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Irritated with neighbor ó thoughts?
Old 05-31-2019, 10:56 PM
  #1

We moved in to our dream home 3 yrs ago. We loved the yard because we knew weíd put a pool in and along the back property line there were big beautiful bushes & trees that provided a lot of privacy from the backyards of the people who live behind us. We couldnít see or hear them nor they us. So pool goes in and Iím not joking when I say the week it was finished the people behind us cut down all those lovely bushes & trees that provided privacy & sound barrier. I wasnít happy but they wanted a garden & needed more sun which they have a right to do what they want just like we did . So now I can hear their three kids yelling & playing all day which is fine, When Iím swimming I turn up the radio.

So Memorial day I have a group of friends over to swim and weíre partying & having drinks Because we are adults and thatís what we do on Memorial Day. Around 630 we got out of the pool to eat & went up on my deck. I have a stereo system on my deck & turned up the music because itís only 7 pm on a holiday. Was it loud....well, yeah kind of. It was a pool party.

Well...here she comes walking up into my yard & rudely yells out Hey can u turn that music down?Ē And then walks off. I was so shocked I didnít say anything & she didnít give me time before she marched her a** back over to her loud screaming kids. But it pissed me off. More so her attitude. If sheíd have been nice about it, even introduced herself since sheís in my yard telling me what to do & I donít even know her. I probably wouldnít have even minded turning it down a little. I knew people had to work Tuesday. The Party was gonna be winding down around 8 anyway.

What do you think about the situation. What if she does it again? What do I say. We have pool gatherings during the summer a lot but Iím respectful of the time. Iím not blaring music at midnight on a Tuesday. But we like music. And itís their fault they took down the sound barrier. Iím half tempted to plant more trees on my side of the property line.

Thanks for your comments.


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Old 05-31-2019, 11:03 PM
  #2

I was thinking... plant more trees. And then you said it. Also, I'd ignore her. She's probably jealous . I would be, too! Lol

Ok on second thought... have another pool party next weekend and invite her over. If she's partaking of the music and party atmosphere, she can hardly complain!
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:59 AM
  #3

How rude! I would put up a privacy fence at least along the back, so she canít march into your yard. Then iíd plant trees along it.
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My Thoughts...
Old 06-01-2019, 03:42 AM
  #4

If the music is loud enough for the neighbors to hear, then the music is too loud. Yes, your neighbor could have been more tactful, but you could have been more respectful.

You knew when you moved into the neighborhood that there would be kids having fun. That is a given in any neighborhood.

I agree. Put in a privacy fence on your side of the lot line. Then plant bushes or trees to help curb the noise.
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Welp...
Old 06-01-2019, 04:01 AM
  #5

You are lucky she didn't call the police, which is standard operating procedure around here.

I've rented all my life, and dealt with noise. 9/10 the person creating the issue has no clue how loud is loud. This is anyone. And you MAY NOT be too loud. I would have walked to her property and heard for myself how loud it was. This way you know it's, "Yikes, I had no clue" or "She's full of sh*t".

1. Her kids are totally not relevant to this situation. Kids are legally allowed to make "kid noises". As a renter, kids running around screaming outside or playing, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. It's in the Fair Housing Act. I say this so you don't drag her beastly kids into the mix. It doesn't tip the situation into your favor. Her kids are beasts, so I'm having my jams. It doesn't work that way.


2. Get a copy of your noise ordinance, and really read it. Do not assume because most places have something like 7 AM to 10 PM, you can kick up the jams until 8.

Look for decibel limit. My city says if the cops can hear it from the sidewalk, it's too loud. That isn't very many feet from the source.

Who do you call for a noise complaint? Is it a non emergency number and you get a letter on your door three days later, or do they send a cop with rollers on? How do you escalate a noise complaint? Is the first shot across the bow is to address the person face to face? How many incidents? Is there anyone else around that feels like this particular neighbor, and she's the goat doing the dirty work? Do not assume if you have other neighbors, they are all cool with the music. With noise complaints, for everyone person crabbing about it there are at least 3 others cheering the messenger.

