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  • Sellers Information Form

    Hi all,



    Long time lurker, first time poster(!)



    To put a little bit of background to where I am:



    I bought my property approx 18 months ago, two days after moving in the noise

    started. It took about 4 months to summon the courage to talk to the

    environmental health department at the local council. We are going through the

    whole process: diary sheets, recording equipment, abatement order, witnessed

    breaches of the order by EHO, and now... it gets to court in a couple of weeks time.



    Noise is only part of our problem, we also get other anti-social behaviour issues -

    their front door hammered on in the middle of the night (mid-terrace), fights in the

    property, people kicking their front door in, police raids(!), shouting, some verbal

    abuse... the list goes on. We are now engaging the help of the local police related

    to the verbal abuse.





    My problem (aside from the neighbour!):



    When we purchased our house, nothing was mentioned about the problem

    neighbour on the sellers information form. They ticked no in all the boxes related

    to disputes/problems etc. We have spoken to our lawyer and know we can take

    the former owner to court for breach of contact/misrepresentation.



    We have asked the local council, via our lawyer, to release any information they

    have of problems before we moved in. They have admitted there has been a

    long history but would not disclose any more than that. We are now fresh out of

    ideas on how to get concrete evidence that the problem existed before we moved

    in, and preferably that the former owner knew there was a problem and did not

    tell us.



    Does anyone know of any way we can force the environmental health

    department/any other agency to release this sort of information? About the only

    place I have to look currently is the publicly available sources, i.e. the in court

    section of newspaper archives.





    (sorry for the long post)



    Thanks for any help you can give.

  • #2
    Hi Spot

    welcome to the forum



    I am so sorry you have moved into this postion



    from what you say, it should of been decleared on the sellers form.....unless the people you bought from never made a formal complaint

    this is the grey area



    many members here have chosen not to offical complain about neighbours as it jeopodises any future sales.



    however, you say the EHO have a record of this houses/ocupants activities



    this says to me that somewhere along the line complaints have been made, in which case you have a "case"



    I would go back to your solictors and explain the situation, it will cost you though, but you might and only might beable to get your expenses back from the previous owner



    the form was lied on so really your solictor needs to be pushing for the information

    from the council, EHO etc



    there was a news story a while ago where an owner sucessfully sued the previous owner for not revealing the problems



    I will try and find the story for you



    I hope others will be able to offer you more advice here



    and I hope the court action goes in favour of you and they get their noise making equipment seized!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi spot and welcome to the NFHiB Forum Board



      So sorry to read about your NFH. How awful it must have been to experience all that noise and nuisance only two days after moving in. And for it still carrying on. A complete nightmare. :sad:



      In terms of releasing any information on official complaints made by the previous owners, I think you would have to speak to your original conveyancer about this.



      News Article (but not the one Beth mentioned, I can't find that one )



      Information from a Solicitors Firm about the SPIF



      I really wish you all the best with this, if I were you, I would be contacting the conveyancer that dealt with the purchase.



      Please do keep us informed with how you get on.



      Holly :nfh1:

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Spot, and welcome to the forum



        Horrible to be enduring as soon as you moved into your new home :badmood: Hope you get a good result with the noise nuisance...sounds very likely



        Hope you have a case re the SPIF, in that there is clearly an undisclosed dispute here. Not sure that you can get the Council to disclose anything though. Although the information relates to your property, neither of the parties involved was yourself, so I don't see that information could be released to you (Data Protection and all that). However, as has already been said, I would be hot-footing it back to see the solicitor. Maybe a court has to order the release of the information ?



        Useful look at this topic here (incl said news article, I think) , if you haven't already seen it

        http://www.nfh.org.uk/forums/index.php?showtopic=2441



        Do let us know how you go with this



        Regards,



        Sapph

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Spot



          Welcome to the Forum .



          I'm glad you joined after all that lurking!!! We aren't that scarey you know :lol: .



          I am mad to think you have been cheated in this way - the previous sellers really do need to be brought to account for this :frown:



          I'm not good with your kind of problem But I am sure ohers here will get you up and running and on the way to sorting it all out .



