Do you have to disclose a neighbour dispute when you sell your home? If you have had a difficult relationship with your neighbour, you may be required to disclose this to your buyers when you sell your home.
As part of the sale process, you will be required to answer enquiries raised by your buyer’s advocate. If they ask about the neighbours, you will need to answer honestly or your buyers could bring a legal claim against you if they rely on your answers to their detriment.
Do you have to disclose a neighbour dispute when you sell your home?
Replying to the buyer’s enquiries
During the sale process, you are likely to be asked to disclose information about any existing disputes with your neighbours as well as anything which could cause difficulties in the future.
Common neighbour disagreements are over issues such as noise, maintenance of boundary structures, party walls, shared areas and disputes over ownership of strips of land adjoining a property.
Disclosing information about a neighbour dispute
Where a dispute is relatively minor, such as low noise issues, or it has been resolved between you and your neighbour, you are not likely to be required to disclose this.
However, where a dispute is ongoing, your buyers will want to know the details. Issues such as ownership of land or fences or maintenance disputes can cause bitter disagreements over time and difficult neighbours could potentially reduce the value of a property. For this reason, you are required to disclose details of the dispute.
If you have made a complaint to the Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture or you have had occasion to call the police, you will also have to disclose this to your buyers.
Resolving a neighbour dispute
It will help if you are able to let your buyers know that the dispute has been settled. Even if you have to disclose that there have been issues, it will be reassuring to the buyers to know that they have been dealt with.
Discussing matters with your neighbour may be enough for you to find a resolution. Alternatively, a letter from a property advocate may prompt your neighbour to negotiate with you.
If you are going through difficulties with your neighbour, our expert property team can advise you of your options. We can also help you set out the details of the dispute for your buyer if you are thinking of selling your property.
For more information, see our article Dealing with a property or boundary dispute.
If you have bought a property and you were not told about problem neighbours
If you have moved into a new property to discover that your neighbours were in dispute with the former owners and you were not told about the difficulties, you may be able to bring a claim against your seller.
You would need to show that the information you were provided with was not accurate, which could be done by finding witnesses to confirm that a dispute existed.
We can advise you of your options and negotiate with your sellers to try and reach a settlement. It is recommended that you speak to a legal expert as bringing a claim is not easy and it is generally preferable to try and resolve issues without the need for a court hearing.
Contact our Isle of Man conveyancing team
If you have problem neighbours and you would like to discuss selling your home or you believe your sellers have not told you about an issue that existed before you purchased a property, please feel free to call us. At Quinn Legal, our property team has extensive experience in dealing with disputes across the Isle of Man and we will be happy to help.