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Big bust-up over the garden fence; The People's consumer Champion.

Byline: with Dean Dunham

LOVING thy neighbour can be tough, especially when you are having a row.

But it is vital you are honest about your relationship with those living next to you when you sell your home.

If not this can come back to haunt you, as Ian found out.

He had been arguing with neighbours over the position of the back garden fence for two years.

They said it was in the wrong place and that he, not they, were responsible for its upkeep.

Ian, of Huddersfield, West Yorks, denied both claims and the dispute rumbled on.

But he failed to declare this when he sold his home last year for PS179,999.

Now the buyers have inherited this dispute and are threatening Ian with legal action.

They will have to continue the fight or lose some of their garden and become liable for the fence.

THE LEGAL POSITION

Sellers of property must complete what is known as a Property Information Form.

It asks numerous questions about the property, including if the seller has any ongoing disputes with the neighbours.

This information is analysed carefully by the buyer's lawyer.

They must consider if there are any reasons why their client should not go ahead with the purchase.

If a seller "lies" on the form or purposely fails to disclose relevant information it can amount to a fraudulent misrepresentation.

In that case the buyer would be able to claim compensation.

Disputes

In this regard, the courts have not been shy in awarding large compensation sums to buyers who have been lied to.

For example a judge at Portsmouth County Court awarded buyers of a property a whopping PS67,000 because the seller failed to disclose a neighbour dispute over an access road in the Property Information Form.

And he made a clear judgment. He said: "That is precisely the kind of information which must be disclosed to a potential purchaser for them to be able to make up their minds.

"Whether they wish to buy a property with the running sore of constant disputes and antagonism existing between the owners of the access road and those who have rights of way over it."

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 11, 2016
Words:364
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