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Lies, half-truths and deceit in the property market

View profile for Liam Waine
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Help to Buy ISAs explained

The UK property market is currently boosted as the latest Stamp Duty “holiday” imposed by the government has significantly cut the costs of buying a property.  However, the “holiday” is due to end on 1st March 2021.

The effect of this has no doubt increased property sales and many purchasers will be trying to rush their property sales through to avoid having to pay significant costs towards any Stamp Duty liability.

The rush will no doubt be a temptation for parties to try and do the bare minimum in order to get the transaction over the line. Whilst this may be so the transaction can only be completed if each party and their solicitors are satisfied with all their enquiries and the responses which have been collated from the seller and searches.

Property transactions are not straightforward. In fact it would not be untrue to argue that every transaction is different. There are so many issues which can effect a purchaser’s decision to buy a house. 

There are many transactions which complete which purchasers have made thinking that they have purchased their dream home. However, their dream home soon becomes their worst nightmare.

Quite often the reasons for the nightmare becoming a reality is that the seller has not told the truth on the Sellers Property Information Form (Form TA6). This form and its content provides the prospective purchaser with information about the property. It is designed to ensure the purchaser has enough information on any issues which may affect the property so that they can make an informed choice on whether they wish to purchase it. Some examples of questions relate to whether the property has any issues with:

  • Neighbouring properties
  • Rights and arrangements affecting the property
  • Whether it has ever been affected by flooding
  • Japanese knotweed

This list is not exhaustive. However, if the seller has not answered the questions correctly and the purchaser can show they have relied on the answers given by them they may be able make a claim against the seller in misrepresentation.

The law regarding misrepresentation claims can be complex. Depending on the circumstances of the case a purchaser may well be able to seek the rescission of the contract and/or seek damages from the seller. 

If you think that you have been affected by potential lies, half-truths or deceit told by a property seller then you should not hesitate to take immediate independent legal advice. There are time limits in bringing a claim so any delays in seeking advice may well deny your ability to make a claim, to speak to a member of our property misrepresentation team call us on 0161 696 6178 or complete our online enquiry form and we will contact you directly.

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