children should be seen and not heard " it maybe because im a young mum myself im thinking this but i beleive in living and letting live if it was 11am onwards till early hours everynight then i could totally agree with someone complaining. but also what some people with no kids need to remember is some kids wake up during the night to pee or sore or bad dream

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i dont see what they are complaining about. its a kid and its not like your child is running around at midnight like that. they are just being ridiculous expecting a 2 year old to sit still

Claire - posted on 11/08/2011

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i have the same problem. i have a 2 year old daughter and im above a young couple with no kids. been here for about a year and half. if my daughter jumps or runs they bang up threw my floor. they say its all hours and all days. i work 4 days and when im off am out. my daughters up 9ish -1Oish am and in bed between 7pm - 9pm. i have got a spare matress ive put down for her to dance and jump on but as shes 2 shes finding it hard to understand and with the running trying to get her to walk nice but shes really getting frustrated and tbh so am i. but working at it no harm in trying to help the situation but feel i have to be so careful and watch her like a hawk

Elaine - posted on 08/21/2011

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I also live in Texas and trying to find out who I need to contact. I am also having problems with my neighbors for the last 4 months now. The neighbors upstairs have older children that's run all day, I'm talking aboyt 6 and 7+ years of age and the neighbors next door plays their music very loud. I have complained to management numerous times and she does nothing. I have also called the courtesy officer; he might show up. I am looking for someone I need to contact about this. If anyone have a clue who to contace please let me know. I also calles the owner of the apartment complex and it don't do any good. I'm tired of this.

Lisamarie - posted on 02/12/2010

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I had the exact problem with the people below us (fortunately we have a house now, but i'm still a bit paranoid about the noise)
You can't stop your child running around, he needs exercise and to be a child. Next time your neighbour bangs go down and knock on the door and ask them how to make your child levitate? See if they have an answer for that one!
I know this is a pain becoz no one wants to upset their nieghbours but it seems they are the ones causing the trouble and if they have the problem they need to deal with it! Our neighbour just didn't care, it was OK for him to play his music at full volume at all hours of the night but not OK for my daughter to run around in her own home in the middle of the day!
Your son is not hurting anyone and as far as I know (im in england) you can make as much noise as you like (obviously within reason), even your child running around his home from 11am until 11pm.
Hope this helps and I do wish you luck, it took us moving to stop the complaining but our neighbour was a**hole! To put it politely. :)

Michele - posted on 02/12/2010

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Stick it to them, your an only parent trying your best a running isnt really something to punish for now is it? So tell them if they dont like it the move out!

Mary - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have the same problem. I have a guy that lives behind me & from the day that me & my 4 y/o son moved in here..he is constantly banging on the walls & cursing because my son is either running, talking, or playing. My son has ADHD, ODD, & PDD, but this guy just doesn't care. I have told my landlord & she said that if it's during the day that he has no room to have a temper tantrum about it. We have only been living here since October, and because of this guy my stress level is even higher than before. I feel like I cannot let my son be a child and it irks me! As far as the law..I know in IL the noise ordinance starts at 10:00pm..I'm not sure what time it end though. This guy though would bit** even at 8:00pm when my son was talking to me. I had to switch rooms with my son just to pacify this guy; which is a risk for my 4 y/o because the room that he's in now has the back door in it & he knows how to unlock it. I am so stressed & not sure what to do myself. But I would suggest that if your neighbor continues to bang or complain especially if it's during the day...then call the police & let them know he is disturbing your peace. I know I didn't help much, but I do know what you are going through!

Amy - posted on 02/12/2010

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I agree, you are the one being troubled. Document everything. If you can through some soft runner rugs but this is your home and they are bothering your state of living. Dont get in to a tift, but write the trouble down and then go to the office again. It may take a while, but they choose to live on a first floor-right?

You stay strong and it will all pan out. Let em' run,as toddlers that is thier passion!



Best of luck!

Sumangala - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thanks everyone.. I did manage to buy a rug for the hallway, but now worried he may trip over it..
anyways, we have decided to stop trying too hard and letting our son play in the normal hrs.. he goes to bed by 8:30pm and is up only after 7am. Its weekends that he tends to sleep a bit late.. but we try to keep him from running around.
We tried to be nice and understanding but yes, their immature behavior of banging on our ceiling in the evenings really put us off..
we avoid walking around the apt after 10. more than this cant do much.

@Jenn: we really did look out for 1st flr apts but dint get any. now with our new lease n the thought of packing, shifting, unpacking, we definitely dont intend to move.. but yes we will be on the loookout for 1st flr apt whn we r ready to move..

