Our new neighbour

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Sojourner17

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Our new neighbour
« on: December 15, 2017, 06:20:36 PM »
We moved to another province about three and a half weeks ago.  Our first day in our new home, after driving for over 6 hours in two separate vehicles (i drove our vehicle with our two small children) we had an unfortunate incident.  We got the keys to our home about 3 pm, at 6:30 pm while i was making supper and my husband was trying to get our children's beds set up we got a knock at our door.  The kids had been running around and were definitely noisier than normal (they are 4 and 20 mos).  Our neighbour below us was at the door telling us that we were being too loud and that he could hear everything as the floors are not soundproof.  He then went on to tell me that he was the one who got the last tenants evicted and that he didnt want to go down that route as its hard to find housing in our area.  (this was a bit of a threat i think)

I was a bit taken aback as we seriously had only been in our new town for 3.5 hours, and about half of that was us getting groceries and figuring out parking etc outside.  We were able to get the children to settle and were actually in bed fairly early as we were exhausted.

The next night our neighbour below us banged on the floor a couple of times really loudly.  Our children had been walking around but nothing extreme like running or really loud crying or banging.  It was fairly upsetting as we were trying to move boxes in and i was attempting to put stuff away while my husband moved boxes (we are on the fourth floor, he carried ALL of the boxes up all by himself from the moving van, plus we then carried about 5 boxes back out as the previous tenants had left a bunch of stuff in the storage closet that we got permission to donate).  I talked to our landlord, they told us to handle it with our neighbor, so the next time they banged on the floor my husband went down and talked with them (turns out I spoke to the male, my husband spoke to a female).  My husband said that yes, he could hear the children walking around while he was down there and it was on the loud side.  He explained that we were just moving in, didnt even have all our furniture and would get carpets to try to mask the sound.

Well,  Ive been home with the boys this week more than I have been the past two weeks.  I usually take them out all morning to a preschool program, then its home for lunch, the youngest nap, and then i take them back out to play until my husband gets home from work.  The past two days theneighbour has been banging on the floor again.  My 20 month old doesnt have the quietest walk but we try our best to make sure the boys dont run and that we as adults adjust our steps so there is not a lot of noise.  Today was the worst.  My child walked from the kitchen to the living room (possibly about 6 feet) and they banged noisily across the floor right afterward.  I think it triggered me as i felt a lot of anxiety and both of my boys were startled. It happened again a few minutes later when my youngest walked across the floor again.  My husband was home, he said to just let the boys walk and that if the guy came up he would talk to him.  I said that if he came up while my husband was at work i was NOT going to answer the door.  My husband said, no dont answer and that he would deal with it.

We really love our new community otherwise.  Its so beautiful here and so far, other than our neighbour below us the rest of the people in our building have been lovely and anyone we have met around town have been really nice.

My husband said that we are going to write our neighbor a letter and keep a copy.  Im also thinking i may go and talk to the lady that is the caretaker of our building (she is separate from our landlord...who really wasnt much help) about the bylaws for the building and any legal information she could supply regarding noise, harassment, etc.

Outside of carrying my children everywhere in the house (which is NOT going to happen) im not really sure there is much more we can do. We put the youngest to bed at 7, the next goes at 8:30 and we are usually in bed by 10 at the latest, we arent partiers, we dont play loud music, or jump around on the floor.  Any noise that is made is totally within the norms of acceptable noise. His behavior seems a bit extreme and its affecting us and our children.  I know its the male, because his partner told my husband that she would be away from Dec 1 until the end of January...so she isnt even around right now.  when i see him out in the parking lot he is constantly scowling and walks with an angry, intimidating gate. 

Seriously, the banging on the floor happened over 2 hours ago and i still feel tightness in my chest and I feel skittery.  Has anyone else had similar situations?  What did you do to protect yourself?
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Sojourner17

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 06:24:12 PM »
Update, my eldest just walked across the floor louder than usual.  its 2:30 pm...no banging on the floor...seriously...i think he was just home for lunch and that was the behavior he exhibited!  :stars:
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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Hazy111

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 07:38:04 PM »
I assume the flloors cant be sound proofed properly. Then i would consider moving. Im sorry ive had this and it was never really resolved satisfactorily unless one or other moves. It could escalate.

Sounds like a PD bully who wants it all his own way. Who seriously confronts and issues implied threats on the first day their neighbor moves in. Banging on ceilings, thats a lack of boundaries and common decency.  :sadno: He doesnt really want anyone living above him.

