I moved into my apartment in Park Slope in November 2004. I like my apartment and its location and I enjoyed whatever little time I got to spend in it until recently. I have a new neighbour and his three kids make tons of noise. It is only since he moved in a few months ago that I realised the walls are paper thin! My building is a new one and has seven floors. I am on the top floor which has four apartments and when I came here I was the only person living on the floor. A weird woman with a parrot and two dogs (one morning she told me that the dog was still a baby and went to nursery school!) then moved in, an elderly couple followed by her and then a couple with a little girl. Weird woman I smelt more than I saw or maybe it was the dogs; either way the scent in the corridor or inside the elevator always meant she had just came/went. She moved out just over a year later and a young couple with a little boy moved in. The elderly couple seems to live part of their time somewhere else and is very pleasant. The couple with the little girl lived in the apartment next to me and it is when they moved out a few months ago that my nightmare began. I never had any problems with them and I even remember asking the lady once when we were in the elevator if she by any chance ever heard my music and she said no but she wished she did becaue her bedroom faced the street and the noise from the traffic bothered her.
Now, instead of my peaceful retreat from New York City, I feel as if I am living next to a school. My apartment is filled with constant loud screaming- both babysitter and kids, doors banging, balls bouncing, kids thumping hardwood floors as they run up and down, and toilet seats, yes toilet seats slamming! I say my apartment is filled because that is what it seems like- the noise is so loud and the walls so thin it appears as if it is next to me. I love children and I believe in them playing and being happy so I refrained from complaining at first. However, there is also something called discipline and consideration for others and when it got to a point where it became unbearable I knocked on the door and politely asked the babysitter (father was not there) to ask the kids to tone it down a little. A few minutes of peace and then the ruckus resumed. I called the landlord next day and told him that I was having a problem with noise from my neighbours and I was letting him know before I went to speak to the father. The landlord said that the guy was a reasonable man but if the noise continued he would have a word with him. I waited a few days to see if there would be any change but there was none so I went to speak to the father. Before I could finish what I was saying, he bluntly said that they were kids and there wasn’t much he could do! I said I know they are kids, but the noise is quite a lot and I am just asking for them not to bang on the walls, not to scream so loudly and not to run up and down so much. He then stated that I should be grateful as they only stayed with him for two weeks each month- he is divorced and they spend the other two weeks with their mom. So I should be grateful that children who don’t belong to me or are not related to me only invade my apartment with noise for two weeks a month!
The noise abated for the next two weeks but today it returned with a vengeance- the twirps are back. They came home from school and the noise began. I started to get a headache so I called the landlord who told me there was nothing he can do as it is just kids playing and not loud music in the middle of the night! I was flabbergasted. He was insistent that there is nothing he can do. I decided to go and once again ask them to keep down the noise. The babysitter answered, I was very polite, she gave me attitude and parroted the father- they are kids, full stop.
I am at my wits end and I have no idea what to do. I love children. I have 14 nephews and nieces and I know how noisy they can be, especially boys and for the most part the noise does not bother me. However, there is a limit and I don’t see why I should have to sit in my apartment and be subjected to a racket caused by a stranger’s kids!