Jenn - posted on 02/11/2010

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Well.. as someone who lives at the bottom end of the 2 layer apts... its not an easy thing to deal with, all the noise. Even the slightest noise upstairs will sound louder and bigger to whom ever is downstairs. That is why my hubby and I chose a downstairs apt because we have a now 3 year old girl who is wild an crazy an is always on the move. It would be rude to choose an upstairs one and make whom ever moves in below literally feel like they are living in a night mare. I have people living above us now and the noise level is very irritating, an can become down right maddening. My daughter has not had a normal nights sleep in 8 months since we moved here. I have not watched a tv show without the constant THUD THUD THUD through the entire thing... allll day and allll night. Meal times are useless because my entire apt shakes under their feet. Its easy to criticize when you are not the one living it. Because of this we now are forced to (for the sake of our sanity) uproot our family again and move. There are always two sides to this, and both sides bring up good points because both side are right. Children should not have to be forced to sit still all day long, but people are also entitled to peaceful living. So I think the option here is that better housing needs to be made.Instead of leveling the floors they should be side by side like little houses. Or adding some extra padding in the floors to help cushion the blow of thumping feet. The idea of switching apt's is a good one see if that can be the problem solver there. I know its frustrating for you as well, but please try to remember how frustrating it is for the people below whom I am assuming were there before you moved in. Its a big change and not one thats easy to live with, speaking from experiences.

Kim - posted on 02/11/2010

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Sounds to me like they are going to complain no matter what you do. We are in the same situation. My down stairs neighbors have only complained once(and my child was really hyper that day and it was late) other wise they say they understand we have kids. Your neighbors just sound un reasonable so I wouldnt worry about it. If your aot comlex isnt going to evict you for it then dont worry about it, also a PP mentioned asking to switch apartments with the downstairs neighbor i think thats a great idea!

Maggie - posted on 02/11/2010

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as your rental office said you should direct the complaining neighbor to them. They are very good at handling situations like that. There's no reason your child shouldn't be able to play in your home and really they are the ones making noise for no reason. There's no noise ordinance for normal amounts of noise (it has to be at a certain decible level) and if it's during normal hours then I see no problem. Maybe those people should buy a house of their own so no one is living above them. Hopefully their lease will be up soon so they will leave you alone.

Sheahannah - posted on 02/11/2010

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Your neighobor needs to understand that you have a toddler maybe they should try to get an upstairs apt too. Your baby needs to run and play they do not have any children do they? too bad so sad id say not tring to be rude but a toddler that does not want play and run around would be like a day without sunshine in the summer whatever maybe they have no experince with little ones wait till they have one . Its not like your baby is awake all the time and you have been more than fair and kind love and light to you and ur family someday maybe you can look back on this and laugh {someday not now} Tell them it could be worse your babe could have colic and cry all the time its happy feet they hear :} good luck

Rhonda - posted on 02/11/2010

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Ask him if he would be willing to trade apartments with you, and if he doesn't want to, then tell him to buy a house, this way there would be no upstair neighbors bothering him. It sounds to me like this guy would be miserable anywhere he lived.

Amber - posted on 02/11/2010

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We also live on the second floor of an apartment building and we have a 4 year old with ADHD and a 22 month old so, I completley understand where your coming from. I know that in our aparment building there is a they say that the "quiet time" is between 10 P.M. and 8 A.M. So, as far as them banging on the floor at 5 in the evening they just need to get over it. But, there is honestly nothing you can do about having kids, especially toddlars. We've gotten a complaint to about noise and I think it's crap. What do they expect you to do? Tie your children to chairs when they are awake or what? I hop this helps.

Kris - posted on 02/11/2010

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I feel for all of you being complained about..stick to your guns...you have rights to a normal pursuit of happiness..and that means allowing your child to be a child!! On a comical note: Sumangala, have you ever seen the tv show "Friends" , the episode about the downstairs neighbor? Totally the same..banging on the ceiling (your floor), saying that it sounds like a herd of animals..lol..

Qihm - posted on 02/10/2010

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Look in your lease, there are generally "quiet times" listed there. If the couple knocks on your floor again, confront them and tell them what it says in the lease and that they would be free to complain if the "disturbances" occurred at odd hours. Also tell them that you will file a harrasment complaint not only to the office but the local police as well. As long as hes not breaking any "quiet time" rules (or even if he is, only on occasion, the odd run or bump) they have no legal action. My mother is a Texas Apartment Association Manager and this is the advice she gave us when we had problems with our downstairs neighbors.

