Problem with Neighbors Should be Disclosed

  Question: We have lived in a quiet neighborhood in Buckeye for over 20 years. We have never had a problem with any of our neighbors. Last year, however, our Pit Bull escaped through a break in the common wooden fence into our neighbor’s backyard. Although our Pit Bull did not bite our neighbor’s six-year-old son, our neighbors had to take their six-year-old son to the hospital because he was so frightened. Since this incident we have replaced the common wooden fence with a concrete wall, and we have apologized profusely to our neighbors, but our neighbors have been constantly harassing us, including throwing garbage and even feces into our backyard. We also believe that our neighbor’s teenage son has slashed the tires of our cars parked in our driveway. Our neighbors are now demanding that we euthanize our Pit Bull. We now want to sell our home as soon as possible because of this problem with the neighbors. Will we have to tell a potential buyer about this problem with our neighbors?

  Answer: Yes. A seller of a home must disclose to potential buyers any material and adverse fact affecting the value of the home. As I have said many times, if the adverse fact is material it must be disclosed and, if it is not material, obviously why not disclose it? Your neighbors appear to be not only unreasonable but possibly dangerous. Therefore, you must disclose to a buyer, usually in the standard Seller Property Disclosure Statement, this problem with your neighbors.

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