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Purchased house and found out next door is a children’s home

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Purchased house and found out next door is a children’s home

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
25 replies 3.9K views
cg212cg212 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in House Buying, Renting & Selling
Hi, I am posting to see if anybody can share some advice on the following matter.

I have recently purchased a house (3 weeks ago) and we have had a few issues with noise (arguing and loud music mainly). However, upon asking the neighbours to turn the music down on a couple of occasions, we learnt that next door is children’s support accommodation for 16-18 year olds. They have adults which work in shifts to go in there to look after them. However, had we known this prior to now, we wouldn’t have purchased the house.

Should the sellers have been legally obliged to tell us? Should it have been discovered when the solicitor carried out our searches.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Board Guide
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    Only required to notify you if they is an ongoing dispute with the neighbours. If you can prove that they had already been in dispute you could have grounds to take it further but it's likely to be expensive to do so.

    I've always gone and sat outside any property I'm thinking of buying various times of day and night to listen out for noise etc
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  • edited 21 October 2019 at 8:59AM
    davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    edited 21 October 2019 at 8:59AM
    cg212 wrote: »
    Should the sellers have been legally obliged to tell us?
    No.
    Should it have been discovered when the solicitor carried out our searches.
    No.

    It should have been discovered by your own research about what the area was like. You may have found clues by looking at eg the planning history of next door.

    ETA - in fact, just Googling the address of a children's home I know of produces a load of results with inspection reports etc - even the official Royal Mail address includes "childrens home".
  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
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    Unless there has been a formal dispute about noise then the vendor had no obligation to declare anything.

    It was up to you to visit the property at different times of day/night and knock on the door and visit the neighbours. Did you do this? (I’m thinking not...).

    Personally I have never bought a house without sussing out the neighbours.

    Other than improving the insulation and asking them nicely to keep the noise down, there is not a lot you can do.
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    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

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  • walwyn1978walwyn1978 Forumite
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    Assuming it’s a shared wall, I’d look to invest in better insulation.
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    walwyn1978 wrote: »
    Assuming it’s a shared wall, I’d look to invest in better insulation.
    That sort of investment is risky.

    If next door is support accommodation, this is likely to be a larger house, but installing extra walling loses floor space and it may be ineffectual due to noise transmitted through other parts of the structure. Only a specialist could be sure of the measures required; it's beyond the scope of general builders.

    Besides, noise will probably emanate from open windows and outdoor sources in the summer months.

    Probably the best initial approach, and the cheapest, would be to make the support workers aware of noise issues every time significant events happen. You should also keep a diary of these and maybe make recordings too. The home will have permission to operate, but like everyone else, they have no right to cause other residents regular annoyance. They won't want investigations from Environmental Health.

    As to who's responsible for your purchase of a property in this situation, it's you.
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  • Brock_and_RollBrock_and_Roll Forumite
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    Whatever you do, don't get in a formal dispute with next door....otherwise you will be forced to disclose it when you sell!
  • DavesnaveDavesnave Forumite
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    Whatever you do, don't get in a formal dispute with next door....otherwise you will be forced to disclose it when you sell!
    True, but if that's what not to do, then what's the appropriate response, bearing in mind the OP has just purchased?

    The 'wait and see' response has merit if the OP thinks they might move, rather than endure the situation, but none of us knows exactly how bad it is. The residents next door will vary over time too.

    The OP won't be going anywhere for a year or two without raising suspicions, so a measured response initially is sensible. Advising support workers of excessive noise isn't, in itself, a dispute.

    Also bear in mind that the TA6 doesn't just ask about disputes; it also mentions known situations which would be likely to cause disputes.
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  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    To be clear, whether formal or not, all disputes should be disclosed. It's just not very easy to prove informal disputes.
  • Brock_and_RollBrock_and_Roll Forumite
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    Assuming the childrens home is fully licenced etc, there is nothing the OP can do other than keeping on friendly terms with his new neighbours.

    Living next to teenagers you are going to get occasional shouting matches, a bit of drum & bass and door slamming regardless of whether a childrens home or not!
  • sevenhillssevenhills Forumite
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    cg212 wrote: »
    However, had we known this prior to now, we wouldn’t have purchased the house.


    Its easy to say that in hindsight. If you had known about it being a care home after spending money on searches and solicitors fees, would you have gone ahead?

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