Sale of House rights

Our friends have their house, which is a second home, on the market and the very first visit resulted in an offer which they accepted. Before signing the compromis de vente the buyer revisited the house and pulled out because of the neighbours garden which he described as a dechetterie as his reason. The family are a known problem to the mayor of the village who says he has tried every avenue he can to try and get them to tidy their place up but to no avail. Is there anyone our friends can contact or do they have a legal right in any way to pressure the neighbours into acting in a respectable way otherwise the house is going to be unsellable.

No house is unsellable. Just that the price has to be realistic to reflect the circumstances.


Even if there was some way of getting them to tidy up now, and another buyer found, they are likely to revert to their “normal” behaviours. So having temporarily made it look ok wouldn’t actually help as neighbour problems do have to be declared as you are otherwise being fraudulent.

Suggest he does everything he can to minimise the visual disturbance (new fence, shrubs, whatever) and drops his price.

Thank you JJones for the link an interesting read which serves to highlight the plight our friends are in. I agree lowering the price is an option but that still does not remove the neighbour problem which after reading the article is something they are going to have to make prospective purchasers aware of.

He doesn’t have to make a massive issue of it (if he can screen the worst of it) just make sure it is mentioned.

My sympathies with your friends. I had a situation with a neighbour which only death could remedy.

The woman was a depressive alcoholic with colon cancer. She had a dog which never left her flat. The smell was unspeakable. This dog was absolutely insane - the very epitome of ‘barking mad’ because that’s what it did - and howl - every minute the woman was out. She used to go off on binges for days at a time.

After some weeks, knowing that her neighbours were at their wits end about this dog, she started drugging it because for 6-8 hour periods it was silent, then gradually, as it came round, it would start barking and howling agin.

The police were called one night - in Spain everything starts with the police - and, after they had summoned los bomberos to break in, called the animal welfare people.

The animal people were just about to leave, with the dog and a cat, when the son of my neighbour turned up, assured the police and animal people he would ‘take responsiblity’ for the animals. Everybody left and things returned to exactly how they had been before. And we could do nothing about it.

Eventually the police stuck a notice on her door that she was going to be up before the beak for maintaining ‘una casa insalubre’.

This was promising. Social Services might rehouse her in a hospice or somewhere.

I did a runner for 2-3 months and when I got back a neighbour shot up the stairs, “Chris! She is dead! Amparo is dead!”. It was a life-changing moment.