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NEIGHBORS WITH CHILDREN

Moving into a complex or onto a street with young children can be a pleasure for some renters and a nightmare for others. If you have young children yourself, then you will probably welcome the sights and sounds of children’s laughter and play. If you don’t, however, then you may be concerned about what living in a child-friendly area will do to your sanity. Either way, it is important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to meeting, greeting and mingling with neighbors with children.

Streets with children and complexes with children change the entire atmosphere of the neighborhood. Living on a street with children usually means a much calmer and safer situation where late night parties are absent and people mow their lawns and power wash homes on the weekends. You may notice children running around the block, riding bikes, drawing with chalk and playing hopscotch outside more often than not. If you have young children then this can mean instant friendships and instant entertainment.

Street Safety and Children

Whether you have young children or not safety always comes first. Always watch when you are pulling out of your driveway and never speed around the corner, even if you are in a hurry. If you have items at home that are not suitable for children (such as a motorbike or a fierce dog), then let the parents know so they can warn the children to stay away. You should also keep these items locked away or tied up for your own liability protection.

Another important thing to remember when it comes to neighbor with children is that noise is not tolerable. If you are throwing a party, for example, you need to let your neighbors know and also tone it down after a certain time. Most children go to bed quite early so it is respectful to shut the music off and move the party elsewhere after 9:00 pm. You should also watch your language and your behavior. Although it is your rental apartment and thus you can do what you want (within limits), excessive drinking, smoking and swearing can often be seen, smelled and heard by your neighbors.

Acceptable and Unacceptable Children Behavior

If your neighbor’s child is annoying you by constantly coming onto your property, knocking on your door or running a riot on the street, then it is your right to say something to the parent. Parents are in charge of their children and running around the lobby unsupervised, annoying the neighbors and screaming at the top of their lungs is not acceptable behavior, no matter how lenient the parent is. While it is not up to you to punish the child, it is up to you to speak to the parents about this unacceptable behavior and how it is impacting you. If the parents don’t do anything about it, then you may wish to bring up the situation with the landlord. You should not have to lose sleep (or your sanity) because a child is behaving poorly.

With that being said, however, it is important to understand the difference between inappropriate children’s behavior and baby behavior. A screaming newborn, for example, cannot be helped in many instances and while it may be keeping you awake, you need to consider the neighbors with children as well. They are most likely trying everything in their power to soothe the infant and having you knock on their door reprimanding them is not going to help their sleep deprived state. Give new parents a break for the first few months while baby settles in. The late night cries will eventually stop and the entire neighborhood will get a better night’s sleep.

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