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What to divulge about neighbour disputes when selling a property?

Decided to move house? Whether or not you want to escape your tricky neighbours, you will have to tell your buyers about any issues you’ve had with those living closest to you when the time comes to sell up. 

Unfortunately, although extremes issues are rare, potential problems can range from badly behaved children to living near student sharers or, worse, neighbours who stalk or intimidate you.

Indeed, in some instances, new owners have taken past homeowners to court for not mentioning dreadful neighbours, so you need to know where you stand legally. What’s more, this sort of legal action could take place years later, so moving out won’t necessarily remove the problem if you don’t mention issues with neighbours at the time of the sale. 

Equally, false or ‘omitted’ information may lead to future legal action. 

A claim may be made against you if an undisclosed dispute comes to light, or, if it’s not too late, your buyers could pull out of the sale.

Disputes with neighbours 

If you’ve previously been embroiled with difficult neighbours in an actual dispute, you’ll need to mention this in the Seller’s Property Information Form (SPIF) you’ll get from your solicitor. 

The SPIF is part of the legal contract with your buyer. It’s rather a grey area as to what constitutes a dispute, but, essentially, you will have to declare it if you’ve had to make a complaint about your neighbour to the local council or similar, or had to contact the neighbour in writing yourself. 

Boundary disputes involving land or hedge and/or fences, and anything involving Shared House Maintenance also needs to be declared.

However, problems with noise can be subjective. What you find problematic may be fine for someone else. Equally, problems that you’ve handled with neighbours amicably don’t need to be declared. 

Ask your solicitor if you are not sure whether a neighbour’s behaviour could be deemed problematic.

If you are involved in a dispute, sometimes this can be resolved via mediation, so try that before things escalate.

The most common causes of disagreements among those living at close quarters include noise, boundary disputes, unruly children, the maintenance of any shared facilities and poorly kept or dangerous trees or gardens. 

You’ll find that selling my house fast with Quick Buyers really alleviates the stress of selling a property where there has been a situation of disputes with neighbours.