Teenager neighbor's noise driving us nuts

30 posts in this topic

Hello good folks of TT,

 

It's been a while so let me start by saying i hope everyone here enjoyed some peace & bliss during the holidays :-)

 

Now for the topic I'm hoping you can help figure this out... 

We live in an old and badly insulated building with just 5 apartments, all couples or singles, some pets and no kids. Except the one teenager downstairs, I'll come back to that in a minute.

The building has an odd layout, with angles & split levels everywhere - this is only relevant because of the noise issue we're having recently. 

 

So a single mom moved in around the same time we did with an angelic-looking son and up until this year it was all good, then hormones kicked in and the kid started turning into a teenage monster. He's around 16 now.

His bedroom is directly below ours, on the ground floor, his windows overlooking the front narrow strip of a 'garden' (really more of a walkway to the back with a hedge blocking the street), He tends to consider this outside area and the building's main entrance - next to his bedroom and below our terrace, which is next to our bedroom - as his 'hangout'. 

 

He has his mates over regularly on weeknights and weekdays, a mixed group of teenage boys / girls, about 6-7 of them at any one time. They mostly stay in his room which is fine, although we do hear the chatter and music, but nothing unmanagable. That I can put down to the crap insulation, although admittedly a tad annoying.

The problem comes when they get into 'party mode' - that is, start going in and out of the house either via the main entrance, or later in the night (perhaps once mom locked up for the night?) through his windows.  

 

Then they start chattering, drinking, smoking, laughing histerically, listening to crappy music on their phones, dancing around, sometimes running around; doing what generally slightly drunk and stoned teenagers do - right under our bedroom windows. Oh and when going in and out of the building for a smoke/spliff, they bang the front door or windows or pull the blinds up and down so that the whole building shatters like some bomb hit it. 

 

About a week ago there was so much commotion I nearly fell out of the bed due to all the door/window banding... From what we could gather, turned out they decided going down  to the Keller for a quick spliff and one of them fell down the stairs drunk and stoned.

 

We did call out the kid and his mates a few times telling them to keep it down and then it was fairly quiet for the rest of the night, but that's not a permanent solution. I'm currently listening to some weird mumble rap seeping through the floor and just had to shout out the window to one of the mates to stop flicking his cigarette butts to the front door.

 

Anyway, I won't bore you with more details. The point is, the kid is in that really unmanagable stage of life with a bunch of equally idiotic little mates around him and is beginning to become a real nuisance with all the noise they make during the nightly 'hangouts', and as he gets older the worse it will be until he either gets a job and starts appreciating a good night's sleep, or f*cks off to college. 

 

I don't know what the mom thinks of all this, or if she's even home (or sleeps really deeply), but since the parties happen quite frequently I doubt she's too much bothered by it all.

What I do know is that we don't want to constantly sleep with earplugs, and we cannot move our bedroom. Also moving apartments is not an option so we need to fix this somehow with staying here and if possible, not wrecking the otherwise very civil neighborly relationship with the mom :-) 

 

Question is: do we talk to the mom? Do we talk to the son? Do we just call the police on them next time they act stupid?

Or do we just plan some prank / revenge? (my hubby's all for that option - I'm not a fan, as it can so easily backfire. We did go as far as throwing a snowball on his blinds one Saturday morning to wake him. He didn't, sleeps until 11 o'clock like every teenager).

 

Your sound advice is appreciated, as always :-)

 

Thanks,

Dot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, engelchen said:

 Considering we're all supposed to be reducing our contact with people not in our household to a minimum, your neighbour's kid's behaviour is irresponsible.  a violation of public health measures

:huh: Is there a full lockdown with no contact with anyone allowed? 

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I sympathize, and I live in Wiesbaden, too. ;)

 

That is very inconsiderate behavior and potentially dangerous, as well.  Hopefully, the mom will be open to a conversation about this.

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49 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

:huh: Is there a full lockdown with no contact with anyone allowed? 

Contact between 2 households and up to 5 people  I think - having a bunch of teenage kids hanging together I highly doubt any of them are siblings.

So yes, it's even "illegal" right now.

 

I'll try talking to the mom and see where that goes.

 

Thanks!

 

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47 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

:huh: Is there a full lockdown with no contact with anyone allowed? 

 

8 hours ago, dotinwiesbaden said:

He has his mates over regularly on weeknights and weekdays, a mixed group of teenage boys / girls, about 6-7 of them at any one time.

Currently only 5 adults(>14yrs) can meet, that too from two families only. So even 3 friends from different families is already  breaking the rules. 

 

 

8 hours ago, dotinwiesbaden said:

We did call out the kid and his mates a few times telling them to keep it down and then it was fairly quiet for the rest of the night, but that's not a permanent solution. I'm currently listening to some weird mumble rap seeping through the floor and just had to shout out the window to one of the mates to stop flicking his cigarette butts to the front door.

Try to talk to the kid and be friendly with him. At least you can request him to take outside commotion in night a bit further away from house. 

 

8 hours ago, dotinwiesbaden said:

What I do know is that we don't want to constantly sleep with earplugs, and we cannot move our bedroom. Also moving apartments is not an option so we need to fix this somehow with staying here and if possible, not wrecking the otherwise very civil neighborly relationship with the mom :-) 

As you have written, just pray he gets a job or go to college soon. With poor sound insulation, there's only so much you can do. 

 

Goodluck. 

