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5 Buying and Selling Property

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1. Introduction

2. Dealing with estate agents

3. Problems with estate agents

4. Offers, exchange of contract and completion

5. What the price should include

6. Problems with solicitors and conveyancers

7. Problems with the survey

8. Buying a newly built home

9. Leasehold, freehold and commonhold properties

10. Mortgage and money problems

11. Neighbour disputes and anti-social behaviour

If you are buying your home, it is best to sort out any possible problems over boundaries (usually, problems about exactly where they are) before you exchange contracts with the seller. You should do this even if it delays the sale.

If neighbours repeatedly trespass on your land, and they refuse to stop when you ask them to, you can apply to the court for an injunction to stop them. On the other hand, if you have good reason to go onto a neighbour’s land (for example, to look after your own property) and your neighbour refuses to let you, you can apply to the court for an order under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992.

If you are often disturbed by too much noise from your neighbours, you should contact the environmental health officer at your local council. They have the power to serve an ‘abatement’ notice or, in some cases, to take away equipment (such as a stereo system) under the Noise Act 1996. Or you can apply for an injunction in the county court to stop the noise. You can also use these procedures for some other kinds of nuisance.

For more about dealing with problems with neighbours, see the Gurkha Free Legal Advice leaflet ‘Neighbourhood and Community Disputes’.

If you are selling a property, you must answer truthfully a buyer’s direct questions about problems with neighbours. If you make a false statement, you could be sued.

12. Further Help

13. About this leaflet

The leaflets in this series give you an outline of your legal rights. They are not a complete guide to the law and are not intended to be a guide to how the law will apply to you or to any specific situation. The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since this was printed, so information in it may be incorrect or out of date.

If you have a problem, you will need to get more information or personal advice to work out the best way to solve it. See ‘Further help’ for sources of information and advice.


This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Shelter.

Leaflet Version: December 2008

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