Acoustics suck. Sound can really really travel depending the material the waves bounce off from. We had a neighbor having a party with a ratty boom box as a sound system. You could hear everything 6 houses away, and it wasn't ear crushing loud at the party.

From 30 years of dealing with noise wars, I'm guessing she won't be over again, but logging down times and dates of offenses for support to file a complaint or call the cops. This is why it is important you know your legal rights. If you live in an area with weak noise complaint enforcement, you'll have an easier time dealing with her. My city is like white on rice.

If it was me. I'd plant hedges on my side of the property, and put up a noise damping fence on the other side of that. We had a neighbor put up a true basketball court in response to another neighbor's pool. Nothing says murderous like hearing kids play hoops for 6 hours a day. Do anything not to have this mess escalate.

Also, it doesn't matter if you do play music on a Tuesday or a Saturday. Few people have 9 to 5 M-F jobs anymore. People work off shifts and weekends. I say this so you don't get dog piled by other neighbors working off shifts.

Remember, she can't say squat about your pool noises, just like you can't legally say squat about her kids. She can ramp it up on the music. If this neighbor has an axe to grind, if she is smart, it will ONLY be about the music.

Is it the music or the bass? I had to talk to my next door neighbor about his gaming system bass, as it shook our walls and could be heard over the dishwasher and all through our townhouse. I lucked out. The kids moved the system away from the wall shared wall and I bought damping mats for the speakers. It could have turned into a flaming tire fire.

Anyhoo...brush up on your ordinances and find out if it's just sheer loudness or bass. Bass booming will drive people to torch your house.


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Old 06-01-2019, 04:02 AM
  #6

Plant something for a sound barrier.

My sister was about to rip out bushes so she could widen her driveway. She saw her neighbor and asked if their house sold. He told her it sold to a blended family. She decided to leave the bushes.

Fenses and bushes make good neighbors.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:06 AM
  #7

I'd take the opportunity this summer when she is out to go over and cordially and casually introduce myself. When you have a relationship with your neighbors, it is easier to find solutions to these types of annoyances. Kill her with kindness.

I might even offer a "non- apology" for the elephant in the room - the Memorial Day music ("I'm so sorry you were disturbed by our Memorial Day Party. We just didn't realize we were too loud for 7:00. We are having folks over this Saturday, and will be playing music. We will make sure to turn it off by ____".)

You could even call your city offices in advance and find out what the noise restrictions are, just in case you need to inform her that you are within guidelines. (" I did check city ordinances, and they state music is to be turned down by _____. We'll make sure we abide by that in the future").

Trees are great, but they take years to be effective. Good fences make good neighbors - how about a privacy fence on that side of the yard?
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:13 AM
  #8

Play your music louder! My Memorial Day (Sunday) was ruined by neighbor powerwashing from 9 am to 5 pm! Not only did the noise ruin our day but we were getting WET!!!!!
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:14 AM
  #9

IDK it may just be me but I think you need to be tolerant yet respectful of your neighbors. I know you may enjoy the music you were playing, but they may not have. As another person mentioned, it may have been louder than you thought. It may be awkward but maybe have a conversation with her about the situation.
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My thoughts
Old 06-01-2019, 04:19 AM
  #10

Music doesn't have to be very loud for neighbors to hear it. Iím guessing that it will be hard to avoid conflicts as long as you are neighbors. We have neighbors with a very nice pool, and they have parties with music, but the level isnít loud enough to disturb us. They are pretty respectful. We can hear their music and laughter but itís not overwhelming. Itís hard to say where one personís rights end and anotherís begin sometimes.


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Music and noise
Old 06-01-2019, 04:43 AM
  #11

can be heard in ways we aren't always aware of. We had an inground pool for years and we became aware of how it carried sound. We had a large back yard and the pool was far from the house yet I could hear what people were saying clearly while I sat on my porch. (this was really handy when my kids were teens!) Maybe the music was amplified more than you thought.