Jane - posted on 02/10/2010

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they'll have to adjust to you and you can do what you're doing, limit activity at night time. i agree with your landlord, they should be getting complaints, not you. that's pretty immature to bang on the ceiling. you could just as easily be complaining about that as justifiably as they are (which i don't think they are justified). i mean, your kid isn't up thru the night running around.
maybe you can put yourself on a list w/the landlord for a 1st floor if one opens up, but in my opinion, you shouldn't have to. they just need to be nicer neighbors. your landlord had no problem renting to a family, so let him handle it.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2010

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I live in Utah. I have a the same problem. I live on the third floor of an apartment complex. While on vacation a couple with a six year old girl and 10 year old girl moved in under us. We complained when we got back about this weird noise coming from the livingroom. They had put in two ceiling fan. We ended up having them take them down. Then they started in our kids. I have a four year old girl and two year old boy. Now they get up early and my kids room is right above theirs. So my son started getting up at 6 am. Not fun!!! I put up with them banging on my floor for a couple of days and broke down and called the office. I was very upset from lack of sleep. They havent banged since and I let my kids run wild because after trying for about five months of trying to stop them from being kids I was on the verge of a nervous break down. They are kids and you cant stop them from being that. I have come to the conclusion that if the neighbors dont like it they can MOVE!!! (We are planning on moving the year and it will not be to an apartment complex!!!) Hope that helps!!!

Nancy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I don't know about the legal side of things, but if they see you have a child (regardless of age), then they need to expect running and jumping and playing. This is their problem, either they can understand or they don't. I would do what the housing office asks and let them handle it. Find the funny side of the situation to keep your sanity. If they keep complaining to you, direct them back to the housing office and explain to them that this was the apartment that they had available for you that you didn't have the opportunity or option to talk to all your would-be neighbors if having a 2 yr. old would be a problem. Try to keep things civil and definitely don't go out of your way to aggravate the situation, no good will come of it. Your son has the right to run and play in his own home regardless of what the weather is like and he's looking to you for how to react in different situations. I'm guessing the place has really thin floors and walls. Putting rugs or something down may help with this. Good luck.

Nikki - posted on 02/10/2010

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Those people living below you are ridiculous. I wouldn't worry about them too much, because there is nothing they can say (or do) to stop your kid from playing, running around, and being just that; a kid! Now I would file a formal complaint to the mgmt office if these folks continue to harrass you, and hell, if it keeps up, perhaps you should speak to a lawyer about this. Those people who live below you should have expected this, since it's an apartment.

Patricia - posted on 02/10/2010

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Hi,I feel for you I know how this feels.You are raising a toddler who is growing,thriving & exploring his own environment.Basicly this is apartment living.She will hear you.They have to get used to it.I bet these people have no lives.Did they ever raise children?Did they 4get? if they have raised children?You may want to put down extra padding with a good carpet.So you can have peace.I would kill her with kidness.Live your life with your family & do the best that you can.Some people have no class.This is a child's world 2day.It's all about doing the best you can for your child to live in a happy & healthy environment.I wish you good luck.

Dayna - posted on 02/10/2010

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OMG! I have the EXACT same problem. We live in a 3rd floor apartment, only I have three kids (2-year-old daughter and twin 1-year-old sons). As you can imagine, they can get kind of wild when they are playing with eachother. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so we are home all day, and unfortunately our downstairs neighbor is home all day too. The husband works nights, which means he sleeps all day, and requires absolute silence. Apparantly, his wife and daughter (five years old) are museum-silent all day because of his work schedule. They are constantly complaining to our building manager, (and just like you, the husband came up the day we moved in to complain about noise, too! --- as if anyone is quite when they are moving!)

Fortunately, our building manager is good, and realizes that my kids are little and they need to be able to play. I try and keep them out of the kitchen (it echos more if they run on the linoleum) but really that's all I can do. We've lived here for a year now, and I've just gotten to the point of living my life without even thinking about the downstairs neighbor. I keep my kids as quite as I can and they just have to accept it. Good luck!

Irene - posted on 02/10/2010

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We live in an apartment in m family's home, so we don't have to worry about noise too much.



I would say that you can't control a toddlers movement and restricting them is insane. As long as its not after hours, then its fine. Your neighbors are obviously sensitive to even minor noise and unfortunately for them, they will have to deal with it.

Jessica - posted on 02/09/2010

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Too bad for the neighbor!! They will just have to deal with it! I also have a 2 year old, and they NEED to get energy out somehow!! I do not know of a 2 year old who would choose to walk instead of run, that's what they do, it's apart of a normal development! Don't worry too much about it, and please don't make your child feel bad for wanting to rough-house every now and then. If they get that fed up, they will move! :) ( I live on the second floor also, and as a trade-off, they turn up the music super loud during the day. I don't mind because they have to listen to my kids running around) God Bless!!

