Posted 1.7.13 @ 9:15
If you’re a luxury realtor or just someone that wants to sell their home, the question of a nuisance neighbours will always come up. Everyone has ONE on the block, no matter how nice the home… but are you legally obligated to disclose them? The short answer is yes – if the potential owner ASKS about them. It’s always best practice to just come clean, but if they don’t ask and don’t do the followup by walking around the neighbourhood it might just be on them. Caveat emptor!
What is a Nuisance Neighbour?
This is an excellent question – and it really is up to you to figure out. If you’ve had trouble with neighbours that sneak around on your property in the middle of the night stealing your lawn ornaments, ones that play music at 3am or other weird stuff that’s bothersome in general, they’ll probably qualify as a nuisance neighbour. Anyone that could be a potential problem for the new buyers, and a potential buyer for you in court, should be reported if they ask about it.
If They Ask, You Have to Tell
If a potential buyer asks about any problems with the property, by law you must disclose. If there has been a death on the property within a certain amount of time (this varies province to province), violent crimes, environmental issues, unstable neighbourhood personalities - any problems that they may encounter have to be reported. This way a buyer will have all the information they need to make the best decision.
What if They Don’t Ask?
Sometimes a buyer just won’t ask, and that means you don’t legally have to tell them about the block party last Canada Day that went wrong… but you may want to. Most buyers will walk around the neighbourhood and speak to their new neighbours before they buy a home. Some won’t – but the ones that do might hear all these crazy stories from your neighbours or the sellers’ neighbours. Do you really want buyers forming their opinions off neighbourhood gossip? It can be hard enough to frame your luxury real estate for sale in a certain way without others alluding to haunted closets or vendettas surrounding a backyard fence built 8 years ago. Take control of the situation and frame is before someone else does.
Won’t This Make the Property Harder to Sell?
Honestly it can, but again it’s better they hear it from you instead of dragging you into court later because you didn’t tell them what to expect. Court is messy and expensive, but finding the right buyer for homes for sale is always the best outcome anyone can hope for. With so many different buyers out there looking for different things, sellers will always be able to find the one that’s right for their property. Always tell the truth if asked, and if it’s a major problem in the neighbourhood you may want to disclose anyway.