Selling A House With Noisy Neighbours? Here's How...

Written by Myles Hemingway

Myles is our self-confessed ‘word nerd’ and property geek. You’ll find him mythbusting everything from house repayments to maisonettes, as well as giving you our spin on the latest property news and industry trends.

HELP! What can I do about nuisance neighbours when selling my house? They're sabotaging my house sale!!

Nuisance neighbours are never the most pleasant issue to run into, especially when selling a house. You can have your onward purchase all sorted, haggle for a good price and even pick out your solicitor, but if your house won't sell because of nuisance neighbours, then that's all pretty much irrelevant.

Besides, there's nothing more frustrating when selling a house than to have viewings which on the surface appear to go great. Only to find that they always seem to come with the same caveat - a reference to your nuisance neighbours. You know the type: "We really liked the house, BUT we just couldn't live with the noise from next door" or "The house is positioned perfectly for us, HOWEVER rude neighbours are one thing that we can't put up with".

And don't you just know it. When you consider that each of these viewings is a potential buyer who's effectively being shooed away, it can really start to get on your nerves. Especially when it's because of something that's more or less out of your control. Nevertheless, that doesn't mean that if you have noisy neighbours, selling your house is impossible. In fact there's a couple of ways in which you can do so.

Intrigued? Read on to discover everything you need to know about selling your house with noisy neighbours, and more.

Want to deal with your nuisance neighbours fast and prevent them from sabotaging your house sale? Use the menu below to find the answers you need FAST!

Is selling a house with noisy neighbours common?

Don't be fooled into thinking that it's just you selling a house with nuisance neighbours - it's actually more common than you may think. A poll of 2000 UK adults revealed that 28% have at some point fallen out with a neighbour! Not exactly great news for buyers, but nevertheless reassuring for any sellers.

Recently, noisy neighbours have become even more of an issue thanks to the COVID pandemic. Being locked inside for months on end is a sure way to realise just how thin your walls actually are, so it's no surprise that since lockdown, noise complaints to councils have risen. However you could argue that for this very reason, lockdown property viewings have played into the hands of buyers. Why?

Well you see, a buyer is more or less guaranteed to experience life inside your house while your nuisance neighbours are at home. Previously, clever timing could have meant they were at work, out shopping or on holiday. Therefore, they'd be far less likely to witness the extent of any disturbances first hand - i.e. at their most off-putting. A factor that could heavily decrease you chance of clinching that all important sale, fast.

And even though any potential buyers are liable to do their own research, there are often issues that they won't be able to find out about. These could be less noise related issues, but nevertheless still products of nuisance neighbours. We're talking about things like disputes over boundaries, the height of a hedge or whether a neighbour is prone to being abusive. The type of discrepancies that you MUST inform a buyer of before you agree a sale, otherwise it can come back to haunt you down the line. Think we're joking? Read on...

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Do I have to disclose noisy neighbours when selling a house?

Yes, afraid so.

It's a legal requirement for you to disclose noisy neighbours or details of any other disputes when selling a house. You do so on the property information form (the TA6) at the start of the conveyancing process. 'Forget' about this minor amendment to your paperwork and it could come back to haunt you.

In the case you didn't clearly state what disputes were ongoing, you could later be subject to legal action (yikes)! So for instance, if you neglected to mention that the neighbours host a party every Friday until 3am and your property's new owner feels cheated (which you probably would in this situation), they can claim misrepresentation.

What that means is they're claiming that you have mis-sold the property. Perhaps if they'd have known about the ongoing disputes they wouldn't have put such a generous offer forward or even offered at all. If, upon further investigation it becomes clear that you did know about the disturbances, then you could be liable to repay them a form of compensation. This could be a sum of money to compensate for the property's drop in market value, or the value of other losses they've occurred as a result of the nuisance neighbours. This includes any criminal damage or physical abuse.

Although thankfully, not all cases of nuisance neighbours are quite SO serious. The majority are usually small discrepancies like the noise of a pet or a debate over a fence boundary, which can usually be straightened out, even if it does take a bit of squabbling. Plus, if the new owners are a source of disturbance themselves, they can't really come back to you to complain about the noise level. Nevertheless, to cover yourself, we'd always advise you're open and honest when selling a house with noisy neighbours, so nothing can come back to bite you further down the line.

