How do I tell my neighbours to smarten up their house so we can sell ours?

(36 Posts)
cupcake78 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:31:20

That's it really. Feedback from estate agents is their house is putting off people.

We aren't best of friends and say hello but that's it. We are very different people with different priorities. How their house looks is not high on their agenda.

So how do you tell your neighbours their scruffy bastards?!

LifeofPo Thu 18-Apr-13 12:32:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

What do they need to do to it?

If you don't really even talk not sure how you would approach it.

YoniLovesChachi Thu 18-Apr-13 12:33:54

Offer to help them out? Tell them what's come back from the EA and tell them you'd like to help them with gardening etc if they'd like yout o.

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 18-Apr-13 12:34:41

I don't think you can say anything really - I mean if they wanted to tidy it up they would do.

What exactly is wrong with it - if its just a question of the grass needs cutting I'd perhaps offer to do it for them next time you're cutting your own.

cupcake78 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:35:13

We really can't do it for them. We've already put up a large fence which was their responsibility after 2 years of offering to help and go halves. It cost is 700quid! We never even got a thank you.

Second baby due in 9 wks, we don't have the money and I don't have the energy to start painting their pit!

AnneEyhtMeyer Thu 18-Apr-13 12:36:16

When we were selling DH's old house there was an elderly lady living next door who did nothing to her garden. It looked a mess and was putting people off, so we just tidied it all up ourselves and then kept the lawn mowed. She didn't say a word!

cupcake78 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:39:15

It needs the metal fence painting but its so rusty it needs treating to do it properly. The windows and doors need stripping and reprinting and cleaning. The curtains need hanging up properly and the rubbish in the driveway needs taking to the tip but really needs a van to do it.

They have the money for all the kids to have iPhones, for them to smoke and drink. They work part time so its not like time is an issue and they are capable they just don't do it!

YoniLovesChachi Thu 18-Apr-13 12:40:08

Nobody would expect you to pay for anything, but I think an offer of practical help could go a long way into shaming them into cleaning their act up. Lifting and shifting rubbish, gardening etc.

Have you a partner or other family who could put in a few hours over the next couple of months before the baby arrives?

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 18-Apr-13 12:43:21

You really don't have a chance of them doing all of that, on their own, for nothing.

I know that sounds terrible, but if they had the desire or ability to do it, they would have done. So either they don't think it needs to be done, they can't do it or they can't afford it, and you needing to sell your house won't change those.

From what you've said, it sounds like they just don't prioritise it, so unless you offer to do it yourself, I think you'll just have to wait until someone is willing to ignore the house next door looking run-down.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 18-Apr-13 12:44:26

I don't think you can tbh. At least not without insulting them.

Or you would have to word it very carefully so as not to cause offence, else you might find the rubbish being tipped over the scruffy fence into your own garden overnight grin

specialsubject Thu 18-Apr-13 12:57:04

the only one that is really your business is the rubbish in the garden, which is a health hazard.

speak to the council to see if there is a way of getting the neighbours to clear it or get it cleared, without getting bricks through your windows.

Alwayscheerful Thu 18-Apr-13 12:57:09

The rubbish will be the most off putting to viewers, it is amazing what you can get in the back of a hatchback or trailer, say you are going to the tip and would they like to to take theirs, if you only have a saloon, pay a man and a van to take it, say you dont have a full load. A scruffy house next door can reduce the value of yours by 10-15% whilst it is a pain you will benefit in the long run for a small outlay.

See how you go with the rubbish and then hammerite their fence, it can be applied to rust, if you use black, you will not need to "do a proper job" as long as it improves the general look, have you got a teenage nephew who would like to earn some spending money?

cupcake78 Thu 18-Apr-13 13:09:10

The fence was white so it makes it a bit harder. It actually needs replacing as the doors on it are hanging off when not propped up. Offering to tip things might work we could try that but they would have to lift it as I'm a bit immobile at the moment. Dh would refuse as he hates living next to them and finds them lazy. He wants to drop the price but that's going to affect us.

