How can you curb noisy kids?


What can you do about noisy kids in an apartment block? It’s not just that a family has moved in upstairs from a Flatchatter, who wrote for advice.

On top of constant door slams and running feet, their floor has previously had carpet removed and replaced with something that doesn’t come close to dampening the thuds and yells of the children as they go about the business of being young.

What can they do about it? And while we’re on the subject, should young children be allowed in apartments at all?

Let’s knock that one over, for a start.  Except for retirement homes, strata law does not allow schemes to pass by-laws forbidding children from living in a block.

In fact, there seems to be a growing trend for young families to live in apartments, especially near parks, schools and other amenities.

Ironically, these parents often chose a unit with hard floors because timber and tiles are a lot easier to clean than carpet.

But that doesn’t mean the downstairs neighbours have to put up with noise even if it would be perfectly acceptable in a free-standing home.

The vast majority of strata schemes have a by-law that enshrines the notion that we are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of our homes.  Children are not exempt, nor should they be.  So parents have to make a choice, if they want to live in an apartment, they have to accept that community living requires a few compromises.

One of those is consideration for your neighbours and the parents (or their landlords) could put down flooring that absorbs noise or for tell the kids to restrict their rough and tumble to the park.

For our Flatchatter, the options are to approach the parents and ask them to get the kids to quieten down.  If that fails they can take it to Fair Trading for mediation, and if that doesn’t work, they can seek orders at the Tribunal (NCAT).  All of this can be done with or without the co-operation of the executive committee.

But even if they do get orders granted by NCAT, it will not be to carpet the floor, let alone evict the noisy family.  It will be to cut down the noise – and that will start with the parents teaching their kids the value of consideration for others.

You can read the original post and other responses on flat-chat.com.au/forum.

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