Working from home, while convenient, has its own set of challenges.
One such challenge is managing the noise of a home versus an office.
One woman is struggling so much with the noise in her apartment that she found herself on subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA).
Original Poster (OP) TeHNyboR has been experiencing such extreme noise issues that she is considering making a potentially detrimental noise complaint.
“WIBTA [would I be the a**hole] if I filed another noise complaint about my neighbor’s very loud toddler?”
She went on to explain why this noise complaint would be such a big deal.
“I’m really torn about this. I [Female age 33] work fully remote and am a bit of a homebody so I am usually in my apartment most of the time either working or living my life as one does.”
“Several months back, we had a family move in across the hall from us with a little girl around 2 or 3 years old.”
“They moved in over the course of two weeknights, so lots of banging and shout-talking in the halls between 10-12 at night, so not a good first impression for both myself and my roommate.”
“Over the months they’ve been here, their little one has proven to be extremely vocal.”
The OP went on to explain just how vocal.
“While working she will often scream bloody murder at the top of her lungs, loud enough that it feels like she’s standing directly in my apartment.”
“I’ve had people on calls with me (while I’m wearing headphones) ask who is screeching in the background and I have to apologize and state that it’s my neighbor’s child.”
“Even at night, I will hear her screaming all the way in my bedroom, which is the farthest room in my apartment from the front door.”
“It’s not so much “I’m scared” screaming (that would warrant a different call) or “yay I’m a toddler having fun” screaming, it’s more “I’m throwing a tantrum” screaming and there are some days where it’s near constant.”
“I will be doing laundry on the bottom floor (we are on the top floor) and I can hear her all the way on the first floor just yelling and screaming clear as day.”
“I have called and complained about them to our office (they also shout talk in the hallway to each other when they have visitors, and no carpet in the halls means it echoes and is LOUD), and I know multiple other neighbors of mine both on the same floor and downstairs have called with complaints too.”
“Yesterday I had called in with a bad migraine and even in my room with the door closed I could hear her going full air raid siren, even until 10 pm and that just made my blood boil.”
“It doesn’t even sound like her parents try to get her to calm down.”
“I’ve [spoken] to my friends with kids about this, and they’ve told me to just “keep it moving” because parenting is hard.”
“I am an aunt to two spectacular kids so I get it, but I don’t think I should have to deal with an out-of-control toddler who screams all day and night.”
“My neighbors already have two violations for excessive noise, and I believe one more could get them evicted.”
“While the noise is definitely an issue, they have been warned about [it] multiple times by management (I should add that they don’t speak English, or I would have talked to them myself), and [it] interferes with both my work and downtime. I can’t help but feel immensely guilty knowing I may get a little girl and her family evicted.”
“But even as I write this post, she is banshee shrieking and has been on and off for close to a half hour.”
“WIBTA if I filed another noise complaint, even though it may result in a family getting evicted?”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA.
“Clearly you are not the only person who feels this way, as they have other noise complaints against them.”
“If they have received those complaints and still done nothing to change the situation, then they only have themselves to blame.”
“I get that parenting can be extremely difficult and there may be issues that they are struggling to solve with their daughter, but in that case – they need to find somewhere to live where they aren’t causing all their neighbours problems.”
“Maybe apartment living is not for them. You’re definitely NTA here.” – Monkey_Socks1985
“NTA. OP, if I had kids in an apartment with two noise complaints, I’d do everything I could to quiet my kids.”
“I have multiple small kids and outside of something like them getting hurt, I don’t think any of my neighbors hear them.”
“I once apologized to one of them after a rough day, and they said they’d never heard my kids. They might have just been being nice, but I hoped not.”
“There is a lot more leeway with a crying baby. If your neighbors had a new baby, I would tell you to try to be patient. They really can’t control that.”
“With toddlers and older, the parents have to step in and try to calm their kids.”
“They keep getting warnings, and they don’t seem to be interested in changing anything, so definitely complain.”
“These people are going to keep being evicted from places until they go somewhere without neighbors or learn to parent their child.” – crystallz2000
“NTA – I get it, having and raising kids is not easy. And younger ones throw tantrums, it’s part of life.”
“But for it to be constant it’s intruding on everyone else’s quiet enjoyment of their living space.”
“I am an Uncle to a special needs child, Downs [Syndrome] and Autism, and this is not normal.” – Tall1SF
“NTA you’re entitled to a reasonable noise level.”
“Yes you can expect some noise from kids and pets, but you shouldn’t have to hear screaming all day and the parents should do their damn job.”
“Yes the parents have their needs but so do you.” – CaptainReptillian
The OP went on to clarify:
“EDIT: Just making an edit to answer some questions I’ve been seeing asked repeatedly on here:”
“Noise cancelling headphones aren’t always an option for me. My job requires I make calls and I can’t make & take calls with earplugs in.”
“Also I’ve had people tell me they can hear her over said headphones, which is embarrassing.”
“My office space is in an open area so I can’t really noise-proof my home office.”
“It costs $1000 to break my lease, and I have a roommate to consider. I’ve also been in my apartment for 8 years and they’ve only been here for 4-5 months.”
“The only thing getting broken around here are eardrums and my patience.”
“I have no clue if she’s on the spectrum or not or if she has a disability.”
“I don’t suspect abuse and have not called CPS, however a wellness check may be in order…”
“I cannot move my home office nor can I work at a friend’s house as I work in a department that works in confidential information, so I need to be at home or at the office.”
“I also suffer from chronic pain so WFH is easier on me mentally and physically”
“Also in my post when I said “I’m an aunt, I get it” I mean that I understand kids can be LOUD. I get it to a fault, not completely as I’m not a parent, but I understand.”
Reddit continued to weigh in.
“You aren’t in a tough spot here: your landlord is. They can choose to speak to the tenants (or evict them) or you can not renew your lease.”
“Don’t take that burden on yourself. Just inform your landlord and make your own decisions accordingly.” – bunnyball88
“I’m literally leaving my apartment because of this. At first, it was noise, screaming, but the parents never disciplined the kids, and it got worse.”
“They just let the children run free and turn their tv on max. I made countless reports and police calls, but the landlord stopped listening to me.”
“Also they live above me and their kids have flooded my bathroom 4 times because they turned the water on, and it poured down through my bathroom ceiling in the last two months.”
“I just find it ridiculous that I had to pay $300 security deposit for my 15lb dog that sleeps most of the day (he’s an elder), and their kids above me are destroying the property/violating several noise ordinances.”
“The cops stopped showing up even with half the building calling.”
“OP if you can document the noise, the police reports, noise complaints, and pull the noise violations in your area – You can probably get out of your lease early because they are disturbing the peace.”
“I had to go the escrow way.” – Onautopilotsendhelp
“NTA, it sounds like you are subjected to constant screaming.”
“You have to get it addressed so you can work, if you can’t complain to the parents due to language barrier, the only recourse you have is complaining to the landlord.”
“You have just as much right to reasonable conditions in your apartment as the family with the toddler.” – randomcharacheters
Hopefully the OP’s ears and the child’s lungs get some rest soon.