I also realized how sound can carry when I would call for my cat to come in at night. I never yelled, just called. One evening as I called him I heard the teenager who lived way across the valley answer back..."I'm coming, I was busy catching a mouse!" Who knew sound traveled that well.

Your neighbor was within her rights to ask you to turn it down, but the way she addressed you was uncalled for and I would have been upset at that as well. Remember it wasn't just noise, it was music. There is a type of music my DH loves and it makes my ears bleed to listen to it even when the volume is turned down. Maybe not only was it the volume, but the type of music that set her off?
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:53 AM
  #12

My thoughts are much like ConnieWI's and Tawaki's.
*Kids: unless you're living in an age restricted community that prohibits young families, the sounds of kids will be a given anywhere you go.
*Her request: should have been more polite but maybe she'd had a bad day and this was the last straw.
*Your music: here's where I think you're at fault. Without knowing how close you are to your neighbors, if you're turning up the music and your neighbors can hear it (even if it's not too late on a Monday night), your music is too loud. I agree with Tawaki when I say that the people playing the music often aren't aware of how loud the music in. It interferes with their ability to enjoy their outdoor space in a way that they could not have anticipated when they moved into their house. (I'm assuming here that they were there when you moved in because you mentioning putting the pool in after you moved in.) I agree that I'd be getting a copy of the noise ordinance and check to see how loud the music is from other areas. The music doesn't have to be loud for it to be against the noise ordinance. Everyone can imagine the "what if" scenarios right? What if your neighbor was listening to profanity laced rap music and you had little kids there? Death metal? At least neighbor asked instead of going straight to the police.
*Plant some privacy bushes/trees. Put a privacy fence.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:54 AM
  #13

Your neighbor might just have been having a bad day. I am more senstive to noise than other people. What they think is fine, I often find annoying. I never liked going to concerts because the blaring of music bothered me. If they could hear the music in their yard then it is loud. Yes there are noise ordinances and you do have a right to play music, but you might not have been aware of how far the noise travels. Try talking to her. Semi apologize like other posters said. That goes a long way in maintaining peace and friendship. Play the music as you did during your party then walk over to her property. See how loud it is. You might be surprised. I'm not saying this is your fault, but you may honestly not be aware of how far the music carried.
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Noise
Old 06-01-2019, 05:26 AM
  #14

I am sensitive to noise myself. We have an acre of land and most neighbors have more. Pretty quiet most of the time. Once we put in central air, I do not hear a thing😴. We do sit out on patio in summer on most nights and other than distant traffic, it is quiet. We would like to move to a smaller place but would hate leaving our fabulous neighbors.
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Iím dealing with neighbors and music now
Old 06-01-2019, 05:47 AM
  #15

And I get truly pissed. It doesnít matter if itís still what some might consider early, the music and the noise is intrusive. If I have my doors and windows closed and I cannot reasonable hear my own TV or take a nap, whatever, then the neighbors are in the wrong. I call the cops every time since being civil has done no good.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:51 AM
  #16

It's way easier and more relaxing to get along with the neighbors than fight them. When we moved in, my kids were younger and were outside playing "flashlight tag" after dark and running around the yard screaming. The neighbor's kids were babies. I talked to the neighbors the next day and they were very cordial. They just mentioned that they could hear my kids and that they knew their kids would be doing the same thing one day. Fast-forward some years and now my kids are grown and their kids are teenagers. They have a fire pit and they're up playing music and talking loudly above it. My bedroom window is near their backyard. We had a similar conversation the next day - how I could hear them but it was okay. I actually enjoyed hearing the kids doing something fun and not getting into trouble.

I said all that to say..... talk to the neighbor. Invite her over for lemonade or coffee. Get to know them. Kids running around outside is a good thing. They're not stuck inside on a tablet or video game. Set some boundaries that you both agree on - set a db level and time limit. If your music is so loud it's disturbing them inside, then it's too loud. If it's too loud that they can't talk freely outside, then it's too loud. There's a chance it's louder than you realize.

