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AIBU?

To be worried about the house next door?

13 replies

peachgreen · 23/10/2018 14:26

We bought our house over a year ago. It's a semi-detached. We asked about the adjoining neighbours on viewing and the estate agent told us that they use the house as a holiday home and are usually only there for three months over the summer. We're first time buyers and have a baby so naively we thought this was probably a good thing as we wouldn't be able to disturb anyone!

It's been a year now and we've never seen them (and I'm on mat leave so am home quite a bit). Meanwhile the house is falling into a bit of a state of disrepair - the garden is massively overgrown (and pushing our fence over), their brick gate post has fallen down, their back gate blew off in a recent storm (and slightly damaged our car - we had to drag it back from the middle of the road and secure it on their driveway), roof tiles are starting to go and the render on the front of the house is falling away. They're 1950s houses and suffer from damp - we had lots of remedial work done lately but suspect there's an issue on their side as the adjoining wall is giving us some problems.

Now I'm not worried AT ALL about it looking untidy - I'm a firm believer that your house is your own and you do what you want with it, and we have no thoughts of selling for a long while so it wouldn't cause us any issues there - but I am a bit worried that it's starting to cause damage and could get worse. None of the other neighbours know them or have their details, and nor do the estate agents.

AIBU to worry? Any thoughts on what, if anything, we should do? To be honest, I'm really hoping that you'll all say yes, IABU, and everything will be fine!

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autumnleaves1234 · 23/10/2018 14:29

I believe you can find out who owns the house from the Land Registry. It costs a few pounds. You can then search in the usual way for the owners on social media or, if the worst came to the worst and your house was being damaged, pay a couple of hundred pounds for an investigator to find them

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chickenfeathers · 23/10/2018 14:32

YANBU. It might be worth contacting your local council and explaining the situation to them. They may well have details of who the owner is. Whilst they won't be able to give you their details directly, they may be able to contact them instead.....

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peachgreen · 23/10/2018 14:34

@autumnleaves1234 I feel very stupid for not having thought of that myself. Worried I might sound a bit crazy getting in touchy though but they might have no idea of the damage.

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easielouisie · 23/10/2018 14:37

I would as said above contact the council or find out yourself and get in contact with them. Just to let them know in a friendly way incase they're unaware? They'll probably want to fix it up and leaving it will only let it get worse. Never know they might appreciate it!

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TheVanguardSix · 23/10/2018 14:40

YANBU in the least. It's one of the first things I think of when I walk past dilapidated/neglected homes: What damage is occurring in the homes either side of such houses? I also would worry about gas leaks.

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JaniceBattersby · 23/10/2018 14:42

YY to getting in touch with your local council. Ours are really hot on empty homes at the moment. They force the owners to live in them, let someone else to live in them, or compulsorily purchase them. And so they should. We can’t be having houses standing empty in the middle of a housing shortage.

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peachgreen · 23/10/2018 15:40

Thanks all, I'll get in touch with the council and see what they say.

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Penguinsetpandas · 23/10/2018 15:45

I would try Land Registry to start with, council could fine them. Any damage I would go through your insurer who will find theirs.

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Penguinsetpandas · 23/10/2018 15:47

EA might know if they bought in last few years.

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HollowTalk · 23/10/2018 15:52

Have you looked it up on Zoopla to see when it was last bought?

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MissLingoss · 23/10/2018 16:00

I would try Land Registry to start with, council could fine them.

Not the op's problem.

Any damage I would go through your insurer who will find theirs.

They might not be insured. Insurance companies don't usually like properties standing vacant for long periods of time.

Anyway, I assume op wants to sort it before it becomes an insurance job.

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peachgreen · 23/10/2018 16:29

@HollowTalk Yes, nothing on Zoopla unfortunately.

I'm not interested in getting them in any trouble or anything, I would just like to be able to contact them. It might well be that they have someone popping over every now and again to keep an eye on it, and I've just never seen them. But it would be good to be able to let them know of any problems that might arise. I'm not worried about the car damage, it's almost at the end of its natural life anyway! But I'd want to know if there were issues with the roof and the rendering.

Hmm. Will chat to my husband.

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Penguinsetpandas · 23/10/2018 21:22

They might also have mail forwarded so if you popped a letter in the post that may get to them, if not if they do come back ever they should pick it up then though that might be too slow. Land Registry also shows if someone has a mortgage and if they have they must have buildings insurance.

When our neighbours house was empty and there was a water leak into ours we got in touch via estate agent though did take a day or so.

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