DEAR MISS MANNERS: About a year ago, we bought a home on a quiet cul-de-sac in a nice neighborhood. We noticed that the next-door neighbor’s backyard had a concrete half basketball court, but every time we came to the house for showings, inspections, etc., no one was ever playing basketball.
We figured it wouldn’t be a problem. That was our first mistake.
Our neighbor’s five kids and their friends use this court on a daily basis, from sunup to sundown, each on their own practice schedule. Recently, they started a nightly basketball camp where dozens of kids come to play. Inside our home, with windows and doors closed, we hear the bang of the balls being bounced and hit against the backboard, along with occasional yelling and music.
Upon moving in, we were welcomed to the neighborhood by these neighbors, and they told us to PLEASE let them know if the noise level was ever a problem. When the music level became too loud, we kindly asked them to turn it down, and they complied. A second time, they responded that due to the nature of their backyard, there will be extra noise here and there, and that is part of living in a neighborhood.
Short of moving away, how can we escape all this noise without making enemies with our next-door neighbors?
GENTLE READER: A friendly game with friends is one thing. A full-on camp is quite another. Especially at night.
Miss Manners suggests that you find a tactful way of questioning its legality. “I am so glad that the kids are able to play together, but I am afraid that the thump of basketball night camp is keeping us awake. And I worry that the block association is really OK with you running it out of your home. Perhaps you can set it for only daytime hours so that it’s not quite so noticeable?”