          I'd have thought that the authorites would have to provide evidence if it were called to court - but I am not sure how it all works so I'll shut up now! :blush:



          Let us know how you get on and visit often



          Mazza



          :nfh1: :ban:

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Spot and welcome



            Sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time with your neighbour :frown: and really hope that you get a good result when it comes to court. I also hope that you are getting a positive response from the police.



            I'm not sure how you get your hands on the information that the council is holding, I'm sure that your solicitor would be able to sort all of this out for you?? especially now that the council has admitted that there have been problems and that you definitely have a case.



            I hope that someone on the site can help you with this, and please let us know how things go



            Blue Cow

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi,



              Thanks for all your kind words of support. When you try to explain to friends,

              family or collegues about the problems you are having they never seem to

              understand. They try their best to empathise, but not ever having had problems

              like these, they do not truly understand how it effects your life. It is very

              reassuring to know that other people are having the issues we are having and

              going through the same problems. You have no idea how shocked I was when I

              stumbled across this site, loads of great content, good advice etc. I was very

              impressed!





              Back to my problems:



              The Environmental health department will not confirm or deny that the former

              owner of my house made a complaint, all they will say is when the complaints

              against the property next door started. This date is prior to when the previous

              owner bought the house. The response to our requests came from the councils

              legal department. It went along the lines of: we are under no obligation to release

              our files under:



              Local government act

              Freedom of Information act



              and it would breach the confidentiality of previous complainants. The whole

              response was about a paragraph long and straight to the point... basically, they

              are not going to release a thing! Our solicitor (same firm as the one who did our

              house purchase, but much higher up) has run out of ideas on how to get them to

              give over the information without risking a long legal battle (lots of money!), then

              only to find that other neighbours were the source of complaints in the past and

              that the previous owner never contacted the council!





              Given the experiences people on these forums have been through I am hoping

              that someone has hit this brick wall before and may be able to offer some advice

              on how to obtain this sort of information.





              Thanks.





              P.S. Bit of a legal question: Does anyone know if transcripts of cases heard in local

              magistrates courts are available to the public. I am rather hoping they are and

              that in the evidence the EH present in a couple of weeks time there might be a bit

              of history.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Spot,



                I'm sorry to hear of your problems, having been through it myself.



                Knowing of the awful anxiety and other negative emotions that NFH problems can cause, and having been burgled once or twice, I have no doubt at all that I would prefer burglary any day of the week. People simply do not understand the psychological suffering that vile neighbours can cause.



                You have not given us many details of your forthcoming Court case. It is important to know precisely what action is being taken, because different proceedings have their own rules and procedures.



                Is your case in the Magistrates Court? If so, what is the charge/s brought? Who is mounting the prosecution, your local council, or are you bringing a private prosecution?



                Or are you suing in the County Court?



                I feel sure that you will be able to be helped all the better if you could give some more facts.



                Speaking very generally, you should be able to issue a witness summons (used to be a subpoena) against the Council, requiring an officer to attend Court, along with the relevant files, and the officer can be made to give evidence on oath, and the Court can order disclosure of the information concerning the property and the individuals concerned. The procedure for issuing the summons is very simple and inexpensive.



                Another general point is that the information usually asked of a vendor of property is whether they know of any disputes, NOT whether they have reported the problem to any authority (police, council etc.) In other words, it does not matter whether the seller took any formal measures against the NFH. Mere knowledge is sufficient to trigger a duty to disclose.



                If the seller knew of a problem and deliberately did not mention it, it is most likely a case of fraudulent misrepresentation. If that were proven to be the case, you would be able to recover damages from the vendor, to reflect the diminution of the value of your property, being the difference between what you paid and what the property is actually worth, with the aggro factored into the price.



                It is also worth noting that in most cases the law sets a deadline in which to commence proceedings, known as the limitation period. However, there is no time limit for fraudulent misrepresentation, so the seller is always at risk.



                I hope this is of some small help.



                Caldas.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Spot



                  I was just looking through some of the old threads when I came across yours.I don't even know if you are still posting....... Anyway If you are ,and you still need advise on the disclosure please read My Story, as we are having the same problems as you but we got the results we needed.



                  FUJ
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