Your neighbours are destroying your house price

When your neighbours neglect their homes, it damages your property price and your pride

fly tipping flytipping rubbish dump dumping illegal unauthorized

Over half of us live in areas that we say are being slowly destroyed by the neighbours. They leave their gardens to run riot, dump unattractive rubbish on pavements and in the road, and leave their bins overflowing on the street - putting off potential buyers and making everyone's life a bit less pleasant.

Some 12% of us think our neighbours are destroying the value of our home. And rather than bucking the trend, we've stopped investing in our outdoor space too.

Ugly scenes

The Britain at Home report from Lloyds Bank Insurance looked at the most common problems hitting neighbourhoods around the UK. It found that a third of people were concerned about untidy gardens, a fifth about space being used as a dumping ground, and another fifth about buildings falling into a state of disrepair.

This is bound to hurt house prices, because the same study showed that the most important thing people consider when looking for a new property is maintenance of the outside, while 53% say the neighbourhood is important too.

Not only is neglect hurting housing prices, but it's making neighbourhoods less pleasant places to live. Two thirds of people said these problems made them feel negatively about the area, and 37% were irritated by them. One in five people are so annoyed they are even considering moving house.

Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said: "It is disturbing to see how many people are unable to love where they live, and that many homeowners are so affected by their neighbours that they are considering a permanent move.

We're not immune

So many of us are so depressed by the state of the neighbourhood that we've given up maintaining our own properties too.

The study found that we spend an average of £714 a year on the outside of the property - including the garden, fencing and maintenance of the building. That compares to the £3,579 we spend indoors.

As well as the misery of maintaining a garden next to a jungle of weeds on a road blighted by fly tipping, some 16% of people say they don't have time to tidy up outside, and 56% of people say they can't afford it.

Tim Downes, senior claims manager of Lloyds Bank Insurance, warns that while this attitude is understandable, it can also be dangerous for your property. He explains: "It is important that homeowners take care of their properties, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also to prevent the risk of maintenance problems such as damp, leaking roofs, and poor guttering."

But what do you think? Are your neighbours putting you off spending time outdoors - let alone spending your time and money trying in vain to make it more attractive? Let us know in the comments.

Nightmare neighbours

Nightmare neighbours