Over half of Londoners have bad neighbours and they can seriously devalue your home, according to a survey of 92 per cent of UK estate agents. In fact, bad neighbours can cost more than broken or boarded up windows.
Take heart if you have good neighbours – the experts questioned by Privilege Home Insurance suggested that a good neighbour can have a positive effect on property value, enhancing its value by 9.4 per cent and adding £19,856 to the average property in the UK. Astonishingly, the difference between having good and bad neighbours is worth £37,000 to the average UK householder or, in London, just over £83,000.
The research reveals the top ten list of problems that can devalue the average home. While you might think these are things under your control, the value of your home is affected by your neighbours having these problems, too:
|Maintenance Issue||% Effect||£ Effect|
|Broken or boarded up windows||10.7%||-£22,602|
|Unsightly or imposing extensions and DIY||7.0%||-£14,786|
|Rubbish or junk in the driveway/front garden||6.1%||-£12,885|
|Run down vehicles in the front drive||5.4%||-£11,406|
|Garish/unsightly coloured external buildings/fixtures||4.8%||-£10,139|
|Rotting or chipped window or door frames||4.2%||-£8,872|
|Dirty brickwork or property frontage||3.5%||-£7,393|
It seems that the worst neighbours in the UK are London families with unemployed parents in their 40s, who own a dog and drive a Volkswagen. The best neighbours are 60‑plus Plymouth residents, who drive a Nissan, don’t own a pet and are single.
|Bad Neighbourly Behaviour||Percentage|
|They have an untidy/overgrown garden||17.3%|
|They have a loud dog||15.4%|
|They park across my drive||15.2%|
|They keep me awake at night||15.1%|
|They have loud arguments||14.1%|
|They hold loud parties||13.7%|
|They do DIY or housework at anti-social hours||13.6%|
According to the survey, 31 per cent of people with bad neighbours also experienced sleeplessness, with a loss of an average of two and a quarter hours’ sleep each night.
Eighteen per cent of Londoners with bad neighbours are most likely to want to move, followed by 16 per cent of those in the West Midlands and 14 per cent of those in Yorkshire and Humber.
Privilege’s Dan Simson said: “Our increasingly hectic lives can mean that household maintenance falls to the bottom of the priorities list – especially for busy families. Yet this study shows that a poorly kept home can affect not just the value of your own property, but the value of those around you too.
“Sometimes fixing something like a broken window can seem like a burden both on time and finances, but it can also have a negative impact on the area as a whole. Most home insurance policies cover you for accidental damage, so people should check their documents – it might be an easier job than they think.”
|Bad Neighbours by City||% with bad neighbours|
|London, Newcastle, Birmingham||50-54%|
|Cardiff, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Edinburgh||45-49%|
|Nottingham, Leeds, Brighton, Bristol||30-34%|
UK estate agents have estimated that next door’s overgrown front gardens, poor maintenance and items left on the lawn can devalue the average property by 8.2 per cent, or £17,321. Also featuring as potential hindrances were garish or unsightly coloured external buildings and fixtures (such as stone cladding or faux tudor-style beams) and unattractive curtains, garden gnomes or water features. If your buyer can see any of these next door, your home could be affected by an average -4.8 per cent.