Wont writing a letter trigger him more?

Im sorry if this isnt the advice , you are looking for and i know how stressful unreasonable neighbors can be. Hope this isnt triggering.

Id just put it down to bad luck you ended up with them as neighbors. Best of luck.

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livinginhell

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 08:39:53 PM »
I don't see why you should have to move because of this if you are just conducting your normal family life and not jumping up and down partying. In fact he is the one now causing you the noise disturbance and threatening behaviours by banging on your floor.

Also whoever rented you the apartment should know there is no soundproofing and that he has already got the previous tenant evicted so what can they do to fix the problem?

Lastly I would first start taking a note of every time he bangs on your floor date and time and what was happening. Even record your child walking around normally and then the banging starts! Nothing like some solid evidence of harassment.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 11:22:56 PM »
Hazy111, yeah, unfortunately for now moving is not an option.  We are living in a pretty high demand place, just barely got this place as it is.  Im not sure if writing a letter would trigger him but maybe it could be used in regards to documenting things.

Yes, Livinginhell,  we are going to start documenting everything. 
I spoke to the caretaker after i wrote this post to get a copy of the bylaws for the building.  I figured having those on hand so that we could site them would be helpful but i really dont want to escalate things.  The caretaker told me that the guy below us is known for being high strung and can be a bit antagonistic.  She was actually wondering how we were making out living above him...Im kind of glad in a way that she knows what he is about.  She said if we needed to she could talk to him without him knowing we talked to her of course.  I might go that route if what we do doesnt help matters.

Yes, its bullying behavior, plain and simple.  We will get through it.  I just hope that he can calm down a bit and realize that toddlers and preschoolers make noise that sometimes cant be controlled.
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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clara

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 02:20:35 PM »
Yeah, this guy is really, seriously over-reacting.  It's impossible to not make noise when you walk on the floor unless the floor is concrete.  Sounds like this neighbor is looking for something to complain about, one of those people who have to let you know that you have to cater to them, never the other way around.  He has a serious need to control your behavior, and I suspect nothing you do will please him because, for him, there will always be something.  It could be PD, but some people are just jerks like that.  I did once have a NPD friend who enjoyed finding things to complain about in almost any (and usually in every) situation.  No one suited him, no situation suited him.  Nothing pleased him.  So your neighbor very likely could have a PD. 

But that's not the issue.  The issue is he seems to be deliberately trying to make things difficult for you, and that really  needs to be addressed by the manager.  If he does it to you, he's doing it to others, as well (as indicated in the caretaker's comments).  I fully agree that you need to document all of this nonsense and then take it to the next higher level and don't even bother to try to deal with him.  If your manager is even half-way decent, they'll see that having a troublemaking tenant isn't good for their business and hopefully addresses the issue.

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 03:01:36 PM »
I have lived in apartments for years, they are pretty much the only option where I live.

I honestly think that people with kids have no idea how loud their kids are. Yes your neighbor may be crazy, but your kids may also be very loud. You can offset this by putting down rugs with rug underlay, not wearing shoes in the apartment and not having the kids running around inside. When the space between your floor and the ceiling below is not insulated the person below you can hear every single foot step, and itís actually louder for the person below than it is for you.

I hope you and your neighbor manage to find a workable solution

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VividImagination

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 09:27:33 PM »
Sojourner, I have 3 kids and having them tiptoe everywhere in their own home is not only impossible and developmentally inappropriate but putting that kind of anxiety on them can be traumatizing.

I've lived in apartments with and without children, and I feel your neighbor is not the type of person who needs to live in an apartment. There is GOING to be noise. Period. If I personally had someone banging on the ceiling below me, I'd mimic their banging right back to them, same count and pattern. If he has the right to bang, so do you in response. Often when bullies are stood up to and their behavior is handed back to them, they stop.

He's attempting to control your very movements. Ridiculous.

There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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pony

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 10:16:05 AM »
I agree with putting padded rugs down. Even rugs on top of wall to wall carpet will help tremendously. He's being horrible but do what you can to muffle sound.

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JenniferSmith

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017, 08:48:41 PM »
This is a topic quite near and dear to my heart as I am very sensitive to noise... and I live in an apartment. I have done TONS of reading about this over the years.

1. It sounds like the construction in this building is old/poor. That is the basic problem.  I live in an older building and my ceilings were quiet for many years, but I've now been here over a decade, and the ceiling above me is starting to creak when my neighbors walk around. Sometimes it does drive me crazy. But since I know its the floorboards wearing out, and not my neighbors being jerks, it has helped me gradually get used to it.

