Family Faces Eviction Over Toddler's Noise

A British couple may have to leave their home because of the noise their 2½ year old makes.

The Worcester News reports that Nicola Baylis and Tim Richold have been informed by their rental's property management company that it intends to evict them due to the noise complaints of one of the couple's neighbors.

But Baylis and Richold, who live in Worcester, England, claim that their toddler Skye is only behaving like, well, a toddler: She's crying and playing with toys.

"I can't believe we're going to be made homeless because of a toddler," Baylis told The Sun. "She's just being a toddler and has no idea how loud she's being."

Nexus Housing reportedly claims that Baylis has violated a contract that she signed agreeing to not run up the stairs, to prevent her dog from barking, and to cease to "use" her daughter as an excuse for noise that emanates from her apartment.

The notice follows a stream of complaints and four warning letters that Baylis received in the last year, says the Worcester News.

A senior housing officer with the rental company, Nexus Housing, reportedly said it has initiated eviction proceedings, but added that "this is very much the first stage in the process and any decision to repossess the property would have to be by a court."

Cases of management companies imposing seemingly draconian penalties over breaches of resident-management contracts are by no means exclusive to England.

Similar cases in the U.S. often involve homeowners associations, community organizations that enforce their own bylaws. Last year, a U.S. family was also poised to pay a price for inflexible rules, when the Andover Forest Homeowners Association demanded that a couple remove a therapy playhouse that they had erected on their lawn for their 3-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Recently, one HOA attempted to foreclose on a Korean War vet because he didn't pay a $340 debt, which skyrocketed once the HOA began tacking on attorney costs. Luckily for the 81-year-old, concerned neighbors stepped up to save his home.

In yet another case, an HOA blocked a nonprofit's effort to build a home for an injured Iraq vet, claiming the proper paperwork hadn't been filed but also admitting that some residents had worried that the features of the home that would accommodate the vet's injuries would drag down property values.