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Les Voisins

Posted by SJ-190944 - Created: 14 years ago
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9 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 9)

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Posted by Tudor's mum - 14 years ago

I am not a religious person, but I have discovered that Satan really does exist. And not only that, but Satan is a woman and is married. The spawn of Satan is nearly as loud and obnoxious as the Devil herself.

Our neighbours below us are a nightmare. Constantly fighting; she screams at the top of her lungs and then begins that really fake-sounding childish crying, as loudly as possible. The entire neighbourhood can hear their almost-daily arguments.

How can anyone live like that? Get a divorce already....it's obvious you hate each other.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 14 years ago

quote:Speaking good French helps you express yourself but my husband who doesn't speak French well finds that if he expresses himself firmly in ENGLISH in difficult situations the FRENCH feel at a disadvantage & often back off-after all they know ENGLISH is the international language spoken more & more & they can't handle it so if the neighbours get awkward try this tactic my husband always feels much better afterwards as at least he's had his say. As he says whether he speaks in English or French or whatever language the French person to whom he his speaking is left knowing in no uncertain terms that he is NOT HAPPY & IS NOT GOING TO BE WALKED OVER!!!!

This may seem very arrogant, and I probably am very arrogant at some times (bascially at all times except when sleeping),  but I agree with this fully and have used it to good effect.  I can speak French - well - but find that the French will use your inablity to speak it 101% perfectly to put you at a disadvantage,  whereas if I speak to them in my language it is they who are at a disadvantage.  In the same way,  if people approach me,  or come to my door,  I usually do not want to speak to them (attractive ladies excepted!) and my attitude is that if they wish to speak to me,  it is incumbent on them to do so in my language.  I get left in peace!

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Posted by SJ-190944 - 14 years ago

Thanks for all your input and support.  I'm obviously not the only one with neighbour problems, but I'm not sure I could put up with it for 2 years or more!  It's because I do have concern for others that I am stressing out about it so much.  Mind you, just because our noise bothers them, doesn't give them the right to deliberately disturb us.  By the way, yes we do have carpets all over the place, and we installed wall-to-wall in the rooms we could, we don't wear shoes inside, and we do wear slippers now it's cool.  I think perhaps it's up to them now to put a bit of sound insulation in their place (it looked pretty bare when I was at their front door), as I hear them stomping around, along with the shouting.  I wonder what it must be like for the people beneath them?

I read recently that the noise law has changed, and that it doesn't matter what time of day you're making a noise.  If it disturbs others, they have the right to take action, and one can be fined quite heavily.  If it is found that the noise is being made deliberately, the fine is even greater.  I know that can't possibly apply to everday noise, but there are always those who will try......  Too bad we couldn't catch all those little so-and-so's on their mopeds in the summertime!  They wouldn't have any money left for fuel.

I guess it's time to put an ad in the jobs wanted section (not that I see anyone having much joy) and save for that villa.  The kids might actually find it easier not being home with me! 

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Posted by Angela-181053 - 14 years ago

you know what we have had the same problem for 2 years i get post it's on a regular basis, he even gets very upset now because i don't even take the time to write back. after so much we have been threaten with court.

You know during the day they cannot do a single thing up to 9pm, after that you are not allowed washing machine, dishwashers anything on.

no problem, on a sunday you are not allowed to make any noice atall all day according to the law here.

Don't stress just continue to be really nice, let you kids live a little

 

Angela

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Posted by willowdene - 14 years ago

A young couple recently moved in below us & they were up to us moaning before they had moved in properly-they seem to think they are special she really has a "bob on her". we had some friends staying on holiday & "her below complained that they were walking about in bare feet in the evening! She asked that they buy slippers as she could hear their heels on the floor. She moaned when i watered the plants-the waterproofing is not good so the slightest drop trickles through to her balcony-see the syndic I said -it's not my fault the building is not 100 %-everyone has to put up with drips from above. Once in hot weather a bottle of fizzy wine expploaded-without thinking we took up floor mat & threw it over balcony-she was up in a flash-it's not allowed-it's in the reglement de copropriete etc etc. We went down a couple of times & spoke to husband-in a friendly way at first then in a firmer way. Again when some people were staying she was up again about something-so my husband went down & got serious. we also went to talk to the PRESIDENT (he who represents the residents on the syndic) We have good relationship with him-since no problems. however the other day after rain we found that our green outdoor green carpet on balcony was very wet so we lifted it over balcony for water to drain out-he this time shouted up "s'il vous plait s'il vous plait" Stupidly i started to explain my problem-inondations, la pluie...... MISTAKE all I got was more of "s'il vous plait..." a French friend asked once when i had a problem with "apres vente insurance for my w. machine "do you think it's because you are English?" "NO NO" I replied at once. However his question remained in my head & much as I don't like to admit it I do think if I am honest that yes some problems are probably worse because of being English or NON FRENCH. I did have my revenge with him above-not saying what but miserable people bring out the worst in me & I'm sure in others. read your REGLEMENT DE COPROPRITE & make a friend of the PRESIDENT & don't be intimidated. Speaking good French helps you express yourself but my husband who doesn't speak French well finds that if he expresses himself firmly in ENGLISH in difficult situations the FRENCH feel at a disadvantage & often back off-after all they know ENGLISH is the international language spoken more & more & they can't handle it so if the neighbours get awkward try this tactic my husband always feels much better afterwards as at least he's had his say. As he says whether he speaks in English or French or whatever language the French person to whom he his speaking is left knowing in no uncertain terms that he is NOT HAPPY & IS NOT GOING TO BE WALKED OVER!!!! Tonight at M. BRICOLAGE after buying some things as do many other English speaking people-he handed over a 500 Euro note. The lady A LA CAISSE looked very nervous & said in faltering ENGLISH-I don't I don't....She then continued to explain unsmilingly in French why she doesn't..... Why are there 500 Euro notes nobody seems to want to accept them. Can you imagine that a store like M.BRIC. can't change a 500 E note late in afternoon? Business must be bad or should the lady have said WON'T? GOOD LUCK WITH NEIGHBOURS. I know other people who have had neighbour probs-one dealt with prob by SHOUTING rudely down at the French complaining neighbours-I think my friend scared them cos next day the lady appologised!!!! She had previously written to the owner of the flat, who lives in a faraway country, to complain when a friend arriving from Nice airport at about 11 pm (plane delayed) pulled her suitcase on wheels from the lift to the flat-she was up at the door within seconds!!!!!! She then complained that the friends son went barefoot to the loo in the night AND SIN OF ALL SINS pulled the chain!!!!!!!!!! I have heard a FRENCH PRESIDENT say "if you don't want to hear the sound of people around you DONT live in a FLAT-save up & buy a villa"willow

