New research shows how much a bad neighbour can devalue your house

11th August 2016

New research by Privilege Home Insurance has revealed that 92% of UK estate agents claim having a bad neighbour has a serious negative impact on the value of the houses around them and what buyers are prepared to pay.

Taking into account factors like overgrown front gardens, poor upkeep and items left on the lawn outside, UK estate agents have calculated that it brings the value of the house next door down by 8.2% – that's £17,321 on the price of an average house in the UK. By contrast, the experts questioned by Privilege assessed that a good neighbour next door positively affects the value of your house by 9.4%, adding £19,856 to the average property in the UK.

This means the difference between having a good neighbour and a bad neighbour is worth £37,177 to the average British householder. In London, where the average house costs £472,163, having a bad neighbour instead of a good one could therefore affect sellers to the tune of just over £83,100. Broken or boarded up windows are the worst thing the house next door can have – thought to wipe nearly £23,000 off the average house at current market value. This is followed by an unsightly extension and having rubbish or junk in the driveway or front garden.

Top things that devalue your house

1.  Broken or boarded up windows
2   Unsightly or imposing extensions and DIY
3   Rubbish or Junk in the driveway/front garden
4   Run down vehicles in the front drive
5   Garish/unsightly coloured external buildings/fixtures
6   Building work
7   Overgrown Garden
8   Rotting or chipped window or door frames
9   Overflowing gutters
10 Dirty brickwork or property frontage

The report also found that the worst neighbours are most likely to be a family living in London, where the parents are in their 40s and are unemployed. They are most likely to drive a Volkswagen and own a dog.

The best neighbours live in Plymouth, are retired 60 plus singletons who do not have a pet. They are most likely to drive a Nissan.

The top reason why people are unhappy or have argued with their neighbours is them being noisy (24%), followed by being unfriendly (19%) and having an untidy or overgrown front garden (17%).

Top bad neighbourly behaviour


Bad Neighbourly Behaviour



They're noisy



They're unfriendly



They have an untidy / overgrown garden



They're rude 



They have a loud dog



They park across my drive



They keep me awake at night



They have loud arguments



They hold loud parties



They do DIY or housework at anti-social hours


A number (31%) of those with bad neighbours had also experienced sleepless nights, reporting an average of 2hrs and 16 minutes lost sleep each time.

Of those questioned with bad neighbours, one in three (31%) said their neighbours make them want to move, and one in ten (12%) said they have tried to move or desperately want to as a result of their ongoing neighbourly feud.

Those in London are most likely to want to move away from their bad neighbours (18 per cent), followed by the West Midlands (16%) and Yorkshire and Humber (14%).

Dan Simson, head of Privilege home insurance 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.”

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