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Brat Worst

I live in a 5 unit complex with four children under the age of 8. The patio has been enclosed with a gate and the entire area turned into a children’s play area, with art set, at least 12 bicycles, scooters, various kitchen simulations. These four children in turn have play dates with other children, yielding up to eight or ten total children (more for birthdays) all playing and screaming in the patio.
I work from home and the noise from the children affect my ability to think, do analytical work, and hold meetings. I need the income from this job for my support (there is none other.)

Although only 1 resident child is under school age, the children regress when together (ages 8,7,6,4). I have heard them say, “Let’s see who can scream the loudest.”
I have asked the mothers repeatedly to look after their screaming children. One mother replied that I should ‘stick’ my head out and ask them to be quiet. The problem is that the children disregard me, and this mother is trying to make me share in the responsibilities of discipline, which I cannot do.

This same family also has two dogs (rescue), one of which is a biter and has attempted (twice) to bite my retired significant other who now has low-vision/blindness. The dog is small but is kept off-lease and has surprised my partner at the communal trash bin and on the sidewalk and could cause my partner to fall.

I get the royal brush-off from the mother with the kids and dogs, even after a politely written note. She says, “Call the police”, in an attempt to diminish our complaint. I have also emailed our landlord who declines to be involved.

We are in a rent-controlled apartment and do not care to move.
The mother continued in a hostile email, “You knew this apartment had kids when you rented it.”

I don’t know how kindness could improve this situation. Do you?


 Boris Knott replies: Tell the kids  if they behave for one week, you’ll spring for a pizza party.
Please watch this site for pizza coupons offered to correspondents.

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