We're going to sand and paint our woodwork once the weather improves. I'd be happy to buy them the paint and brushes but I'm dammed if I'm going to do it for them when we work ft and I'm pregnant. They have two bored teenagers who could be put to work!

CajaDeLaMemoria Thu 18-Apr-13 13:17:55

I do appreciate that you don't want to do it, but if you are the one that wants it done, it looks like it'll have to be you. Or your DH.

To be honest, they sound like the type of people who wouldn't care if the house looked a complete bombsite outside, so they aren't likely to quickly tidy it up and make it look nice so that you can move away.

You could ask for a quote from a general handyman to do both fences and take all the rubbish to the tip? You might get a good rate, and you won't have to do it then, but you won't be unrealistically expecting them to do it either.

I'd be hesitant to upset them incase they start making a lot of noise during viewings, or make it worse just to irritate you.

flowery Thu 18-Apr-13 13:20:44

Your DH would rather drop the price of your house than help out your neighbours so yours sells for more? That seems a wee bit short-sighted...

MooncupGoddess Thu 18-Apr-13 13:26:10

Unfortunately they won't give a toss what price you get for your house. So you will have to make decisions based on a cold hard calculation of your own financial interests.

However, maybe worth speaking to Environmental Health about the rubbish?

Teeb Thu 18-Apr-13 15:29:39

I think the only way you will get their house looking better is if you offer to be neighborly and do the work yourselves. If they wanted it done they would have done it themselves. Why should they use their free time for you to benefit from a higher price house sale?

WTFisABooyhoo Thu 18-Apr-13 15:33:44

your dont tell them. you ask them. nicely.

noddyholder Thu 18-Apr-13 15:35:01

They have i phones? What has that got to do with it?

Is your dh really saying he'd rather give up thousands of pounds than take a few things down the tip and do a bit of painting?

I think you need to think privately that they're slobby, lazy, twats and then separately go and paint the fence and go to the tip grin

Sure they're tossers but they're tossers who you want to see your arse as you drive off in the removal van with extra cash in your back pocket...

WTFisABooyhoo Thu 18-Apr-13 15:40:06

tbh if those are going to be the permanent next door neighbours then maybe dropping the price is the right thing to do as it wont be worth as much to whoever moves in. the neighbours will just let their side go downhill again so a lower price would e a true reflection of what the new buyers would be getting. i get that you want more. who doesn't but that's the house you've got so if you want out you have to be realistic about what you'll get for it.

i'd happily let you do whatever you felt necessary to the front of my house to get your asking price. but i wouldn't be lifting a finger unless i was getting something out of it tbh.

WTFisABooyhoo Thu 18-Apr-13 15:41:22

and if you only know them to say hello then how do you know they have iphones and smoke and drink? and why is that relevant? their money is nothing to do with you.

Renniehorta Thu 18-Apr-13 15:54:11

Do your neighbours own their house? If not, you could speak to the landlord.

When you sell a house you have to declare any disputes with neighbours. If you lie you can be sued, so you don't want to antagonise them further.
What is the housing market like where you live? Are properties selling easily? I think that you are going to either drop the price or bite the bullet and offer to pay for sprucing up next door.The alternative is staying put and living long term with your neighbours. What is worse?

Alwayscheerful Thu 18-Apr-13 15:56:39

I have just noticed your neighbours have teenage boys, I think they are your answer, why not get them to load the rubbish for you and then you could drive it to the tip, treat them for their trouble. We have rental properties and if the neighbours are untidy I offer to take their rubbish for them, I weed the pavement next door and pick up the rubbish, sometimes I take all the rubbish my tennants have failed to recycle, I dont like to look at the mess when I drive past and I would rather help than look at it next door.

Also a reminder, any disputes with neighbours will be recorded at the council and have to be declared on buyers solicitors enquiry forms.

