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The true cost of nuisance neighbours

Tuesday 28 August 2018

Everybody needs good neighbours but not everyone is lucky enough to get along with the people next door, and when things turn sour, property prices could take a tumble.

According to new research, commissioned by GoCompare, bad neighbours are not only stressful to live next to, but they can also adversely affect the sale of a home, with would-be buyers looking for tell-tale signs of potentially problematic neighbours.

The survey found that 28 per cent of people have fallen out with a neighbour, with the most common disputes concerning noise, issues with pets and rubbish. For six per cent of respondents, the relationship with next door became so bad it escalated into a legal dispute.

The survey also revealed that 48 per cent of buyers would be put-off a house if the garden of a neighbouring property was littered with rubbish, with 43 per cent claiming they wouldn’t buy a property if the neighbouring house was in a dilapidated state. Over a third (37 per cent) stated that they wouldn’t buy a home which was located next door to a student let.

Boundary disputes, damage to a personal property and rodent and insect infestations that have spilled over from a neighbouring house were also among the top ten most common disputes.

On the bright-side however, the survey also found that many neighbours get along well and help each other out. Half of those surveyed said they would call their neighbour a friend, with 51 per cent having lent items to a neighbour and 42 per cent borrowed items. Just over half (51 per cent) of respondents say they would look after a neighbour’s property if they were away and water their plants or feed their pets when asked.

Commenting on the research, Ben Wilson, GoCompare’s home insurance spokesperson said: "Most people get along well with their neighbours, however, not all neighbours are easy to live next to. It's worth noting, that anyone looking to sell their property is legally required to disclose information about any disputes they’ve had with neighbours on the ‘Seller’s Property Information Form’ provided by their solicitor. Providing false or omitting information could lead to legal action taken against you by the buyers – so as ever, honesty is the best policy.”