We all need good neighbours, but not all tenants and homeowners are fortunate enough to hit it off with those that live next door. When events turn sour, life becomes stressful and property prices can even tumble. According to a new study commissioned by financial services comparison website, GoCompare, nuisance neighbours are not merely a burden to live next door to, they can also seriously affect the letting or sale of a property. Potential tenants and buyers are increasingly looking for tell-tale clues of potentially difficult neighbours.

The research has discovered that around 28 per cent of those questioned have quarrelled with a neighbour, with six per cent experiencing such bad relationships with their neighbours that the situation intensified into a legal dispute. The most frequent disputes included excessive noise, problems with rubbish and pets.

The study also discovered that approximately 48 per cent of potential property buyers would be discouraged from purchasing if the garden area of a next door property was cluttered with rubbish. 43 per cent of potential buyers also claimed they would not purchase a property if a house next door was in a neglected or dilapidated state. Over one third of potential buyers, at 37 per cent, claimed that they would not purchase a property which was neighbouring a student let.

Insect and rodent infestations from neighbouring homes, damage to personal property and boundary quarrels were among the ten most frequent disputes among neighbours. On a positive note, however, the survey highlighted that most neighbours are amenable and get along well, with many questioned in the survey claiming to help their neighbours in times of need. Around half of those questioned stated that they would consider their neighbour as a friend, with 51 per cent claiming to have lent items to their neighbour. 42 per cent also confessed to borrowing items from their neighbours. More than half of those surveyed (51 per cent) claimed that they would take care of a neighbour’s property when they are away, as well as water their plants and feed their pets if asked.

The Home Insurance spokesperson for GoCompare, Ben Wilson, explained that the research highlighted that the majority of UK residents got along with their neighbours. He also confirmed that not all residents are straightforward to live next to, and there are common disputes among neighbours up and down the country. For those selling property, it is a legal requirement to disclose any information concerning disputes that have occurred with their neighbours within the ‘Seller’s Property Information Form’ which is provided by the solicitor.

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