Before moving out of your old home to your dream house, it’s important to make sure that due diligence has been taken in respect of your neighbours. If you are looking to buy a home to then let it out to tenants, or if you have decided to invest in a holiday home that you’ll be renting out for parts or all of the year, then the local area and the people who live next door to your home are likely to be key factors in your decision-making. Who will you be sharing your street with? How many other homes are owned by people from the same country? If you are renting out your property to tenants, what is their chance of staying safe and sound, rather than making you feel like your holiday home is anything but? You may have known exactly which area you wanted to live in, but what if the people who live next door are noisy or antisocial and make it difficult for you to reach the standards you expect? Not only will this affect the group of tenants and potential tenants who come to view your property, but it could also be detrimental to future rental income.

When it comes to home life, the neighbours can make or break it.

No one wants a house full of boisterous teens next door, or the constant sound of a dog barking from across the road. But what if you’re living next to someone who’s constantly playing loud music late at night, or has a habit of leaving their rubbish out on the street? Worse still, what if they’re always making your life difficult? experts including estate agents in Brighton say the most common issue was noise levels, with 40% saying they have had issues with this in the past. That’s followed by parking at 27%, leaving rubbish around at 25% and pets playing up at 23%.

In which areas is it common?

While it will come as no surprise that young people are more likely to have issues with their neighbours, it might be a little surprising to learn where these issues are most prevalent. In fact, it’s Londoners who are most likely to report an issue with their neighbours (13%), followed by those in Northern Ireland (11%). It’s then Yorkshire and Humberside (10%) and Scotland (9%) who complete the top four.

Which all begs the question… are you sure you know who lives next door?

The research found that a quarter of people don’t even know their neighbours’ names, with a further quarter admitting to not knowing their neighbours at all. And it gets worse as only one in five have ever spoken to their neighbours and just 11% have got to know them well. In fact, it seems that while we might not like our neighbours, we still are keen on having some privacy from them – with almost half (47%) saying they prefer to live in an area where everyone keeps themselves to themselves.

Some of the most annoying behaviours that might cause a homeowner to seriously consider moving house include:

-Not picking up after their dogs

-Treating the communal hallways as storage space

-Making too much noise

-Allowing their children to play in the street

-Having too many visitors over

-Blocking the communal bins

-Having unruly pets

Criminal records/Anti-Social behaviour

This is a really interesting question. If you consider that a neighbour could have a criminal record that affects the value of your property, the answer is yes. In fact, there are many things that neighbours do that can affect the value of your property. This includes:

running an unauthorised business out of their home;

noise pollution – loud music or parties;

committing violent crimes; having run-ins with the police;

illegal dumping on their property;

having broken car parts or old furniture lying around in their yard; and

being a bad neighbour, for example by regularly swearing at people or creating a general nuisance in the neighbourhood.

What should you do about bad neighbours?

Living in close proximity to your neighbours can mean that you are sometimes faced with tricky situations, such as noise levels. In the UK, there is no set definition of what constitutes a nuisance from a noise perspective, but any use of property that interferes with the enjoyment of another’s property is likely to be considered a nuisance.

The law protects you by imposing controls on what can and cannot be done in certain circumstances. You can calmly discuss the problem with your neighbour and if your neighbour is a tenant, then you also have the option to contact their landlord and explain your concerns. Should the issues become more serious, you should file a formal complaint to your local council.