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Seller Lied on Property Information Form

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Buying a new home can be a very stressful experience. After all, it’s probably the most expensive purchase that any of us will make in our lifetime.

Thus, it’s natural to want to make sure that the seller has given us all the important information about the property. But what happens if the seller has been dishonest or has not been completely truthful?

This article discusses the rules regarding seller’s property information forms and whether buyers can take legal action if ‘the seller lied on property information form UK’.

Table of Contents

What’s in a property information form?

Selling a home? You’ll be asked by the buyer’s conveyancer – the legal professional helping them with the transaction – to fill out a TA6 form or a TA7 for leaseholders. You’ll also be asked to fill out a TA10 form which details the fixtures and fittings that will remain in the home.

Filling out these forms is not mandatory, but the buyer’s conveyancer is likely to insist and the buyer may walk away if you don’t.

The TA6 form includes some straightforward information, such as the location of the stopcock and the energy supplier. As well as this, it also asks about issues that could affect the next owner, such as:

  • Disputes with neighbours
  • Planning notices of nearby development
  • Information about boundaries and who’s responsible for them
  • Building work carried out on the property, including building regulations approval and planning permission
  • Instances of flooding, subsidence and Japanese knotweed, as well as any work done to remedy these issues
  • Details about access to the property, shared land and parking arrangements.

The list of questions is extensive. However, don’t let that stop buyers from inquiring about anything that is not on the list that they have reservations about.

Filling out the form

Honesty is key when it comes to legal documents. Make sure to answer all questions as thoroughly as possible. Vague replies and omissions will raise red flags.

Even if improvement work was done before you moved in, like for subsidence, it should be acknowledged. Past sales and council searches might uncover issues, but these can be solved with indemnity insurance.

The sooner any issues are identified, the faster they can be addressed, making the sale less likely to fall through.

Lying on the form is dangerous. The buyer has six years from purchase to make a case against you, which is more than enough time to detect a concealed defect or a troublesome neighbour.

You could even be taken to court. If you’re uncertain how to answer something, ask your conveyancer. You can also refer back to the form you got when you bought the property.

Be aware that you can be sued for concealing a problem, like plastering over a large crack, or providing false information to buyers in other correspondence.

What happens if you lie when selling a house?
Lying on the form is dangerous. The buyer has six years from purchase to make a case against you, which is more than enough time to detect a concealed defect or a troublesome neighbour.

Consequences of misrepresentation

Misleading a buyer, whether intentional or not, is a breach of the Misrepresentation Act. This means the seller can seek compensation from you. It is up to the seller to prove they did not mislead the buyer. If they cannot, the most likely outcome is the buyer will receive damages.

This is typically the difference between the amount they paid for the property and its value had the issue been known.

For example, properties with Japanese knotweed can be devalued by around 10%, leading to substantial sums. Another, less common, option is for the contract to be completely unwound. This means going back to before contracts were exchanged.

The seller would need to repurchase their home and cover the buyer’s costs, legal fees, and mortgage interest.

Protecting yourself with a survey

Buyers can give themselves more peace of mind by hiring a chartered surveyor to conduct a survey. This differs from the valuation a mortgage provider does, which determines if a home is worth the amount they are lending.

Surveys assess the condition of the home. They range from a basic condition report, which gives an overview of the state of the home, to a full structural survey, which identifies defects and potential issues and suggests repairs.

These surveys should detect large problems that may not have been included on the property information form. If a surveyor fails to detect something, the buyer can make a complaint and may be able to claim compensation. 

What happens if you lie on a property information form?

Lying on a property information form or providing inaccurate or incomplete information in response to direct enquiries could lead to a claim for compensation based on misrepresentation or breach of contract.

This could result in you being held liable for damages due to not providing accurate details on the form, or not answering questions correctly.

It is important, to be honest and provide accurate information when dealing with property and responding to enquiries, as any false or misleading statements could lead to legal action being taken against you.

Can I sue house seller UK
It is important, to be honest and provide accurate information when dealing with property and responding to enquiries, as any false or misleading statements could lead to legal action being taken against you.

Can I sue house seller UK?

If it’s obvious that key statements made regarding a house are either inaccurate or incomplete, with the seller being aware of the fact that they misrepresented certain details about the property, which caused you to buy it, you may be able to take legal action against them.

Is a TA6 form legally binding?

The TA6 form itself is not legally binding. However, if the seller responds to any questions on the property information form, these responses become part of the contract of sale. It is therefore essential that the seller is truthful and provides accurate information.

Working with us

Selling a house can be a stressful and daunting experience for many partly because of all the paperwork involved, especially if you need to do it in a short space of time. 

We’ve been buying houses of all shapes, sizes and values across the UK for more than 30 years. Our service is designed to be as easy to use and cost-effective as possible, not to mention fast. We organise and pay for valuations and solicitors, and once we’ve agreed on a final price we won’t go back on it. 

Get in touch if you’d like to find out more. 

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