2. On your end- if you plan to stay - you should invest in some good pads and carpets. Your kids should be taught about inside noise/walking  vs. outside noise/running.   The adults in the home should learn to walk on the ball of your feet rather than with your heels first. Its really not difficult to do, and it makes a big difference. I've trained myself to do it because I don't want to make noise for my neighbor below me.

3. Your husband said that the noise from the kids was pretty loud. Maybe you can figure out a way to visit downstairs and hear what it sounds like. Or have your husband go down and record it. At the very least, this will show your neighbor that you are attempting to have some empathy and that can go a long way in situations like this.  Also, if you do get to hear the noise yourself, then you will be in a better position to evaluate his complaints.

4. If you are going to stay there, and if he isn't going to move, then your only choices are to either try to establish some sort of positive neighborly rapport.... or you will both end up with increasing stress.  It sounds like he is very intolerant of the noise and isn't willing to sit quietly and just accept it. He is taking an aggressive approach to coping with his problem. That might be something that ultimately makes you decide to find a different place to live.

I have empathy for both of you. You are just trying to live your life and are making efforts to be mindful about the noise your family makes. This guy below you ended up living below someone in a building with bad or worn-out construction, and so he suffers from that noise. 

Noise is one of the biggest issues among neighbors. Even people living in single family homes have to deal with it when their neighbors decide to buy a motorcycle or use a leaf-blower every Saturday at 7am. 

this is a good read to realize how widespread these issues are - scroll down to the comments - https://ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com/noisy-neighbors.html

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NoVoice357

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 07:09:25 AM »
Sojourneur17, The fact that your new neighbour complained about the noise on the very first day you moved in, that he also let you know that he got his last tenants evicted, that he told you he did not want to go down that route (this is threat and intimidation), and that he banged the door very loudly on the second night (violent behaviour) although you and your husband had spoken to him before, shows that you are not dealing with someone who is just annoyed about noises and children or overreacting. Noises or children are his excuse to bully and control you, your family and your life. If you did not have any children, he would have found something else to bully you. I know PDs like him.  As Clara said, there will always be something. I also agree with what VividImagination wrote about children and development.  Your children are first priority - not the bully.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to stop him completely because you live in the same building and he will try to engage with you on a daily basis if he has the chance to do it but you can make him reduce his bullying and harassing behaviour. I know PD neighbours like him. Do not give him any kind of emotional attention (do not smile to him, do not get angry at him), reduce your interactions with him as much as possible, do not react emotionally to any of his provocations.  It is also important not to show anger or frustration when you think he might be watching you (this is proof he is getting at you). Do not reward aggressive behaviour like opening the door when he is banging or shouting at you. If he destroys your property (door) or if you think he is a threat to you and your children, call the police. If you ignore aggressive/violent behaviour, he will be nice to you to make you think he has changed. Do not trust him. He has not changed and will not change if he has a NPD.

Medium Chill (Toolbox - What to do) is very useful.

An article about PD neighbours: The Nasty Neighbour Narcissist
https://narcsite.com/2017/12/01/the-nasty-neighbour-narcissist-2/

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Sojourner17

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 09:16:49 PM »
Since posting this we have had a big change.  My husband got a permanent position in another city so we did actually move in February.  The behavior from the neighbour got worse close to the end of December, even to the point of making a malicious call to the police about our youngest crying for hours and hours (which wasnt true...he had been napping for most of the afternoon).  it was aweful but it is, thankfully, over!  Yes, the building was super faulty in design which was a huge problem but the neighbors behavior was unacceptable.  We now live in a townhouse with no one below us (only on either side).  The children are happy and relaxed, my husband and I are happy and relaxed.  its SOOOOOOOO much better!
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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GettingOOTF

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2018, 12:44:56 AM »
Iím so happy to read this update. Sounds like a great change for you and your family. I hope you are able to make a wonderful home in your new place.

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Autumn Sky

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 02:06:51 PM »
Your new place sounds much more pleasant for you all. It is good to hear you sound more relaxed 😊 Your previous neighbour sounds like a nightmare!

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Sojourner17

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Re: Our new neighbour
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 02:47:49 PM »
The neighbour was pretty aweful.  It was so disheartening to have happen but the good thing is...we wont ever have to deal with him again!  yay!
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery