Help with annoying neighbor kids

So, about a year ago, the nice old man who lived behind me moved out and was replaced with a family with 4-6 young kids (between ~2 - ~11). The whole family is very noisy. I live in a small condo building, and my unit is on the second floor (above a ground floor garage) and the windows and balcony face out onto the alley. They live in a small home that is directly across the alley from me.

Their kids play in the alley. I can put up with the screaming, and laughing, and all that, but they play ball in the alley and I cannot fucking take it anymore. They will play directly outside of my house for hours. It’s just a constant bang, bang, bang incessantly while I’m reading, or watching TV, or sleeping, or just trying to not go insane. The ball bangs into the building and vibrates the walls. They’ve broken several flowerpots on my balcony, cracked my window, and my dog has developed a severe anxiety to the sound (and the shaking of the building) so when I’m not home and they do it, he goes into beast destructo mode.

So far, I’ve tried dealing with the kids directly. The first time they broke a flowerpot, I happened to be on the balcony, and leaned over in time to see them scramble (one literally hid behind a pole). I told them I could see them, and then told them to come out. They did, and I said I wasn’t mad, but would they not play ball below my place because obviously it could cause damage, and it’s very very loud. I threw their ball back, and they kept their word, for about a week. I’ve talked to them a few more times, and they stop doing it for increasingly shorter spans. Now the parents. Once the dad was out their playing with them, and I opened my window and asked him nicely to take his kids away from my unit, and pointed to my cracked window. He glared and rolled his eyes, and they went inside. Every time I talk to him, he takes his kids inside, but they’re all back at it the next day. The mom doesn’t really speak English, so my attempts with her have been pretty futile. I couldn’t do anything about the window because I heard the ball hit it, but by the time I got there to investigate, the alley was a ghost town.

This family is generally all-around noisy. They play loud music, have loud parties, scream and yell, and work on their cars beneath my bedroom window at 6AM. I can handle all that. It’s not a quiet neighborhood, and I won’t pretend to be a perfect neighbor either. But this one thing makes me want to buy a bag of soccer balls and lob them through all the windows of their home. So what are my options? I’ve been considering calling the cops, but I have an idea that they’d probably not care much in this neighborhood. Moving really isn’t feasible, and I’ve been here 7 years. There are 2 parks within a five minute walk of here, and there’s the other side of the alley, which has some commercial buildings with no windows who probably wouldnt be so bothered, so not having a space to play doesn’t seem like a good excuse to me at all.

I would do my best to try to remember they are just kids doing what kids do.

I would find out what the law is regarding noise and work from there.

Where I live if I can hear your music playing beyond 30 feet, I have a right to complain.

Depending on where you live, the alley could be the responsibility of your building or the city or the homeowner, or a combination. Check with your HOA first, see what the building owns around it or has responsibility for. It’s possible if your building has some control for that section of alley, the HOA could put a restriction on that area, “no parking” “no loitering” even a “no playing” sign or signs could possibly be put up if it’s a right you can exercise. Repercussions you can exercise for ignoring those signs, I have no idea. Maybe you can have tickets issued if you can get video of them ignoring the signs.

If I were you, I would also be going a bit nuts from it, and would take the shortest in time option by directing them toward the commercial end of the alley to play ball. Just yell “go play down there!” and point. Hopefully it just hadn’t occurred to them to simply move a few steps down. I would also give calling the police a try - you won’t know what kind of response you’ll get until you try, and it certainly can’t hurt to at least try once to see what happens. You might want to reserve that for the loud parties though.

What’s the speed limit in the alley? :smiley:

No but seriously, large families that don’t give a shit are among the worst sorts of people to engage. They likely see you as spoiling their fun, and have no concept of your distress.

*"…play loud music, have loud parties, scream and yell…" * - the only way I would engage this sort of crowd would be if I outnumbered them. Fat chance o’ that. You can’t reason with them it seems, and they clearly aren’t intimidated by you.

Do you like classical music? They probably don’t. It may well be kryptonite to them, and may be worth a try:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/youths/story-fngnvlxu-1226599751131
If all that fails, there’s always the fact that they’re playing in a roadway - that might be a ticketable offence. You call the cops, not as an irate neighbor with a grievance, but as a concerned citizen looking out for the children.

Or, if you know somebody, some large, intimidating people with a car something like the National Lampoon animal house deathmobile - maybe have them roar through the alley a few times, flinging bottles and curses.

How could anybody connect that with you, peacefully playing your classical music for the neighborhood? Of course this should be tried only after you give up on the cops.

Good luck with this.

Set up a sprinkler on your balcony that faces their yard. Turn it on to “water your plants” and go inside. Oops!

I empathize for your situation. Parents like these are hopelessly unconcerned with how their kids affect others. They are the same parents found in restaurants and movie theaters who let their kids scream and disrupt anyones enjoyment. I agree with another poster who suggested reporting it as a concern for the safety of kids playing in a roadway. I would not call the police to complaign about the noise they are making, this will not result in any resolvment of the issue, and they might be annoyed you called them for the noise. Report that you see cars speeding by and your concerned they could be injured or killed.

I used to live next to a place that had people staying up all night and making noise, their toddlers were out screaming at midnight.

All of the neighbors complained but the speed freak parents didn’t care.

I put drag pipes on my bike and started revving my bike at the stop sign next to their house while my bike warmed up. They would stagger out to scream at me because I was waking their kids up.

After a couple of weeks of getting the kids up early, the family started shutting things down earlier. Then they moved out.

I was a neighborhood hero for doing that.

It would be great if the city pays to fence it off, but if they won’t, well… Sometimes passive aggression is your best option. Make the alley a shitty place to play.
The simplest way of doing it is to move shit down there. Any old shit, as long as it’s heavy. Mattresses, torn-to-springs couch frames, busted up shopping carts… If you live in a poor neighborhood, it’s unlikely anybody will give it a second thought. If you’re clever about it, the neighbors might not even tweak that it’s you doing it… make it look like a hobo encampment! Nobody wants to get into it with a hobo. Be creative!

Also, maybe there’s some gross sticky shit you can coat the wall with so they won’t want to bounce their ball off it. How about some nice fiberglass insulation? That’s not real fun to play squash off of.

Our neighbors smoke pot right outside our apartment at all hours of the day and night despite constant requests to please take it elsewhere. The police didn’t care. Our landlord didn’t care. We are not trying to move elsewhere but in the meantime I’ve started fighting fire with smelly fire. If they insist on smoking pot 15 feet away from my door then* I* insist on putting garbage bags full of dirty diapers and dog poop in the hallway the second I smell them light up. They still smoke out there but they have decided to smoke very quickly and be done with it ASAP over the last few days. Apparently things that smell bad are unpleasant to be around…who would have thought?:stuck_out_tongue:

You have dog poop and baby poop ready to go at a moments notice?:eek:

Perhaps you could email David Thorne for advice. Here he deals with a neighbor’s floodlight. And here he talks about consideration for neighbors while living in an apartment.

Once I decided it could be useful I’ve been throwing it all in the same trash can instead of the diaper genie or toilet for the express purpose of using it against the pot smokers. Since they smoke 5 times a day it doesn’t stay in the house long.

I wonder how long this poop- pot war will last?

Until somebody shows up with some real killer shit.

You can certainly ask the parents to pay for the damages their kids do. Even if they don’t speak English, you can point to the broken window, or bring down the broken flower pot, and then make the universal motion for “money” with your hands. They’ll understand, and that will hopefully give them incentive to shepherd them to the park.

If not, unless they’re staying up very late, and possibly violating noise ordinances, there’s probably little else you can do. Kids will play. Kids will be loud. It’s like asking birds not to chirp.

P.S. There are methods you can try to desensitize your dog to the noise/vibration. But that’s another thread.

In case anyone is interested in an update, I finally spoke to the mother. I had a friend over who is fluent in Spanish, and we were sitting on my balcony when the kids came out and started kicking around the soccer ball. I grabbed the one off my patio table and asked my friend to help. The mom was outside when we came down and looked pretty apprehensive when she saw me with that ball. My friend began translating for me, and she listened quietly until the part where I said I had spoken to her kids and husband on several occasions. Then she began talking animatedly and the gist of the conversation that I got from my friend is that she thinks her husband is an irresponsible parent. I told her about the broken stuff, and she apologized and said she’d keep the kids from doing it. I thanked her and we went back inside my house. She took the kids inside and unleashed a verbal fury on them that probably the whole block could hear. I have barely heard a peep out of the kids for three days (except when they’re coming or going, maybe to the park), so I hope she keeps her word. I did tell her that I would get the police and her landlord involved if it continued, so maybe that will be enough.

Well, hey - that’s positive.

“… thinks her husband is an irresponsible parent” was pretty funny.

That’s good news.

To be honest, though - no offense, but I’m more interested in the update on the poop-pot war. That story has more potential!

I haven’t smelled anything in the hall in 3 days! I’m back to throwing out garbage normally and the pot smoking seems to have stopped for now. If it starts back up again I will go back on the poop offensive but for now I’m just enjoying being able to sit in the living room without constant pot smoke invading the apartment.