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Can bad neighbours bring down the price of your house?

If you have ever lived next to people who make a constant racket or whose front garden resembles the local rubbish tip, then you know how stressful it can be living with bad neighbours. But more than just being a pain when you want to get to sleep, or bringing down the look of the street with an untidy frontage, they could actually be costing you money.

According to a study from GoCompare, around 28% of people have fallen out with a neighbour. Now that could just be a disagreement over a parking space or a barking dog causing a fuss, but sometimes the matter gets far more serious. And would-be buyers are becoming more and more adept at spotting the tell-tale signs of bad neighbours. Unkempt front gardens, uncut hedges, loud music emanating from open windows – all of these things help to bring down the value of your house.

In fact, it is loud music that is the biggest gripe, with around 40% claiming this is the reason for a major fall out with the neighbours. So it can be a big warning sign to potential buyers. Slamming doors, barking pets and rubbish left in the garden are also big reasons. Overgrown trees and hedges, parking spaces and boundary disputes are also big reasons for issues.

Almost half of would be buyers would be put off by rubbish in the front garden and a dilapidated state of the property next door would be enough to turn off a further 38%.

However, neighbours are not always bad news, with around half saying they look after neighbour’s property when they are away and 42% having borrowed items.

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. If you have an issue with a neighbour, the first thing you should do is to have a friendly chat with them, as they may be completely unaware of any upset they may be causing.’

Adding : ‘What’s also worth noting, 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 honesty is the best policy.’

So it really is always worth trying to get on with your neighbours.

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