No, she didn't have to react the way she did, but sometimes being a mom is stressful enough and loud music added to loud kids can push you over the top. Use her reaction to apologize and diffuse the situation.
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:01 AM
  #17

I think it has to do with what you want and expect.

I like hearing kids occasionally. Kids are life. If their noise is constant and you want to diminish the sound of your neighborís kids, put up fences and trees and bushes. You can control your environment much more easily than you can control other people.

My hometown has very small lotsó5 feet from house to property line. You hear neighbors, itís a given. Parties and human sounds were fine, but we were all respectful of others with music. IMO loud music really carries. Your taste in music probably differs from mine. Respectfully, I do not want to hear your music.

Iiwy, Iíd bake that neighbor cookies and apologize. And remember Robert Frost: ďGood fences make good neighbors."
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:04 AM
  #18

I love hearing kids play and don't mind reasonably loud music in the neighborhood.(within reasonable hours) What bugs me for some dumb reason is the thump,thump thump of a basketball I have no idea why that bugs me.


I'd be initially embarrassed by your neighbor's reaction and would attempt to apologize. Maybe she was scared to address it and didn't know she came off as rude as she did. I'd follow up by a visit with cookies and attempting a conversation.
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Fence
Old 06-01-2019, 06:14 AM
  #19

In our case, we had to put up a fence around our yard with a locked gate when we had a pool. It had nothing to do with neighbors like yours. Our insurance was outrageous without it. Have you looked into your homeowners insurance?

Last edited by maxwell; 06-01-2019 at 01:21 PM..
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Me, too
Old 06-01-2019, 06:27 AM
  #20

You've received lots of excellent advice. I agree with those who said the music might be too loud. I have a neighbor with a terrier who barks incessantly. She told me to get earplugs and move my patio. Somehow, after 5 years, it's a bit better. But you have no idea how sound travels and what you can hear and what they hear, especially since your speakers are probably turned to face her house. Our new neighbors on the side seem to be more respectful. They had a pool party and I could hear the music, but it wasn't too loud. Go listen from her point of view, and think about what it would be like if she was blasting opera. Unless you like opera. Which I do!LO
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Old 06-01-2019, 06:32 AM
  #21

1) Invite your neighbors over for a swim and a cookout. Invite the other neighbors too so it doesn't look weird. I'm assuming they did not welcome you to the neighborhood, but it's not too late to reach out. If you are planning on living there any length of time, you want to at least be cordial with your neighbors.

2)Put in a fence and a hedge. You might want to put a gate in the fence. You never know. These people may end up being friends with you. Years ago our older retired next door neighbor put gates in his fence so my children could easily get to their friends house which was kitty corner to ours. What a neighborly thing to do!
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Irritated with neighbor
Old 06-01-2019, 06:38 AM
  #22

Sorry, but I have been that neighbor. You admit the music was loud....and it sounds like no one was in the yard at the time.

People donít realize how far sound travels outdoors and if it had been going on all day, your neighbor might have had enough.

And yes, she could have been nicer, but maybe she was frustrated.

I would plant my own trees or put up a different fence. And be conscious of music decibels.
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Last little thing...
Old 06-01-2019, 06:41 AM
  #23

The fact the neighbor did a face to face is a very good sign. It means you have a shot of reasonableness. Usually for noise wars (rental properties) you get a hate note taped to your door or car or they call they police.

What I would do is bring a grovel gift of benign dollar store coloring books and chunky crayons. I wouldn't say I was sorry, but ask what part of the music is annoying/bothering. It can be overall loudness, bass or genre.

I hope it's bass. That is the easiest to finagle. You turn the bass OFF, up the treble and maybe adjust were the speakers are pointing. When I have had to confront loud music, it's almost always been an issue with thumping bass. The bass gets killed. 9/10 the problem is gone. I'm not sound sensitive, just the thump thump thump through 3 walls drives me mad.

