Hiding information about your neighbors can be expensive and many homeowners ignore it

It can be tempting to say nothing, but it's better to be transparent about the neighborhood.

Hiding information about your neighbors can be expensive and many homeowners ignore it

It can be tempting to say nothing, but it's better to be transparent about the neighborhood.

A dream that turned into a nightmare. When in June 2011, Marie and Jean (assumed first names*) sold their house, this couple seemed to be relieved. Two years after moving into this home located south of Angers, the couple packed up their boxes and left their home. Not without losing money. The transaction is finalized for a lower price of 48,000 euros compared to the purchase. A significant loss of money that the courts compensated for a few years later. And this, thanks to elements kept hidden by the former owners.

A few months after recovering the keys to their house, Marie and Jean faced very aggressive behavior from their neighbor: verbal and physical violence, noise pollution and even animal wanderings... Their daily life became hell and a mediator, as well as the police, were called upon to resolve this dispute. In vain. To the point that the property was put back on sale in January 2009. It was ultimately only in the summer of 2011 that a transaction was completed with a significant loss in value. At issue: disturbances caused by the neighbor.

However, this sale revealed that the former owner had herself been the victim of nuisance, which she had never informed the couple. The latter therefore decided to turn against her. And won in court. After collecting numerous testimonies, even going back to previous owners, the court ruled that the seller "did not wish to inform the buyers of these notable inconveniences of which she knew the existence" and "held her responsible for the damages to keep from buyers the reality of these problems." An error which resulted in compensation of more than 50,000 euros, according to a ruling by the Angers Court of Appeal in 2016.

This story is not unique. Other similar cases have been dealt with by the courts, which ruled in favor of owners injured because of a noisy neighborhood of which they were unaware, notably in Moselle, where 9,000 euros were paid by a seller who did not had not warned of the noise and incivility committed in the building by a neighbor.

When you are looking to part with a property, it can sometimes be tempting not to reveal everything to the future buyer. Masking humidity, not talking about poor workmanship or even "forgetting" to mention nuisances in the neighborhood... There is no shortage of hidden defects. But don't think you can fool the buyer: he has the means to defend himself. And it can be very expensive.

NEXT NEWS