Everybody needs good neighbours? Many Scots don’t even know theirs

MANY Scots do not like their neighbours – or even know their names despite wishing for a closer relationship, according to a new study.

MANY Scots do not like their neighbours – or even know their names despite wishing for a closer relationship, according to a new study.

Just two in five people in Scotland would say they were friends with the people living next door to them, according to FindaProperty.com.

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One in five Scots did not know their neighbour’s name, 16 per cent had no idea what they did for a living, while one in ten actually disliked them.

Only 4 per cent actually felt threatened by people living next door, but 15 per cent admitted they wished they had a better relationship.

Noise was far and away the biggest complaint of the 2011 people surveyed across the UK, with 37 per cent saying it had led to fall-outs.

Parking, pets and children were the other most common bones of contention.

The property website believes the figures show that more of us are leading solitary lives.

Samantha Baden, property analyst at FindaProperty.com, said: “As a nation, we are becoming increasingly isolated from our neighbours, despite the fact that most of us would like to be much closer to them.

“People move homes more frequently than they used to, so we’ve less time to get to know the people who live nearby, and the growth of social media has left us more likely to ‘sofalise’ and less inclined to actually go out and socialise.

“Knowing your neighbours can improve security and quality of life – people want to feel safe and comfortable in their home, and the relationship you have with the people who live nearby really affects this.”

Ms Baden warns that being a bad neighbour could also jeopardise people’s hopes of selling their homes.

“It is also worth keeping in mind that sellers have an obligation to disclose details of any complaints made against their neighbours to buyers – and this really can impact on your ability to sell a property,” she said.

“Millions of people in the UK would like to have a better relationship with their neighbours, and occasions like this year’s jubilee celebrations and the Olympics are the perfect opportunity to break the ice.

“Knowing that an area has a strong sense of community is a real ‘pull’ factor for potential home buyers, and it’s factors like these that help to drive up the price of a property.”

Despite difficult economic times putting pressure on families’ budgets, Citizens Advice Scotland does not believe they have led to neighbourly relationships getting worse.

A CAS spokesman said: “As far as we can see, it is neither rising, nor going down.

“Anecdotally, during the recession, issues like debt and getting into arrears have definitely gone up, but this has not changed.”

He added: “If people do get into difficulty with their neighbours we would always advise them to try and sort it out simply by talking to one another, rather than bringing in the lawyers.”

FindaProperty.com found that, if you extrapolate the figures out, they would equate to 11 million people in the UK having fallen out with their next-door neighbour in the past five years.

Although the majority of those disagreements would have been verbal, 744,000 would have ended in a physical fight or scuffle with their neighbour, and one million would have seen the disagreement end in damage to property.

Extrapolating the figures out would also show that 1.1 million people would have been forced to call the police, and just over half a million would have resorted to legal action.