Act like you are willing to work with the neighbor even if your are thinking DIAF the whole time. If you can prove

I talked to her like a human with self respect and dignity
I asked for REASONABLE suggestions
I attempted REASONABLE suggestions

And she still goes Death Con 9, you are in a pretty good light if this gets escalated.

I get it's your property, and most people think eff them. I got a primo stereo system, and want to play King Crimson, Tiffany, Kanye...and hear the whole spectrum of the sound. Both deep bass and treble. That's what high end head phones are for, unless you live in the Yukon Territory. What you don't want is William Shatner, Mongolian throat singing or Jesus Loves Me so I'm Told played during your pool party on an endless loop. I've used Shatner and the throat singers to hammer a message home to the neighbor who was a total @sshat. He played his electric bass guitar and his music loud.

Remember, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, especially for stuff like this. You don't sound horrible. The situation just needs a little tweaking. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:22 AM
  #24

I guess Iím going to be the crabby neighbor. I hate it when people play music loudly outside. Why do I need to hear their music? If it was loud enough for her to complain, itís too loud. Her kids making noise has no bearing on the issue. Kids are kids. Itís great they play outside. By all means, plant trees and bushes on the property line to give you both some sound proofing.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:35 AM
  #25

Also, Iím surprised you have a pool in your backyard without a fence. Or did I read that wrong? Seems like a possible dangerous situation with kids running around.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:34 AM
  #26

I, too, don't understand how you can have a pool without locked fencing.

As for the music, people need to lighten up. It's 7 pm on a holiday. If you were blasting music all the time, that's a different story. I would assume your city has a noise requirement. In mine it is no loud music after 11 pm. Until then, you are free to play amplified music outdoors.

When my dd had parties, she would go a week before to each house on the block, introduce herself and give them a flyer stated the starting and stopping time and apologizing in advance for any noice or traffic. If someone was home she told them they were welcome to stop by for a snack. The neighbors appreciated the forewarning and we never had complaints.
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Old 06-01-2019, 09:46 AM
  #27

Although I understand people have a right to have a party and play music, I think itís respectful to keep it at a reasonable volume. People work different shifts, babies need to go to sleep, etc. I think just putting yourself in other peopleís shoes helps. What if you had a horrible migraine and your neighbor decided to blast their music? Music can be enjoyed at a reasonable volume that doesnít infringe on other peopleís right to quiet.
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Sorry, but...
Old 06-01-2019, 09:50 AM
  #28

...one of my pet peeves is people who think they have a right to inflict their taste in music on everyone in earshot. It doesn't matter whether I'm trying to sleep or not. If I'm doing anything that involves concentration or relaxation, I don't want to listen to your music. If I don't appreciate your taste in music, I don't want to listen to your music. Did you play music outside before your pool was completed? In my experience, the sound of music being played outside carries much further than the sound of children playing so maybe those trees and shrubs weren't doing the job for them anyway.

If I were you, I would go and apologize for disturbing them. I would point out that, since the trees and shrubs are gone you can hear what's going on in their yard more than you could before and wonder if it's the same for them. I would ask if she has any suggestions for how you can go about creating a noise barrier that won't shade their garden. I would accept that I'm going to have to play my music more quietly.

In my neighborhood, when people are going to have a party that may disturb their neighbors, they take the time to give the neighborhood a heads up. Nobody does this on a regular basis - we're talking the occasional graduation/anniversary/holiday party. We know it's going to be loud for a while, we know what time they're going to wind it up and we can decide how we want to deal with it. I usually plan to be elsewhere.

