The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations are intended to prohibit trading practices which are unfair to consumers. This includes “immoveable property” and the Regulations therefore cover property sales.
When acting for the seller of a property, the solicitor must make the seller aware that both the seller and the solicitor have a duty not to mislead the buyer by giving incorrect or ambiguous information (a misleading action) or failing to provide material information to the buyer (a misleading omission). Failure to disclose any known defects or adverse matters relating to the property may mean that, in certain circumstances, the buyer would have rights of redress.
If a seller informs their solicitor of any material defect or adverse matter in relation to the property they are selling and instructs their solicitor not to inform the buyer’s solicitor of the defect, the seller’s solicitor should consider refusing to act to avoid committing one of the offences under the Regulations.
It is therefore important that a seller makes all known disclosures as early in the transaction as possible and authorises their solicitor to provide this information to the buyer’s solicitors to prevent any delays.
If you would like to receive a quotation or require further information on conveyancing issues then please do not hesitate to call our friendly team on 01785 223440.