If you are looking to buy a home to then let it out to tenants, or if you have decided to invest in a holiday home that you’ll be renting out for parts or all of the year, then the local area and the people who live next door to your home are likely to be key factors in your decision-making.
Which means new research from regulated property buyers Good Move might be a tad worrying. The firm has revealed exactly how UK homeowners feels about their neighbours as well as where in the UK has the most badly behaved folk next door.
While no homeowner or tenant expects to have the perfect neighbours, there are likely to be things that really grind the gears. The survey found that a whopping 68% of Brits said they have had issues with their neighbours in the past. In fact, some 10% said issues have got so bad they’ve reported them to the council, with 5% admitting to calling the police on them, and another 5% having to move home completely.
But what are exactly are the things that neighbours do which makes them so troublesome? The top five pet peeves, according to the findings, were:
Being extremely loud (64%)
Being overly nosy (53%)
Parking/blocking your drive (52%)
Having a questionable lifestyle (e.g., running illegal businesses from home) (49%)
Having lots of parties/guests over (41%) and having loud/annoying children (41%)
The most common response to such negative behaviour, in typical British fashion, is complaining about them to others (30%) or simply ignoring the problem (25%).
Where are bad neighbours most common?
In terms of the places with the worst neighbours, Good Move’s research outlined the cities where you’re most likely to encounter a bad experience with those living next door, based on respondents who said they have had neighbours with negative behaviour. They are as follows:
Cardiff and London (75%)
Nottingham and Sheffield (67%)
Despite the above, it’s not all bad, with 45% saying their neighbours help them by taking in deliveries and watering plants when they're away, while 17% claim they're very close to their neighbours and hang out with them all the time. Meanwhile, almost one in five (19%) have even given their neighbours a key to their home - a major sign of trust.
Chris Salmon, operations director of conveyancing specialists Quittance Legal Services, offers the following advice to anyone dealing with nightmare neighbours: “If you are a home owner, it is in your best interest to avoid taking legal action (or having legal action taken against you) with a neighbour. When putting a property on the market, you have to declare all historic or ongoing legal disputes with neighbours on a TA6 Form.”
“Having such a record may make your property harder to sell - this is particularly true if the issue is one that is likely to arise again. If you choose to withhold such information when selling, and the buyer find out after the purchase, they can take legal action against you.”
Nima Ghasri, director at GoodMove, said of the research: “By no means does any homeowner expect or need to have the best relationship with their neighbour. However, unfortunately there are instances where you may experience particularly bad behaviour, so we thought it would be interesting to see just exactly what really gets on homeowners’ nerves can influence these relationships.”
“If you do find yourself in such a situation, I’d advise trying to calmly discuss the problem with your neighbour in the first instance. If your neighbour is a tenant, then you could also contact their landlord and explain your concerns. Should the issues become more serious, I’d recommend making a formal complaint to your local council.”
You can find out more about the research and how to deal with nightmare neighbours here.