While most neighbours are decent people, some can cause problems – and this can have an effect when you come to sell. According to research by Privilege Home Insurance, nuisance neighbours can cost you around £17,000 in property value. Here’s what you need to know about managing problematic neighbours and how to prevent them from weakening your home’s worth.
What the law says
When selling your property, you’ll be required to fill out a Property Information Form (TA6). This allows information which can’t be picked up by a survey, for example problem neighbours, to be revealed. It’s important that you’re honest when completing this form. If a buyer purchases your house and runs into trouble with a neighbour that they weren't aware of, they could potentially take legal action against you for misrepresentation. Minor details don’t need to be disclosed, such as a one-off argument, but ongoing disputes and complaints to the council should be. If you’re in any doubt about what to include, your solicitor will advise.
Communication is key
Depending on the kind of problems you’ve had with your neighbours, you may be able to settle your disputes informally. If you ask them to turn down their music or keep their plants trimmed, this could be the easiest way to resolve small issues. Make sure to be polite and diplomatic, as it will help your case. If, however, your neighbours ignore your requests, or become aggressive, more serious steps may have to be taken.
Talk to the experts
If an informal discussion doesn't resolve the issue, using a mediation service could be the best next step. These services require both parties to be willing, and usually require a fee, but they can help you get past an impasse – and hopefully protect your home’s value too.
Sometimes a noise complaint to the council is enough to encourage noisy neighbours to quieten down as, if they do not abide by certain conditions, harsher penalties can be placed on them. It’s worth researching your local council’s noise complaint procedure, but always use this as a last option.