I like music, too. I am a musician and I listen to lots of different kinds of music. But, I recognize that my 80 year old neighbor probably doesn't want to listen to Alice in Chains or Eminem. I recognize that my country-music loving neighbors probably don't want to listen to opera or jazz. If you wanted to have loud pool parties all the time you should have bought your dream home somewhere without close neighbors.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:06 AM
  #29

I guess iím Lucky. We have had a few loud parties with no complaints. When I am in the pool I play music as well. Next door is an elderly care home, so they probably canít hear the music. Behind us is a young family with kids and a yipping little dog that we hear. No big deal.
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:35 AM
  #30

I do think people need to be more tolerant of noise if it's an occasional thing. Every now and then one of our neighbors has a party and we deal with it and hope that they would do the same for us. I would plant the trees and try to not have the music quite as loud.
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:04 PM
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Old 06-01-2019, 01:42 PM
  #31

Quote:
But we like music. And itís their fault they took down the sound barrier.
I chuckled when I read this.
They took down brushes and trees that were providing too much shade for their gardens.
Their gardens are not producing noise to disturb others in the neighbourhood so they don't need a sound barrier.

You, on the other hand, acknowledged you play music at loud levels and also turn the music up when entertaining. You are the one who should be planting a sound barrier.

As your neighbour, I would have ignored your party --- this time and maybe even the next time. But eventually loud pool parties would get to me too. I'm not a cranky neighbour but I do not my world contaminated with other people's music.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:46 PM
  #32

I agree with a privacy fence and bushes!

Nancy
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Loud music
Old 06-01-2019, 06:47 PM
  #33

If I can hear someone else's music inside my home, then it is definitely too loud! And I shouldn't have to hear it whenever I'm outside in my own yard, either. No one should be forced to listen to music they don't want to hear, regardless of the time of day. Maybe the neighbor has a headache or wants to take a nap during the afternoon instead of waiting until after a certain time.

BTW, wood fences, bushes and trees are not very effective at blocking noise. Most effective is a solid block wall which can be expensive.

Your neighbor would be within her rights to complain and/or call the police if she lived in my SoCal county which has a pretty strict noise ordinance and for which time of day is irrelevant.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:54 PM
  #34

I have the neighbors from hades living behind me. They have a party every Sunday and the music is ridiculous. We have called the non-emergency number multiple times over the years. The police come out, tell them to turn it down and then as the police drive away, they crank it up even louder. It is not a good situation.

I am a very light sleeper and noises that donít bother others drive me crazy. She has children- was she trying to get them to bed? My 10 year old goes to bed at 8:15.

Definitely check the noise ordinance for your area. Call the non emergency number to ask what the consequences are for noise complaints. If you can talk cordially with her, it never hurts to try. ďI didnít realize that the music from my house was disturbing you- can we talk?Ē Maybe work with her to see what an acceptable volume is.
Nothing you can do about kids being kids- as long as they arenít out screaming while youíre trying to sleep.

Please overlook typos- just painted my nails and canít type.
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Old 06-02-2019, 03:57 AM
  #35

Maybe she was nervous about coming to ask you to turn it down? It may have been awkward for her to come to ask with other people there and the music up.

Sometimes when you turn the music up, the voices also go up.

How old are her kids? She may have been trying to get her kids settled down for bed if they are younger.

I understand everyone has the right to enjoy themselves, but if your music was infringing on their ability to enjoy themselves, then she has a right to ask for it to be turned down.

My DH worked shift work for many years, and that included a lot of holidays. There were times he was trying to get some sleep at 7pm on a holiday.
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:06 AM
  #36

Let's face it, (some) people are entitled (narcissistic) a$$hole$. There are always those people who have to make waves. What a way to start off on the "right foot" from HER! There was a much better way for her to say it.

You'd think she'd want to be more pleasant since you guys are pretty new to the neighborhood. Have the 2 of you never nicely introduced yourselves in these last 3 yrs since you moved there?

Of course she can have her kids yelling all day long all the time on regular days and nights, etc. and it's "fine" for them , yet when you have a moderately loud party on one day, she can't handle it.

Well, make the best of it. I agree with the nice fence and even some trees here and there for nicer scenery. Don't know why they cut down all the trees, but you'll fix that!

My SO thinks they cut down the trees right at the coincidental moment of your pool to be nosy and see what she can see...and I think who knows, even have her kids swim in the pool when they think you're not home. People are pretty BRAZEN.
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