Neighbours: Good, Bad and Your House

Posted on November 5, 2021 Categories: Buying a House, Moving Home Tags: , , , , ,

There are lots of things to be curious about when you’re looking around a potential new home. However, one thing you are probably certain about is where you want your new house to be. Maybe you want it to be in a family area, with a school close by that has a strong Ofsted report, or perhaps you want to live around other adults only, or maybe somewhere else. Wherever you decide, it’s worth looking into the kinds of neighbours you could have before you move into a particular house. Here are some tips for trying to find out about your neighbours as you prepare to move:

Know Where You Want to Live

You may know where you want to live in terms of a specific town or city, but it’s worth getting to know certain areas within your desired region first. For example, if you are looking to buy a home with a partner and children, you might be pleased to find villages or estates within the location where there are large, spacious properties. However, if they are located near to a university where the night life is prominent, it is unlikely you would want to be neighbours with loud students. Write down exactly what it is that you want from your local area in order to feel settled and comfortable there as easily as you can. Does noise matter to you? Would the cleanliness of the streets impact you? Does it matter to you that the community is a close-knit one? Bear these things in mind as you go to look at properties. Your estate agent should be happy to answer these questions if you ask them, but don’t forget that some of these things will have to be decided by you alone, as only you will know how you’ll feel living in certain kinds of environments.

Day and Night

If possible, drive through potential living areas in during both day and night. You may get to see two different sides to a property this way, having it be busy for one and quiet during the other. However, you might also find that the building and its area present themselves consistently, whatever time it is. Whether you’re looking for a quiet area or the rush of a busy one, this is a good test for you to try out with the properties you look at.

People Watching

If you are feeling brave, you could go and face your potential neighbours straight on by knocking on their front door and asking for a quick chat if they’re in, to get a sense of who they are and to see if they can answer questions about the neighbourhood. However, this could quite intimidating, so there are other ways you can get to know some of the locals. See if you can locate a local shop, park or café to sit in for a while, and people watch. Not only will you get the idea of the kind of people you’ll be living amongst, this is also a great way to explore the area a little bit. While new neighbours might be a bit intimidating, friendly café or shop staff behind a counter will be happy to have a quick chat and could even answer some of your questions about the local area while they serve you.

SPIF Form

If you have found a property that you really like the look of and want to purchase, make sure that you request to your solicitor that you read the Sellers Property Information Form (SPIF) before you go ahead with buying the property, which your solicitor will receive when you are in the buying process. A SPIF form (coded TA6) is a Law Society Transaction form that the seller of the property you’re interested in needs to fill out, so that the potential buyer can learn about the property and all its flaws to help you make a thoughtful decision. In this form, there is a section called ‘Disputes’ in which the former owner is required to honestly record any knowledge of previous conflicts with neighbours. These conflicts may be relevant for the buyer to know and could be an important part of deciding whether they should go through with the purchase of the property. However, it is worth noting that the issues the current homeowner may have with your potential neighbours may be exclusively between them and might not also impact you if you chose to take on that property.

Neighbour Vs Neighbour

Unfortunately, not everyone gets along with each other. Although you may follow the above tips to help you, you don’t really know who you’re living with until you are next to them all the time. If they are bothering you with noise, mess, or nasty behaviour, you can choose to approach them or put a letter through their post box, gently confrontingdiscussing their behaviour. From this, you can invite them to have a friendly discussion with you and hopefully you will be able to come to a happier solution. If your neighbour continues with their poor behaviour, however, start keeping an accurate log of their negative activity, writing down what they’ve done and when they did it. After keeping this for a least two weeks, and if the behaviour persists during that time, you can go on your local council’s website and find out how to report it based on if your neighbour lives in a privately or council-owned property.

Conclusion

The property you live in may be your home, but that feeling should also extend beyond the walls around you. You want home to be where you feel part of a community, where you can get to know people who you respect and understand, maybe even befriending them in time. With these tips to go by, hopefully you will find a good home with the right neighbours for you.

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