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Sellers Risk Fall-Throughs by failing to disclose neighbour rows

Almost one in five vendors admit to having failed to disclose disputes with neighbours to prospective buyers when selling their home, according to new research.

The same survey shows that over a third (38 per cent) of buyers frequently pull out of the purchase if a neighbourly dispute is disclosed on the Property Information Form TA6. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of buyers pull out immediately. A further 20 per cent will try to renegotiate the price of the property, while 21 per cent will put the sale on hold to investigate the situation.

One in five (21 per cent) sellers have avoided making an official complaint to the local authority or the police about a neighbour for fear of having to disclose it when selling. This comes despite sellers often having issues with their neighbours, over noise (36 per cent), rubbish (27 per cent), building works (27 per cent) and access (22 per cent).


The survey has been conducted by Direct Line Insurance.

Those selling a property are legally required to disclose any issues regarding the property on a TA6 Property Information Form, to give the prospective buyer detailed information about any underlying issues relating to the building. 

As readers will know, any disputes related to neighbours, boundaries, environmental problems, alterations, or issues with the property need to be flagged on the form. Failure to disclose issues or problems could result in legal action being taken against the seller for mis-selling the property.

The research shows that the older the seller, the more likely they are to be transparent, with only five per cent of sellers aged over 55 admitting to having omitted disputes from the TA6 disclosure form and over four fifths (83 per cent) claiming to have always told the truth. 

On the other hand, over a third (38 per cent) of those aged 25 - 34 admit to having not disclosed a dispute on their TA6 form when selling a property. If people do not declare a dispute, a seller leaves themselves open to legal action from the buyer, suggesting young people are potentially putting themselves at more risk than their older counterparts.

Dan Simson, Head of Direct Line Home Insurance, says: “Buyers should consider taking a closer look at the neighbouring properties to check for potential signs of problems, such as piled up rubbish in the front or back garden or incomplete building projects. If possible, speak to other residents on the street to get a feel for the area and any problems. It’s also important that you have a good conveyancer and to make sure that you read all the paperwork, especially the TA6 form. Lastly, don’t forget that once you exchange on a new property, the building will need to have insurance in place.”

A regional divide also appeared in the data, with those selling in London most likely to admit to having been dishonest on their TA6 forms, with 40 per cent of those who have sold a house in the capital admitting to having not disclosed a dispute or complaint. By contrast, in the North East 82 per cent of home sellers say that they have always disclosed disputes.


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