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Selling a Home Because of Nuisance Neighbours

Nuisance neighbours can make life very difficult for their victims. Noise, vandalism, crime, and abuse are just some of the issues innocent people have to deal with every day. And when it comes to selling a house, these issues make life very difficult for homeowners.

If you’re trying to sell a house with nuisance neighbours, there are a few things you need to know.

Disclose any issues with neighbours

It might be tempting to keep issues with your neighbours a secret. After all, you don’t want to do anything that might delay the sale of your house. But you have a legal responsibility to declare serious issues. And failure to do so could result in a claim being made against you in the future.

If there are issues that have a direct effect on the relationship between you and your neighbours, you should disclose them on the property information form. Such issues include:

  • Disagreements about parking rights
  • Disagreements about the height of fences or hedges
  • Disagreements about property boundaries

You don’t need to declare problems such as incessantly loud music, aggressive dogs or unsociable behaviour. But if there are any legal issues or anything that has involved the police, you must declare them on your property information form.

Consider a lower asking price

There’s always a chance that your buyer might sue you in the future if you don’t disclose serious disputes with neighbours. As a result, it’s always best to be honest and upfront. If you’re in a hurry to sell your home, you might need to consider lowering your asking price a little.

Reach out to your neighbours

Selling a house with nuisance neighbours

It’s always best to settle any disputes with nuisance neighbours before you list your house for sale with Rightmove or Zoopla. So reach out and ask to sit down for a chat. Air your grievances honestly and respectfully. And listen to your neighbour’s point of view. If you’re both prepared to compromise to find a solution, the chances of resolving the issue are good.

Perhaps your neighbours are tenants. If so, contact the landlord or the local authority to make a complaint. If the issues are serious, the landlord might have grounds for eviction proceedings.

Record any issues with nuisance neighbours

If your efforts at mediation fail, start recording issues and disturbances. Create a log, and include dates, times and descriptions of incidents. Wherever it’s appropriate, take videos, photos and sound recordings to back up your claims. If you have to involve the police or the courts, this evidence will be invaluable. The sooner you find a solution, the sooner you can sell your house for the best possible price.

Selling a house with nuisance neighbours

Involve the police if the issues involve abuse, threats, intimidation or violence. Police will get involved if issues with your nuisance neighbours involve one of the following:

  • Your neighbour is making you feel intimidated or scared
  • Your neighbour has caused damage to your property
  • Your neighbour has a dangerous and unruly pet
  • Your neighbour is taking or selling drugs in the property
  • Your neighbour is committing crimes in their property
  • Your neighbour has damaged your vehicle

If the matter is a legal one, get advice from a property solicitor as soon as you can. Get an idea of the legal costs involved before you proceed, however. In some cases, it’s often best to sell your house at a discounted price and let the new owner deal with the issue.

Resolving issues with nuisance neighbours is often stressful and scary. If you’d rather sell your house quickly and move one, we can help. At Flying Homes, we buy houses fast, and we may be able to complete the purchase of your property within just four weeks.

Nuisance Neighbours and Social Problems Reduce House Values

Nuisance neighbours and social problems affect house values

The scourge of nuisance neighbours or harassment in the UK is something that no one wants to experience; unfortunately, there is little homeowners can do if the anti-social behaviour is blighting their neighbourhood. This type of conduct can give entire housing developments a bad reputation, and the resultant lack of demand inevitably leads to reduced house values. Examples of nuisance can involve dogs, children and even parking!

The stark facts surrounding nuisance neighbours and UK house prices

According to recent data from over-50s magazine Saga, 28 per cent of over-50s have had legal arguments with neighbours. Around 40 per cent of those legal wrangles involved boundary disputes, noise pollution and general anti-social behaviours.

Halifax Bank surveyed 2,000 homeowners back in 2010, and 10 per cent of respondents said they had sold a previous house because of problems with nuisance neighbours. The study also found that the main types of anti-social behaviour affecting neighbourhoods were related to aggression, violence and noise pollution. However, the fact that the survey discovered neighbours are more relevant to buyers than the performance of local schools is hugely worrying for homeowners.

Leading analysts at Halifax have publicly stated that living next to nuisance neighbours has the potential to wipe up to £31,000 off the price of the average property in the UK with homeowners powerless to act.

Sellers in problem areas may have to accept lower house prices

If you are trying to sell your home in a problem area, you will probably have to agree that property values in such areas will inevitably be lower than average. While it may be tempting to keep specific problems to yourself, you could find yourself in hot water, legally speaking, if you withhold information that prevents buyers from making an informed purchasing decision.

If you live next to problem neighbours who like to play loud music, allow their aggressive dogs to roam free or regularly become aggressive or violent with other residents, you will be required to detail such problems in the Seller’s Property Information Form. If you fail to declare a particular issue with neighbours, you could find yourself accused of property fraud, and potential legal challenges to a house sale could ensue. Just having to report nuisance neighbours could affect the future sale value of your home.

Of course, the vast majority of buyers will now perform their research into an area before arranging viewings, so legal disputes, illegal activity and notorious nuisance neighbours will be almost impossible to keep from buyers. Independent house valuations will also take these types of social problems into consideration – devaluing property values in neighbourhoods with significant issues.

Is it possible to mitigate the effects of disappointing property valuations?

If you find that you have bought a house next to the neighbour from hell – drastically reducing its value – your future financial situation could be affected. Whether you can live with the anti-social behaviour or not, circumstances beyond your control might reduce the possible final sale price of your property considerably.

A property valuation can only be as accurate as of the information available. As well as an inaccurate property valuation, the withholding of pertinent information may also persuade financial institutions to approve loans on the property – loans that would have otherwise been turned down.

In some rare cases, it may be possible to take a vendor to court for compensation, but proving unlawful intent is ambiguous. There was a recent case where a buyer paid £180,000 for a house next to a known criminal with an ASBO. Claiming the home was only worth half that amount because of its nuisance neighbour, the buyer successfully argued his case in court. So, in some rare cases, it may be possible to sell a home at a loss and sue the vendor for the difference – along with any associated costs.

Researching locally sold prices could pay dividends

Buyers should check ‘how much houses in the UK have sold for through sites such as zoopla.co.uk, and it may also be worth conducting some anecdotal research on the Internet. Many anti-social behaviour complaints make the news and official court reports, and such cases could warn you of problem areas before it’s too late. For sellers, it is vital that they make full disclosure of nuisance neighbours and social issues; otherwise, a costly legal battle could result.

Unfortunately, it seems that house prices in the UK inextricably link to crime rates, anti-social behaviour and nuisance neighbours. Due diligence, careful research and the help of property experts are therefore essential in protecting your financial interests – whether you are buying or selling a property in the UK.

Nuisance neighbours – what to do?

Neighbour making a nuisance
Old man shouting and pointing over a fence in the garden

The best thing to do is to try and engage with your nuisance neighbours to resolve any issues or disputes, not to let things escalate or you’ll need to involve the Council (Environmental Health) and possibly the Police.

What to do next – how Flying Homes can help!

If you need to sell a house fast due to nuisance neighbours anywhere in the UK, then call Flying Homes on 0800 68 99 420 or complete our online form, we buy any house anywhere, and we’ll buy yours today!

Want to ask a question?

Call 0800 68 99 420

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