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Just before Christmas, 3 teenagers around here were fined 228.50 Euro each for hanging out together because they were from 3 different households.  They had been warned a number of times by the police, but eventually they were charged.  One of them is refusing to pay, we’ll see how that goes.

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50 minutes ago, Tap said:

Just before Christmas, 3 teenagers around here were fined 228.50 Euro each for hanging out together because they were from 3 different households.  They had been warned a number of times by the police, but eventually they were charged.  One of them is refusing to pay, we’ll see how that goes.

How many people are allowed to mix and from how many different households? :unsure: 

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Videoing them in plain view might help. At least something to show the police.

 

I hope the mom is reasonable. It is her flat after all.

 

Any other neighbors who are upset about it? Power in numbers.

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9 minutes ago, lunaCH said:

How many people are allowed to mix and from how many different households? :unsure: 

 

In this area,  5 people from 2 households can meet outside.  Under 14s don't count, but these guys, I believe, are 16

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I think you have to differentiate between your neighbour breaking the Covid rules and breaking the noise rules. I would leave the breaking of the Covid rules for now - priority for you is getting sleep. Also, getting the Polizei involved could escalate things unnecessarily.

 

First off, I would talk to the Mother simply about the noise. Say you are contacting the Ordnungsamt. Hopefully, the son gets the message. However,  you should start to record everything in a diary. You could use a noise meter and video the noise levels (Perhaps the Ordnungsamt can recommend a recognised app etc). 

 

If the son starts being responsible, why not reward him with a pair of decent headphones for his birthday (maybe suggest it to his mother as a gift idea)? 

 

If the son is not playing ball, then I would start the DIY drilling at 9am :D

 

Btw I would also install smoke alarms in the communal spaces because a dropped cigarette in the basement is obviously a serious issue.

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, pmd said:

I would leave the breaking of the Covid rules for now - priority for you is getting sleep.

 

I would also mention that the kids aren't wearing masks or distancing and are coming from different households.

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I agree with engelchen, threaten to call the authorities.  Meanwhile, get on your local municipal website and figure out exactly what number you want to call and and exactly what it is you will complain of. 'Cuz I don't think it's going to stop from you asking nicely.  You already did that.

 

Also, depending how the conversation goes.  Give mom a confirming letter along the lines of "you gotta be quiet after X hour, per rule Y."  When you do wind up calling the authorities, who will undoubtedly insist you can't do so anonymously (despite Germany's refusal to name and shame convicted murderers) you can show a copy of your brief letter to whoever shows up to help get across the point that you already tried asking nicely.

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3 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Videoing them in plain view might help. At least something to show the police.

 

I hope the mom is reasonable. It is her flat after all.

 

Any other neighbors who are upset about it? Power in numbers.

Videotaping teenagers under 18 might be a huge problem in Germany without parental consent :/

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27 minutes ago, Santitas said:

Videotaping teenagers under 18 might be a huge problem in Germany without parental consent

If you have reasonable concern that a crime is being committed or is about to be, you are allowed to film.

In this case age doesn't come into it as you can't know exactly how old a person is at the time of filming the crime.

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IME you're better off at least starting out as nice as possible.  In situations like this--where, as you've already noted, nagging is not a permanent solution--you have to encourage the people to modify their own behavior, to check themselves.  That's the main issue.  It's not that they want to annoy you, they are just not controlling themselves.

 

I feel like police/revenge/threats will not encourage them want to control themselves in your favor.  If anything, it might make matters worse.  Or they'll be extra loud right up til 10pm and then do other things it's harder for you to prove or complain about.  Never be extra mean to your neighbors, most of the time we've little idea who we're really dealing with.  The severity of the reprisals may surprise you... people are capable of a lot when they feel restricted and painted into a corner in their own homes.  Usually they push back IME.  When what you need is for them to want to "help" you--not to be angry and resentful of you.

 

My advice would be to try to get both of them together, talk to the mom and the kid together, and tell them you have a problem, and that you're sorry you're so sensitive, but xyz is really making it hard for you to abc and if they could just 123 so you can 456 you would be soooooo grateful!  And apologize for being such a pain, and then do something nice for them, like bringing them some cookies (I am not joking) or some other little gift.  Then even if they don't give two shits about how much noise they're making, whom they're bothering, or whether it's legal, they LIKE you, and they FEEL BAD that you are such a nice lady with "sleeping problems" and hopefully, just hopefully, they will start to self-modulate.

 

This will probably not work to 100% efficacy overnight but if you keep in contact, stay friendly and remain kind, they will remember to think of you more and more often, until the frequency of the unwanted behavior becomes more of an exception than a rule.

 

Has worked for me on a few occasions.  Good luck!

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For some reason, people tend to respond positively if you treat them well; if you give them cookies or something else home-made, they often feel obligated to do something for you in return! Who knew?

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When I advised to talk to the mom, of course I meant in a nice way.

 

We have new neighbors in the next building who share a wall. There was this awful thumping noise that sounded like a bunch of kids jumping up and down above us. Himself kept telling me it was next door. One evening, lo and behold, I was on my balcony and could see the neighbor reflected in the windows across the street exercising - at 10:30. It was the wall sharing neighbor and it was happening in the evening and late evening when I was trying to watch TV. Himself went over there and nicely told him what we were experiencing. He apologized profusely. 

 

Now  feel bad because he is never exercising any more - not even in the day time.

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