Bloodybridget Thu 18-Apr-13 16:03:23

I do sympathise. If we ever want to sell we'll be in the same situation, as on a mostly tidy street, we are next door to and opposite the three worst houses!

HalfBakedCleverCookie Thu 18-Apr-13 16:05:55

I think you or your dp are going to have to offer to do it. If your lucky you might shame them into it but otherwise, your benefiting so you might have to put the work/money in. They obviously don't mind how it looks.

Or if they dislike you as much as you dislike them, they might do it gladly to get rid of you quicker.

pinkje Thu 18-Apr-13 16:43:38

Did your neighbours live there when you bought your house? If so were they as messy then too? If that didn't put you off them maybe someone else will see past the mess too.

I agree that patronising the neighbours will only lead to them further disrupting your sale.

Good luck.

cupcake78 Thu 18-Apr-13 17:35:35

I know they drink, smoke etc as they do it in the front garden and the police have been round a few times due to domestics and drunken arguments. Not called by us we have purposefully kept our head down to avoid arguments and disagreements that would then need declaring.

Like I said they have different priorities to us. We would rather spend money on keeping our house tidy rather than leave it to rot and let neighbours pay for what is our responsibility regardless of how much or little cash we had. It doesn't mean that my way is right, just different to them and i find it frustrating to be held back.

They lived there before we moved in but the house was relatively new and was ok. We've been here for 12 years and they have done nothing to maintain the exterior of the house in that time. They do cut their lawn from time to time.

Methe Thu 18-Apr-13 17:39:05

You can't expect them to live their lives by your rules. You can ask them to tidy it up a bit, you can't tell them to.

wonderingagain Thu 18-Apr-13 17:42:27

Tell them you're moving and offer to take some of their stuff to the dump. Once it's gone they might want to tidy up.

If you're not prepared to put yourself out financially or practically, that's your choice really. The effect on your property will probably be thousands and you should tell DP that.

WTFisABooyhoo Thu 18-Apr-13 18:01:25

"and let neighbours pay for what is our responsibility "

have they asked you to tidy up their front garden?

flowery Thu 18-Apr-13 19:56:55

There really is no point either judging them or resenting the fact that they don't make the same choices you do. Fact is they don't and that's entirely up to them.

If it affects you, which it does, you need to make a decision about how to deal with it based on getting the best outcome for you and your family.

The best outcome for you is getting it sorted asap and the only way to do that is do it yourself, by offering to clear stuff to the tip for them or paint their fence or whatever.

LittleFrieda Thu 18-Apr-13 20:18:48

Hmm difficult. I would go round and explain that you are selling your house and the estate agent -- estate agents are SO fussy innit -- has asked if you could get the neighbours to clear the rubbish and spruce up the outside. I know the estate agent is probably being stupid as it's fine, but would they mnd if you carted away the rubbish and painted x y z. They will hopefully be so ashamed that they will do it or some of it, themselves.

Altenativly, you could ask Mumsnet if they will start a neighbours from hell topic and you could post up a photo of their front with the message "Oi, slackers, get it sorted."

Notyetthere Thu 18-Apr-13 23:11:46

Ditto what Little said!

I would also say something along the lines of EA suggested the mess next is cleared to attract a buyer. Could be perceived cowardly but you need to sell so a little twisted info won't do much harm.

When we were viewing I specifically looked out the upstairs windows to judge the neighbours gardens and even rejected a perfect house bse the neighbours on one side had 4 Asda trolleys randomly damped at the button of their garden.

Jan49 Fri 19-Apr-13 00:05:54

If you think just clearing the junk will make a significant difference to the look, then I think it's worth figuring out a way to get it done. Maybe get a skip, get rid of some of your stuff and ask them if they want to put theirs in it too as you've got some space. Forget about the rights and wrongs of it, you just need a way to get your house sold and you don't really want to drop the price.

If that isn't enough to stop the neighbours putting buyers off then I don't think there's anything you can do. I wouldn't ask the neighbours to do anything else. I think that would just annoy them or cause trouble without actually achieving anything.

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