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Everybody hates bad neighbours

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30/01/2006

Squatters are the most-hated type of neighbour, followed by students. Christina Jordan finds out more

While it may be important to consider ‘location, location, location’ when you are buying a property, it’s also a good idea to have a peek over the garden fence.

In fact, who lives next door can be just as important as deciding where to live, and how much to pay, according to a survey from propertyfinder.com.

The research reveals that nightmare neighbours can take thousands off the value of a property. People were asked to choose the best and worst types of neighbours from a range of categories.

Squatters top the list of neighbours from hell, with 90% of respondents voting them as worst, but students came a close second with 63% of the vote. Families with teenagers came third on the list, with 36% the vote. Young flat sharers’ disruptive lifestyles mean that they polled fourth worst.

Childless couples, pensioners and singles were voted the perfect neighbours.

Respondents were also concerned that unsuitable neighbours damage property prices by a lack of interest in the upkeep of their properties, dragging down property prices for surrounding homes.

Potential house buyers believe that squatters next door devalue properties by 16.3%, and students by a sizeable 10.1%. This equates to a massive £16,078 off the average house price. Party-prone flat-sharers affect property values by £6,828 while childless couples were thought to boost neighbouring values by over 4%.

Nicholas Leeming, director of propertyfinder.com commented: “Students are notorious for having a good time and living in messy conditions, but our results show a greater concern among householders regarding the detrimental effect students can have on the price of their property. Our neighbours have a very significant influence on our quality of life, especially in urban areas, and increasingly, house hunters are prepared to pay a premium for a quiet, trouble-free life.”

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