Neighbours at war: But who's in the wrong?

What began as polite complaints became constant harassment. Photo / Imgur
What began as polite complaints became constant harassment. Photo / Imgur

It's always unpleasant when neighbours are at war, but this particular battle isn't as clear cut as it seems.

A man has taken to Imgur to reveal a series of text messages from his neighbours downstairs, who constantly asked him to be quiet so as not to wake their baby.

Although the man owns a drum kit, he claims he has been trying his best to comply with his neighbour's requests, including asking them to let him know whenever he is being too noisy, and taking the opportunity to practise his drumming when he knows they aren't home.

After an increasing number of noise complaints, the man has taken to the online photo sharing forum to ask others what he should do.

According to the Daily Mail, the man, who goes by the username ChefShwasty, met the mother who lives downstairs shortly after moving in, and told her to let him know if he was being too noisy.

The very next morning, the texts started coming.

"Do you mind holding off drinking for an hour or so?", the first text read. "My daughter's sleeping."

According to ChefShwasty, the noise was from chopping vegetables.

"I was chopping onions for a vegetable stew I was making for dinner later that night, and apparently it was too much," he wrote on Imgur. "I do a fair bit of cooking (check the username), so I'm not flailing wildly with a knife. I know what I'm doing."

But that was just the start.

Over the next few days, the neighbour sent a barrage of texts, telling the neighbour whenever the baby was sleeping.

"I changed my schedule around a lot so I could fit some drum time in," wrote ChefShwasty. "Most times, I would even wait for them to leave so that I could drum."

The neighbour then took to complaining about the man's TV, in one case, with a passive-aggressive comment.

He said when he received the complaint about his TV when he was at work, his girlfriend sent him a video of the volume. "... and I could barely make out dialogue on the TV. Meanwhile, we could hear their stereo most days and nights without cease. We didn't want to complain like them, though. It felt petty."

The text exchanges got even more frequent, with the neighbours asking that ChefShwasty hold off drumming until their baby woke up.

Despite the drum kit, the man believed he was being a respectful neighbour and admitted he would tiptoe around his neighbours to avoid more complaints.

"I would even alter my lunch breaks at work so that I could come home when they were gone and get a few minutes in."

But his courteousy was soon proven futile after he received a note from the management of his apartment.

It read: "Due to the noise being created by your drum kit we have to please ask that you no longer play due to it impeding the peaceful living of your neighbours."

ChefShwasty goes on to explain that while he eventually resorted to stopping drumming practice altogether, he still received noise complaints.

Seemingly at the end of his tether, he writes: "Psychotic neighbors ask my complacency in lowering my volume, which I do for months until I'm near-silent, and now it looks like they're trying to get us evicted.

"I don't know what they're doing. I can't afford to move."

Imgur users have responded to the man's detailed admission with a range of advice.

User picklesmcboots338 suggested he "[s]tart randomly screaming in the middle of the night and claim your drum kit is an outlet for your night terrors."

Another user, jonthemonk, pointed out he didn't need to enter into any communication with his neighbours.

"A lot of people don't realise you are under no obligation to actually answer texts, phone calls or the door. Ignore everything!"

And one member even suggested that the man ought to approach the police about his neighbours.

FreyaBear wrote: "This is harassment. Go to the cops, file a report, show them these texts.... Explain the situation.. if you need to press charges later."

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