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 14 years ago

Having been on both sides of this problem, I know how difficult it is.

When my son started rampaging around the flat at the age of about two years I began to be concerned over what the neighbours would think. I went to see them to apologise and they said they never heard anything ..... which I later found out was untrue.  They were just incredibly kind and tolerant people, who'd also had children when they were younger,and understood how difficult it is to keep a small child quiet.

You are obviously not fortunate enough to have such good neighbours,  in fact they sound thoroughly unpleasant and are probably harassing you.  However, try to see it from their point of view too and think how you would feel if your situation and theirs were reversed.

I loathe noise, and still object to unnecessary noise (constant shouting, car doors banging, buzz bikes, thumping music etc) but when it comes to the sounds of normal household activities, and this includes childrens' noises, even I've learned, in my old age,  to be a little tolerant.  I don't know how you can convey this to your neighbours, but wish you luck.

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Posted by riffa - 14 years ago

Hi SJ

I think you are absolutely right in your last paragraph, you mustn't get intimidated.  Certain French do seem to portray more bullying traits than maybe normally experienced in England so it's important not to show weakness.  And sadly this can be directed at foreigners.

But yours is not an uncommon problem I think.  A French friend grew up in Paris and she said the people below were always complaining about the noise she and her brother/sister made.  Another French friend here has told me that I must learn 'better' French so I can vociferously argue with people!

Practically, I guess you could buy a couple of (Fly) rugs to put another layer in any extra 'sensitive' places.  Can't think of anything else you can do to minimise noise.  But let your children play.  I would say it's no bad thing anyway to try persuade the 5 year old to walk not run inside irrespective of neighbours, and also to avoid loud bangs on the floor, but presumably running is without wearing shoes so...

We always used to feel guilty in London when our sons cried as babies.  But it's apartment living and it sounds like you are doing your best to minimise it so...  And it's hardly partying late at night...

And even if it's not necessarily your neighbours' way, just be polite but without appearing to be intimidated.  It's your life, live it to your qualities and beliefs.  Don't let either sink to the level of a few ignorant people.

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Posted by SJ-190944 - 14 years ago

Thanks for the response, stgeorge, it already makes me feel a little less helpless just having a friendly ear!

I won't bore you with the whole story, but we do own the apartment (since Feb this year) and have only had two verbal complaints from the guy, but more thumpings on the wall or ceiling than I care to count.  I won't launch into the whole history, but let's just say that I think he is going through a divorce which may or may not have been caused by alcohol abuse, and some of the other neighbours think he's a bit nuts. 

Basically, the complaint I have is that he and/or his son bang at us and stress us out in the middle of the day, when my 5 year old does a run through the apartment before I can stop him (really lasting less than a minute), or knock on the wall during the night when my toddler has woken up crying and I've left her for all of 3 minutes to see if she'll go back to sleep (the knocking continued for a good few minutes more!).  Another time it started up about five minutes after I got my son settled back in bed after a bad dream.  There has also been mystery knocking on the wall a few times in the middle of the night that has awoken me and I've gone to check it wasn't my son, who was definitely fast asleep.  They also have shouting matches in the evenings and there is banging that happens at around 11pm or so. 

The teenage son is obviously hypersensitive to noise as I have heard him yelling off the balcony at the Guardien as he's doing his leafblowing during the day, or at the children playing outside in the creche below.  He was hammering away at us (and probably the neighbours doing some drilling) last week when my toddler was throwing a tantrum on the floor.  I got so fed up that I stamped on the floor at him and he came to his front door and screamed something.

I have been down to explain to them that I'm doing the best I can with the children, short of hobbling them.  I've already turned them into morning TV addicts, much against my better judgement, one strapped in a high chair and one zombified on the couch until 8am during the week and at least 9am on the weekend.  It was quiet for a couple of months, but now they seem to have worked themselves up into a state again.  And it's only going to get worse as the toddler gets older! 

Surely there has to be a reasonable time of day when children can play with Lego or cars on the floor or do a bit of dancing.  Of course, there's also always that crazy time around supper time, which again I've managed to somewhat quell with the TV.  I really feel like I'm killing all their "joie de vivre" and telling them off every time they do more than tiptoe around, which in turn just tempts them to make some noise. 

I know I'm getting my knickers in a twist over this and I should just shrug it off, but I really am feeling very frustrated and intimidated (which is the biggest mistake I can make, I know).  It's a shame, because I am otherwise enjoying living here, but I dread being at home when I know "they" are going to be home, too.

Sorry, I did ramble on a bit!

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 14 years ago

Tell me what the complaints are and I'll tell you how to deal with them ! Also look at your rental contract or if you own the apartment go through the Co Proprietaires rights .

YOU CAN'T BEAT A GOOD REGISTERED LETTER IF YOU'RE GETTING HASSLE !!

stgeorge