I have hideous neighbours and want to sell my house - what do I do?
Whether it is loud house parties, constant piles of rubbish or anti-social behaviour, how can you sell your house when you’ve got the neighbours from hell?
According to a recent survey by Quick Move Now, bad neighbours can knock off 8.2 per cent of the value of your property. Some of the biggest issues include boarded-up windows, rubbish in the driveway and an overgrown garden. But what about the stuff potential buyers won’t see on a viewing? If your neighbours have a dog that doesn’t stop barking, do you have to mention it – even though you have never actually complained? What about all those times that they have parked across your drive? Or you have had to put up with raised voices at night?
Danny Luke, Managing Director at Quick Move Now, says: “Bad neighbours are a problem that many of us will have to deal with at some time or another. Some will cause major conflict, whereas others may not keep their home as tidy or as well-maintained as you would like.
“When there is an ongoing conflict with a neighbour, it can make it very hard to sell a property, so the best thing you can do is try to resolve the conflict, if at all possible.”
If you are intent on solving the problem, there are various options available to you. Often, taking the direct approach with a friendly face-to-face chat about the issues affecting you can often bring about a peaceful resolution. Sometimes your neighbours might not even be aware that they are disturbing you.
However, if things have escalated too far for a polite chat over the garden fence, it is recommended you do not tackle anti-social behaviour yourself and instead consult someone from the anti-social behaviour team at your local council or your solicitor.
Also, you must be mindful that when selling a property, at some point you will be asked to fill out a Seller’s Property Information Form, which requires you to highlight any previous or current disputes with neighbouring properties. As a rule of thumb, anything that was put in writing to a neighbour, or phone calls made to the council or the police, needs to be mentioned.
If there is an issue, it is better to be honest and say so. Being vague on any issues will only come back to bite you as you could be sued under the Misrepresentation Act 1967 for being fraudulent or negligent. And this could lead to you being at the wrong end of a costly legal challenge.
Ultimately, no one wants to take a hit on their property value because of bad neighbours, but equally nobody wants to buy a home with a massive problem that was deliberately concealed from them.
However bad your neighbours might be, for a successful house sale, honesty will be your best policy.