Noisy neighbours: should I complain?
Property lawyer Sarah Easton give us her advice on how official complaints will affect the sale of your home
Q Ive been having problems with my neighbours, which have recently escalated and Im now planning to move. They play music very loudly and when Ive been round to ask them to turn it down they do, but then turn it up again. I want to complain to the council but would I have to declare this as a dispute on a form when I come to sell? Im worried about putting o potential buyers.
Sarah Easton says:
Theres a common law principle of caveat emptor or let the buyer beware, which means that the responsibility is on the buyer to find out everything he or she wants or needs to know about the property before buying it. However, there are exceptions to this where, for example, the seller is aware of a defect thats not able to be remedied in the title to the property, which is hidden or not obvious and therefore the buyer wouldnt be able to find out about it. Caveat emptor also has no place where the buyer has been induced to enter the contract by fraud. The contract for sale may be drafted in such a way as to make the seller guilty of fraud if he or she fails to provide any relevant information. Youll be asked to provide replies to a Property Information Form, which includes questions about disputes or complaints regarding your property or a property nearby. The form also asks sellers to confirm whether theyre aware of anything that might lead to a dispute and also whether any notices or correspondence have been sent to or received from a neighbour, council or government department. In replying to those enquiries your responses must be true and accurate; if the buyer subsequently suffers loss as a result of relying on an inaccurate or incorrect response, he or she may be able to claim against you for any loss. If you state youre not aware of something that statement will be taken as confirmation that you have made all reasonable enquiries.
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