Can you slander a house?

Just reading all that…and this may not be the right thread, if not tell me, but that has anyone ever been a seller and seen their place discussed here? Was it instructive or heartbreaking? Was it correct? What about the estate agents?

I’ve not been a seller yet but I have to say that some of the language used on this site to describe houses that need to be refurbished is offensive and the amounts suggested to be spent are often ludicrous, i.e. you could build a house for less. If it was a family member or friend’s house (never mind our own), I’d be offended.

There’s a lot of “moderation” about the source of sale price info but I’d like to see a bit more “moderation” in relation to stupid and sometimes slanderous comments that appear about houses.

Agree 100%

Our house has been on The Property Pin. There were several postings with comments which were not correct, and potentially harmful. Comments related to photographs and room sizes. In each occasion I got in contact with the poster who removed the post shortly thereafter. In our case, it appears that one of the posters in this category may have been related to an individual who later put in an offer and may have been posting comments on site as part of negotiation tactic. I am happy enough that the potentially offendings posts were removed, so have no real qualms at the end of the day. The Property Pin is a great site and thanks for all of those involved in running it.

For one slander only refers to the spoken word, so you definitely can’t slander someone by posting on a website as everything is written. Forum discussion can be libelous not slanderous.

I’ve never seen anything posted here about a house which could be considered libelous as everything I’ve seen is defensible as “fair comment.” Every comment made about a particular house is very obviously “an opinion honestly held” and as such it is not libelous under law. The only way it could be considered libelous is if the vendor could prove malicious intent and that would be unlikely.

Some of the comments may be mean or ridiculous, but they aren’t breaking any laws.

Yes you can defame a property if your comments are not accurate and reasonable or if your comments can be shown to be made with malice

Was that said tongue in cheek? Do you not believe that there could be ulterior motives at play at times?

I read comments here before about a development I lived in where the poster said he lived in that development and that he was far from happy with the condition of it. There were a few posts from people who said they had lived there too and were surprised to read his comments. The poster was kind enough to include a link to his blog by his signature. I clicked on his blog to discover he was blogging about how he was trying to renew his lease and negotiate a lower rent. I can’t help wondering if he thought a bit of bad press for the development would strengthen his bargaining position.

A while back I received an e-mail from a guy who was selling his house, and his house had appeard in one of the ‘price drop’ sections.

Well, you know the little info piece that appears under your username, things like ‘First Time Buyer’, ‘Still at home with Mammy’ and whatever… well on this page one of the posters had the title ‘Under CAB Investigation’. I had not posted on the thread in question, but for some reason the guy e-mails me and threatens to sue me for various things because I was claiming his house was ‘Under CAB investigation’. I have no idea why he thought I was the person to contact, at the time I had posted about 10 times on the 'Pin.

The quality of much of the available Irish stock is extremely poor in my view and I call it as I see it. You may disagree but it’s ultimately a matter of opinion. The last thing this market needs is an artificial upwards adjustment of judgement on the quality of what’s out there.

I remember someone posted a thread to this effect about his “friend’s” house. He was obviously unfamiliar with reading forums

Right and the best way to do this would be anonymous commentary on an Irish property forum. Simply post something vaguely negative, sit back and wait for the downwards rent reviews to roll in!

This is the internet. There is no filter for general idiocy! :laughing:

My apartment block was discussed and it was overwhelmingly positive! Which does reflect reality, but not for most apartment blocks from what I read.

can someone link back to the thread this has been cut off from?

Not at all “an opinion honestly held” is a legal term which means that the person was publishing what is quite obviously to any reader an opinion rather than fact. To commit libel the comments made have to be enough to influence “right-thinking members of society.” The specific case you speak of where the commentator has linked to his blog which states he is looking to renew his lease is enough for a defense to be made that no “right-thinking members of society” would be influenced by the comments.

Nope. It was off topic and therefore not relevant to the property in question.

I don’t want to see posts referring to it in this thread and superfluous comment will be deleted from price drop threads.

I would say that most or a great majority of posts in this site talk about either property in general or different parts of the market i.e. houses or apartments etc etc and dicuss relative value and offer personal opinion.
It is also true that people on the pin have been dismissive of asking prices over the last number of years and rightfully so as well as being dismissive of the asking prices for individual properties which have proven like a lot of things in this country to be out of whack with reality.
It is probably true that some people would be offended by posts such as those mentioned above either because the bubble has burst and as a result their property is falling in value or they are in negative equity or quite simply believe their house to “be worth more than other houses in the area” and they may be sore because they bought at the wrong time or have a somewhat misguided belief that they were worth more in 2006 than they actually are in 2009 which is not true unless you are an investor or are emigrating.
But to those who are complaining about their house or their relatives/friends house being described by posters as overpriced etc on the pin. Can I ask you a question, how many of you sought to advise the estate agent when selling a property that the guide price was too high? How many thought not to buy an apartment because there may be a problem with management fees etc?
I would hazard a guess that wouldnt be too many.

I’ve reported one potentially libellous post, it was alleged that the owner of a particular identified property in the price drops section was being forced to sell by the CAB. Thread vanished soon after so it looks like the mods are on top of this…

Fairplay to ya.

Is defamation of an object possible? I thought only persons could be defamed.

So can we not say that "In my opinion this is worth 50p, anyone paying more than that needs their head examined ? "

OK First I am not a lawyer but as I understand it.
You cannot defame an object, however you can defame someone by reference to their profession, location, or other identifiable connections. So while making remarks aboutthe quality of a house (old, poor build, run down) may be ok and fair comment or opinion, remarks about the decor that may infer flaws in the character or good sense of the owner could be defamatory.
So while you can probably ligitimately state that the decor is not to your taste, or is garish or whatever, you are potentially treading on thin ice if you question the intellectual ability or lack of creativity of the owner. It only requires one person to state that they were able to recognise the tartget from the information available at the time (an address is a pretty easy one I’d say).

Incidentally, while a defamatory statement must be false for an action to succeed, the onus of proof is on the defendant to prove that their statement is true.

On the plus side, if its an estate sale, you cannot defame a dead person :smiling_imp: