What are the most important things to declare when you sell your house in 2021?

Many will tell you that there is no way to avoid buying residential property.

If there are latent defects in your title, tell your buyer.

What are the reasons to choose Petty Residential?

Members of the RICS we are among Lancashire’s longest-running and reliable independent estate agents in Burnley, Barrowford, Nelson, Colne and Barnoldswick. Petty Real is here to assist you through all stages of the process. We specialise in burnley estate agents commercial and residential leasing and sales of properties as well as having our own in-house Legal, Financial and Home Improvements advisors.

One example is an unregistered easement. This is a right-of-way that isn’t on the title deeds.

A solicitor can help you determine if you have any legal obligations to inform your buyer.

To provide buyers with some protection, the usual conveyancing process requires that the seller fill out what is known as the Property Information Form (or to give it its technical title, TA6). This gives your buyer access to a lot of information about your property, which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to find through standard searches or surveys.

This form was just updated and extended. Sellers are now required to provide additional information about their home, including:

  • Information about boundaries, such as those between yourself and your neighbours
  • Details about any disputes with neighbours (not only those nearby)
  • Not only your neighbors, but also notices of development permission or planning permission for properties nearby
  • Any alterations or building work done on the property (including details about building permissions and building control certificate completion certificates – if any!)
  • Buildings insurance details.
  • This form is very important and must be completed by all sellers.

Do not complete the entire form

Although it is not required to complete this form, most conveyancing lawyers will insist you do. If your firm holds Conveyancing Quality Scheme accreditation, which they most likely do, they will follow a strict protocol. This includes sellers filling out this form.

You can decide to not complete the TA6 form if your solicitor does not insist.

This will be a red flag to the buyer’s solicitor. This document is a common part of modern conveyancing. They will ask the buyer’s solicitor for any missing questions. If they don’t answer, it will be obvious that you are trying hide something.

The buyer will be informed about this and could opt to cancel the purchase.

Do you want to lie on the form?

You might also be tempted tell a big lie or a few white lies on the form. You might claim that you have never had a run-in with your neighbours when, in reality, you have a boundary dispute or a long-running argument about noise.

You might believe you are safe and sound, as your lie is unlikely to be exposed before contracts are exchanged. Your buyer might come after you if your lie is exposed, possibly unwittingly by a neighbour.

If the neighbors are a problem, they will likely seek redress. Wouldn’t you?

What happens if you’re sued?

The law, specifically the Misrepresentation Bill 1967, has made it clear that the seller is responsible for proving misrepresentation. It is not up to the buyer or seller to prove that you knowingly lied on the forms. If they claim against you, you will have to prove it.

A court can find you guilty of misrepresentation. This could be fraud, negligence, or innocent. It can also order you to pay damages for your buyer. These damages can range from tens to thousands of pounds, depending on the nature and severity of the problem.

If there is enough misrepresentation, the court can order the rescission. This means that you will need to purchase back your property and pay any expenses of buyers, such as mortgage interest and legal fees. It could cost you a lot.

Remember that misrepresentation doesn’t have to be limited to the Property Information Form. It is possible to misrepresent your home by deliberately concealing progressive cracks in your property that you suspect (or know) are caused by subsidence. Or by lying to viewers of your property directly or through an estate agent.