My neighbours sabotaging my house sale

In the case that your neighbour is purposely sabotaging your house sale, there's actually very little you can do. Whether they're purposefully making noise to disrupt your viewings, trespassing or heckling at viewers as they leave, you'll require strong evidence of this sabotage to get anywhere legally. Exactly why we'd always suggest that before you do anything, you first play detective.

When it boils down to it, nuisance neighbours aren't likely sabotaging your viewings just for the sake of it. Perhaps it's their way of dealing with something that's happened in their personal life, or they're just jealous because you're moving to a nicer part of town. Whatever it is, find this out first and then assess the situation. For instance, if jealousy's the cause, you could simply pretend that you've been outbid on that house in the nicer part of town and see if after that, they slam on the brakes. And even if you don't find their reason, make them aware that you know exactly what they're up to. We'd suggest putting it to them like this...

"I know that for whatever reason you're not my biggest fan, but if you could stop sabotaging my house sale that would be great. Help me move and I'll be out of hair far quicker - it's the best for both of us.".

If after this they persist, then you could sue for damages, although it will be hard to prove. You'd need solid evidence that it's lost you a sale and would need the potential buyers to testify on your behalf.

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Can't sell house because of neighbours - what do I do?

Selling a house a house is a task in itself, never mind selling a house with noisy neighbours. Not only is it another hurdle for you to negotiate, but it can also be a HUGE deterrent for potential buyers. So with this in mind, here's three ways to deal with nuisance neighbours...

  • Stick it out - While it can be frustrating hosting unsuccessful viewing after unsuccessful viewing, the right buyer will eventually come along - all you have to do is wait. This could be as short as next week or may still be a couple of years down the line. The average house in the UK is 'For Sale' for seven weeks before it receives an offer (The Advisory), so you can expect a property with nuisance neighbours to take at least that to sell, probably far longer.

  • Drop the price - This is a tactic we'd avoid using straight away, although it can help maintain good interest in your property. As we all know, a low priced house is usually a magnet for all sorts of investors. In this case we've say buy-to-let in particular, as they're not going to be the ones living there. So, anything like a neighbour dispute isn't really that much of an issue for them, providing they can get it tenanted of course. However, it's worth remembering that lowering the price does draw attention to the fact there's a form of dispute going on.

  • Take court action: If your house has been on the market for a good chunk of time and you've got strong evidence to suggest that your nuisance neighbours are the cause of it not selling, then court action may be a viable route for you. Just bear in mind that this route does come at a cost. If that cost is greater than what you'd be losing on your house, you may be best just recouping your losses and moving on.

The secret to selling your house with noisy neighbours FAST

It's worth remembering that despite selling a property with nuisance neighbours, you're not bound into selling your house using just one strategy. You've actually got access to several...

  • Stay on the open market - The most obvious of the lot would be to stay on the open market and hope for the best. Not exactly what you'd call a strategy, but nevertheless still an option should you wish to give it some more time. However, sticking to this route means you'll have no guarantee of how long your property will take to sell. Neither will you be able to gauge what price you'll achieve. Remember your asking price is called your 'asking' price for a good reason. Plus, if you do finally sell you'll have an agent's fee to foot as well as all your legal expenses.

  • Go to auction - For problem property like ones with nuisance neighbours, the auction house tends to be a popular place, and you can see why. Buyers bid at their own risk and there's also a chance your property could go for more than you expected. Although that's just a chance - there's a chance that could happen with an agent too, but it rarely does. Hence why many in the industry liken going to auction as taking a gamble, as there's also an equal chance your property won't sell too. It also pays to remember that just like agents, auctions aren't fee-free. You have a marketing fee, listing fee as well as commission to pay if your property does sell. All costs well worth bearing in mind.

  • An alternative route - If you find yourself sandwiched in a neighbour dispute then there is a way out. A way that's fast, reliable and fee-free too. In fact it's been in front of your face this entire time.

Being one of the UK's leading cash buyers of property means that we can free your from your neighbour dispute in just 7-days! That's right, within a week you could be selling your house quickly and leaving it all behind!

Our team boast well over 50 years of experience purchasing property and are equipped with all the skills necessary to get you out of a neighbour dispute FAST. Plus, as a special thank you for choosing The Property Buying Company, we'll cover all your legal fees and the cost of your surveys too. Ask nicely and we may even help you negotiate on your onward purchase... just one of the perks of choosing us.

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