Steph - posted on 02/08/2010

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i dont live in an apartment, im a 3bedroom house, and my 2yr old likes to be a little loud, which is normal for them, yesterday i had the neighbour next door come and go off at me for him screaming during the day cause she couldnt sleep cause she is a night shift worker, she also complained about rubbish which was one peice of cardboard box which i have no idea how it got over a 6ft fence and it would of been wet cause its been raining and she also complained our tv was too loud and going all night when its not true my partner has his cousin over on the weekends so they play the ps3 but its not loud hell i can have our baby monitor on and have our tv on in our room and go to sleep and i dont wake up but i dont know why shes complain about the night time if she suppose to be at work, i was in shock of what she was saying to me, i didnt know what to say back, she also told me to smack my son on the ass and send him to bed when he screams but we r having trouble with trying to get him to sleep during the day and night, so he's gunna scream cause it wears him down to go to sleep, i wouldnt worry about it, i got all upset after she came over but after people kept telling me not to worry about her and also after thinking about it in my head, im not gunna change my familys life style just so she can sleep, i didnt make her have a night shift job she chose that, theres sleeping pills out there and there is also ear plugs, and she said for me to let my son play outside cause he was screaming hello he's gunna make more noise out there and it will be louder, but i wasnt going to send him out there the last week cause its been raining what does she want me to make my child sick plus its also hard to do when i also have a 3month old to look after as well

Sumangala - posted on 02/08/2010

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Thanks a lot everyone.. I really appreciate your responses.
Just for clarification, some moms thot my son was banging- thats not teh case.. he ust runs around and vry occasionally jumps.. Its my downstairs neighbor who keeps banging on his ceiling (our floor)..
Also it is like they have no tolerance.. once my son just ran once from the bedroom to the bathroom.. and the guy below started banging really loud from below!
We did complain to our leasing office but they haven't said anything. Also we got maintainance guy come and check our floors (it is carpeted) to see if our floors are weak/squeaky) cos downstairs folks complained of noise to us at 10pm.. and its just me or hubby walking to the bedroom at that time.. The maintainence guy assured us that the wooden floors here are definitely not noise proof and if we had any vsiit from folks below, to just send them to the office. He also commented that they should buy a house of their own if they didnt want to hear any noise rather than stay at a family residential apt.
So we are just going yo try some rugs in the hallway.. and every time they bang too much, we will send a complaint to the office.

Thanks..

Emilie - posted on 02/08/2010

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When I moved in to my appt. the manager told me to expect noise, I am sure he tells that to everybody. I think it is very rude for somebody to bang and knock so much. I would feel uncomfortable in my own home if I had to live like that. nobody has ever done that to me, and I have 2 kids, and they do make a lot of noise. I am sorry I never had to deal with that and I am not sure what to say. I think that the manager should evict them though.

Michelle - posted on 02/08/2010

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Buy them earplugs, just kidding. Kids are kids and as adults they should know that. Maybe you can get your son some fun slippers to run around in, but I would not worry much about it unless he is screaming and yelling as well, but that does not seem to be the case.

Christina - posted on 02/08/2010

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I also live above someone in an apartment building... have had no complains yet about banging and there shouldn't not be any reason a child should not be able to play... if 'it was at odd hours or soemthing that would be a different story. I do however struggle with the thought of my son screaming in the night and waking others because everything is so quiet. Do your neighbours complain of crying? or is it just banging?

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Maybe you could put down extra rugs and have your son wear slippers or just socks in the house. That will help reduce the noise and gives you something new to say to the neighbors the next time they come over. Then direct them to the leasing office and kindly ask that they never knock on your door again or you will start complaining yourself of harassment. Good luck to you. They sound like they are being unreasonable.

Tara - posted on 02/08/2010

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If these people have such an issue with it then they should move to a 'no kids allowed' apartment then!! Your little one needs to move around, run around and discover things! I wouldn't worry about them too much (aside from the harassing, I would complain!) as like the others have said, living in an apartment, you have to expect there to be some noise.

Lindsay - posted on 02/08/2010

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I'm in UK and live above someone. They complained to the housing office about odd bangs and noises when my daughter was finding her feet. I had a visit from housing officer and immediately she saw what was going on and told me not to worry about it. You have to expect a bit of noise when you live in a flat. My neighbours no longer talk to us because of it but its their problem not ours. Rest of our block are still pretty friendly and understanding. Don't try to restrict your son, its not fair on him and only teaches him to fear doing things.

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