Conveyancing in England and Wales is subject to the common law doctrine that places a burden on prospective purchasers to undertake a reasonable examination of a property before it is bought. Inversely, the seller has limited obligations. These extend to disclosing obscure issues and defects with the property title. Otherwise the purchaser must ask questions of the seller.  Any misrepresentation in the responses is an issue which must be avoided.

Typically, a seller would be required, as part of the conveyancing process, to complete a series of standard forms which are designed to aske of the seller a number of crucial questions which to which the purchaser will want answers before making a decision about whether to proceed to contract.  These questions include, for instance, information about ownership and any management company, alterations to the property or any pre-existing disputes.  Often these questions will result in a number of further enquiries before a purchaser is confident of its position.

The responses the seller gives to these questions, and any further enquiries, must be truthful to the best of the seller’s knowledge as the purchaser will rely upon them in deciding whether to enter the contract.  They a representations about the property upon which the purchaser is entitled to rely.

Any inaccurate or misleading statement or misrepresentation has the potential to deprive the purchaser of making an informed decision about how to proceed.  If the purchaser contracts on the basis of a misrepresentation then that may be actionable as against the seller.

How can we help you?

We have routinely advised parties to property transactions in respect of bringing claims for misrepresentation as well as defending them. Often, putting a strategy in place early is essential for mitigating any potential claim or prompting settlement conversations. It is, therefore, important to seek advice as soon as possible.

If you are concerned that you have either purchased your property on the basis of misrepresentation or are defending proceedings in respect of it and require advice, then please contact our team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch.