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Neighbourly disputes when selling: your questions answered

29 days ago
Neighbourly disputes when selling: your questions answered

When filling in the Property Information Form (TA6), sellers need to be open and honest about a number of aspects. One of those is neighbourly disputes and things that may prove to be contentious in the future. This can be a grey area, so we’ve provided the answers to the most commonly asked neighbourly dispute questions.   

Q. I don’t talk to my neighbours, is that an issue?

A. Not all neighbours are best friends and that’s OK. If you don’t talk to your neighbours, you won’t need to disclose this when selling. Also not of concern is a rare exchange of words regarding one-off matters, such as bad parking or a bonfire. As long as the issue was amicably resolved and was not a recurring event, there’s no need to disclose this on a TA6 form.  

Q. I’ve argued with my neighbour about shared access, is that a dispute?

A. Disputes are not just heated arguments about anti-social behaviour and dubious activities. Legal and logistical issues can cause long-running fall outs and will need detailing on a TA6 form. Neighbours can fight over shared access and shared maintenance, boundaries, rights of way and The Rights of Light Act 1959, in relation to overgrown trees and structures that obscure.  

Q. I’ve called the police about my neighbours, do I need to disclose this?

A. If any matter has been deemed serious enough to call the police – such as violence, verbal abuse, intimidation and criminal offences – it certainly needs disclosing on the TA6 form.  

Q. I’ve made an official complaint to the local authority, do I need to disclose this?

A. If your neighbour’s loud parties, dogs barking, excess artificial light, smoke, fumes or gases, high hedges and trees, or a build-up of rubbish that could harm health have led to you complaining to the local authority, this must be included on the TA6 form.   

Q. I’ve sought legal advice about a nuisance neighbour, should I disclose this?

A. Yes, any written complaint and solicitor’s intervention should be disclosed.  

Q. My complaint has resulted in a ‘noise abatement’ order, should I reveal this?

A. If the noise abatement order was a result of a complaint you made, then yes, this needs to be included on the TA6 form. You should also detail if you know your neighbour has an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO).  

Q. Will a neighbourly dispute devalue my property?

A. It’s worth remembering that your grievances may not be carried on by a new owner but it very much depends on the nature of the falling out as to whether it will impact your home’s value. We can provide you with a valuation taking into account any resolved or unresolved issues.  

Q. Should I try and resolve a neighbourly dispute before I sell?

A. A resolution will put you in the best possible position heading into a sale. You can contact Citizens Advice for guidance on approaching a neighbour, or you can call the Civil Mediation Council if you live in England and Wales, or the Scottish Mediation Network if you live in Scotland. An alternative is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ specialist neighbour dispute resolution service. As a last resort, you could seek closure via the legal courts. Whatever resolution method you try, obtain written evidence of a successful outcome.   

Q. What happens if I lie about my neighbour?

A. Agents and solicitors encourage sellers to be truthful when filling out a TA6 form. If the new owner moves in and discovers they are living next to neighbours from hell, and are confident the seller withheld this information, they have a right to take action. They could seek damages through the courts and on rare occasions, they may have the right to give the property back to the seller and receive a full refund for the purchase. This is known as ‘rescission’.    

We are available to talk through your personal situation in light of plans to sell your property. Get in touch and we can share our home moving advice.

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