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  1. Blog
  2. Selling a house with noisy neighbours
Advice about properties
13 December 2021

Selling a house with noisy neighbours

GetAgent Team

Table of contents

  1. 1. Do I have to disclose noisy neighbours when selling a house?
  2. 2. What happens if I don't declare noisy neighbours?
  3. 3. What is classed as unreasonable noise from neighbours?
  4. 4. How to sell a house with noisy neighbours
  5. 5. Stay on the open market and stick it out
  6. 6. Drop the price
  7. 7. Go to auction
  8. 8. Try a cash buying service
  9. 9. What do I do if I've bought a house with noisy neighbours?
  10. 10. Take legal action as a breach of contract by the seller
  11. 11. Make a complaint to the Environmental Health Department
  12. 12. Contact their landlord (if they are renting)

Thanks to the COVID pandemic, noisy neighbours have been noticed more and more often. After lockdown committed everyone to their homes, being inside for months on end was a sure-fire way to realise just how thin your walls were, so it's no surprise that noise complaints to councils have risen over the last eighteen months.

Issues with noisy neighbours are generally out of your control, and it can be a nuisance when trying to sell your home. Even if your forward purchase is all organised, if you cannot sell your property because of the noise next door, the chain could be null and void. So what can you do about it?

This article will cover what you need to know about selling a house with noisy neighbours, your disclosure responsibilities, and what constitutes 'noisy' in the eyes of the law.

Do I have to disclose noisy neighbours when selling a house?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. It is a legal requirement for you to disclose details of noisy neighbours or any other disputes you've had with next door when selling a house.

To disclose noisy neighbours, you'll fill out the information on the property information form (the TA6) when you begin the conveyancing process.

What happens if I don't declare noisy neighbours?

If you do not declare any issues with the neighbours in your conveyancing forms, then you could find yourself facing legal action further down the line.

For example, if you don't mention that your neighbours are noisy into the small hours of the night, and you sell the home, the new property owner could claim you misrepresented the property when they purchased it.

They would have a valid claim that you mis-sold the property because if they had known about the noise or existing disputes, then they may not have put on as big an offer or put an offer on the house at all.

If an investigation ensues and it becomes clear you knew about the noise disturbances, then you may have to pay the new owner a form of compensation. For example, you could end up owing them money to make up for the property's drop in value or make up any other losses they've incurred because of the neighbours (including physical damage, criminal proceedings or even abuse).

What is classed as unreasonable noise from neighbours?

Noise that would constitute a valid claim and is considered unreasonable would be:

  • Loud noise after 11pm and before 7am
  • Loud music and other household noise at an inappropriate volume at any time

The Environmental Health Department will also consider any noise that falls into one of the following categories a nuisance too and will be able to investigate if the disturbance:

  • Unreasonably and substantially interferes with the use or enjoyment of a home or other premises
  • Injures health or is likely to damage health

Noise such as dogs barking, footsteps or kids playing will not be considered unreasonable. The neighbours are allowed to go about their daily lives without having to ‘keep it down’. You may be able to hear them clearly through the walls due to poor insulation, for example, and not because they are creating noise at an 'unreasonable' volume.

How to sell a house with noisy neighbours

First of all, don't lie on your conveyancing forms; this could always come back to bite you later. Then, try the following tips when selling a house with noisy neighbours:

Stay on the open market and stick it out

Try for as long as you can to sell the property, and you might find perseverance pays off.

Drop the price

Don't use this as your first option, as you want to get as much as possible for the house. But dropping the price could help encourage interest in the property and find a buyer where the noise is not an issue. Also, if the noise affects your viewings, then a price drop might make viewers accept a compromise if they are getting a bargain.

Go to auction

This is a popular method for houses with noisy neighbours as auction bidders know they are buying blind. There is a chance you'll also get a fair price for the home at an auction.

Try a cash buying service

There are businesses out there that will buy property for cash, and fast, meaning you would no longer have to deal with your nuisance neighbours while you stayed on the market.

What do I do if I've bought a house with noisy neighbours?

If you've just bought a house and have run into some problems with the people next door, check the Sellers Property Information form first. The seller should have disclosed any noise disturbances they knew about in this document.

If you think they have failed to disclose a common noise issue that they would have been aware of (such as weekly parties or music every evening), then you could take legal action as a breach of contract by the seller.

Make a complaint to the Environmental Health Department

You could also consider making a complaint to the Environmental Health Department who investigate noise complaints. If they feel that your complaint is valid after investigating, they could issue your neighbours a warning notice and potential penalty fines for failing to comply with the warning.

Contact their landlord (if they are renting)

Also, try to find out whether the neighbours are tenants or owners. If they are tenants, they may be in breach of the terms of their tenancy agreement, and you could contact their landlord to see if they could take any action.

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