If a Conveyancing client has had differences of opinion with the owner of a nearby house, one question which frequently arises is "Should a buyer be informed of the dispute?"
It is standard practice for Conveyancing Solicitors to ask sellers to complete an information form, which is then sent to the Conveyancers acting for a buyer. Although the forms' wording may vary, they will generally contain a series of questions requesting owners to give information which may indicate any neighbourly problems.
The TA6 form, which is published by the Law Society and is widely used by Conveyancing Solicitors, includes enquiries about the home being sold or any property nearby:
- whether there have been any disputes or complaints
- whether the seller knows of anything which might lead to a dispute
- whether any notices or correspondence has been sent or received to or from a neighbour, council or government department, or any negotiations or discussions have taken place
Sellers will be anxious to avoid giving information which might put a buyer off. Nevertheless, some things must be mentioned, particularly when they relate to the house and grounds, or any rights enjoyed within the property.
Should I tell the property buyer about noise?
Noise can be a major cause of complaint, even that arising from children playing. This week a family was threatened with a £5000 fine as a result of their 4-year old child playing too noisily!
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many consider the inhabitants of adjoining properties to be nosey and interfering, but the question addressed to Conveyancing Solicitors will often be:
"What do I really need to include on the questionnaire?" and,
"What are the consequences of omitting information?"
The enquiries are wide-ranging, but it is often argued that they refer to matters affecting the property rather than the use and enjoyment of it.
Perhaps that is a 'lawyers' argument, but to some extent it can be argued that noise from neighbours, or someone who checks what everyone else in the road is up to, does not affect a building.
After all, if one has children oneself, then perhaps the noisy kids next door will not give rise to complaint, whereas an elderly couple might have another opinion.
As a seller, you should inform your Conveyancing Solicitor of any issues which you believe may be of relevance - they can then confirm what should be included on the relevant forms and questionnaires.
I've been misled about noise levels; what can I do?
If you are a potential purchaser, or indeed have just bought a residence, and believe noise nearby may be a cause for complaint, you should also speak to a Solicitor immediately. Your lawyer will advise you of your rights in regard to the situation, and of the potential remedies you may be able to seek.
In either case, don't delay. For information, call our team on 0330 660 0286 and speak to a Conveyancing Solicitor today.