What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Kentucky
I think I'm losing my mind.
Four years ago, I got a great deal on a house in an "up and coming" neighborhood (I now know that that phrase can be roughly translated as "the ghetto"). When I was making the decision to buy, the neighborhood seemed very quiet. An old woman and her husband on one side...an empty house for sale on the other.
Things quickly went downhill. The owner of the empty house took it off the market and rented it out to 15 people who had chained pit bulls in the backyard and altercations with other neighbors that involved their van being set on fire ten feet from my house. Someone was stabbed to death in my front yard. There was a shootout in the alley behind my house. The terrible neighbors were evicted and the house was condemned by the city. Things got quiet again.
I've always gotten along well with the old woman who lives on the other side. She keeps her yard nice, doesn't leave her dog outside to bark, and keeps an eye on things while I'm away. About six months ago, though, something changed. Her husband became very ill and is bedridden. She has two adult daughters who have pretty much moved in with her...and brought all of their children. All 10 of their children. It's a two bedroom house with a postage-stamp sized lot.
As soon as the children are awake, they're out in the backyard. I realize kids play...I really do understand that. But these children ARE NOT NORMAL. They communicate by screaming, cursing, wailing, and throwing their basketball against their metal shed over and over. There is NO quietness from about 9 a.m. until 9 p.m--the noise is constant and nerve-shattering. The noise of the children is augmented every ten minutes or so by one of the mothers coming out and screaming at the children, threatening "ass beatings." The mothers also have a revolving series of friends who arrive in cars with extreme stereo systems. These cars sit in front of my house and idle, blasting music that rattles my walls. At any given time, there will be five or six cars parked outside. Finally, whenever the old woman has to leave to take her husband to the doctor or whatnot, the daughters invite 30 or 40 people over, and fights always break out, which involve the police being called. Last week, a fight erupted and a bunch of men pulled guns on each other right in front of my house.
Is there anything that can be done about this?? It's the noisy children that really do it for me. I'm a college teacher, and about half of my workload involves teaching online, so I work from home. Every single shriek, curse, and basketball bounce can be plainly heard inside my house (forget relaxing outside). I'm DREADING the summer, because I know not only will the usual 10 kids be there, but they'll be outside all day and probably all night, too. At the moment, my boyfriend and I are so frazzled we have been spending almost every free moment at a nearby nature preserve. We cannot enjoy the sanctuary of our own home anymore. There is no escaping. Even if we go into the room furthest from the neighbor's house, close all the doors, and turn on a fan...the car stereos still shake the house and the shrieking can still be heard.
I've gotten to the point where I feel psychologically damaged. When things finally are quiet, I'm constantly on edge, terrified the noise will start up again. Last night, I sank down onto the couch around 9 p.m. Everything was quiet. I was about to turn on a movie when all of the children spilled out of the house next door and started playing basketball. I packed up and went to the bar.
All I want to do is sit in my own house in peace. I KNOW that children play and make noise, but this is like living next to a daycare center. When you add in the fights and the car stereos...well...I'm beyond the point of stressed out. I think I'm going to have to sell my house, but who the hell would buy it when they see what's going on next door??
I want to talk to the old woman about this situation, but I have no idea what to say. There is an ordinance in my town that states any constant noise that interferes with the enjoyment of one's own home and can be heard inside the home is prohibited...but I'm not sure if that applies to noisy children and their hateful mothers. Advice???