Information that needs to be disclosed as part of a sale
Consumer protection regulations (CPRs) dictate that a seller must disclose any pertinent information they have about the property which might influence the prospective buyer’s decision.
The following list provides an indication of the type of information that requires sharing:
- The reasons why previous sales have fallen through
- Any problems highlighted in previous surveys, i.e. subsidence
- Any pending, approved or declined applications for planning permission
- Any proposals for nearby development and construction
- Whether the property lies beneath a flightpath
- Whether the property is within sight of a motorway
- Whether a power plant or substation is nearby
- Any known structural issues with the property
- Any public right of ways passing through the grounds
- Any ongoing problems with neighbours, including boundary disputes
- Any neighbours known to have been served an Anti Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
- Whether there have been any known burglaries in the neighbourhood recently
- Whether any murders or suicides have occurred in the property recently
- Any outstanding debts associated with the property, such as Green Deal loans (see below)
- Any known pests in the property, or bats nesting in the eaves
- Any known issues with problem weeds, such as Japanese Knotweed
It is important to not only be accurate with the information you provide, but also provide all the information that is relevant without omission. Providing misleading information, or failing to offer any relevant information, can result in criminal charges being levelled at the seller or estate agent.
To mitigate against this scenario, estate agents will generally issue a form called the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ). This form will help you to disclose any issues that would affect the transactional decision of the average consumer. You can find out more information on the PIQ on the propertymark website.
Whether or not a piece of information is deemed to be relevant may depend on each case. If in doubt, speak to your solicitor or estate agent.
If there is a suspicion that an element of the property should be repaired, for example the roof or an extension, then the matter must be investigated.
The floorplans and photos used to promote the property need to accurately represent the property and cannot be judged to be misleading. You will generally be asked to approve the brochure of your property by your estate agent.
Green Deal loans
In some instances certain home improvements relating to energy efficiency can be paid for through the Green Deal loan scheme. Such loans are paid off over time through a surcharge being added to the relevant utility bill.
If a home owner sells the house, the remaining debt does not go with them, but instead remains associated with the property. Such a debt would need to be disclosed to any prospective buyers as the new owner will then assume the debt.
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