What Do You Have To Declare When Selling A House?

Written by Mathew McCorry

If you read my property blog now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you and I will make you read it.

Moving out of your property is never simple, and if you have had problems at your current home, you don’t want those issues to put off potential buyers. As a seller, you have to create a clear picture of your property, but are there issues you don’t have to disclose to buyers?

What Are The Legal Requirements?

Since 2013, the description of a home and the sale of a property has been made part of the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations. Meaning that it is a legal requirement to disclose any information about the property that could affect the decision from a buyer. If you didn’t communicate certain information, then you could be prosecuted.

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How Do You Disclose Information

When you sell your home, your estate agent will provide you with a Property Information Form (also known as a TA6) to fill out. You have to fill this out to make buyers aware of any problems there may have been at the property. This document includes the following areas:

  • Boundaries – this section would cover any disputes between neighbours on issues such as who may own or who has the responsibility to maintain boundaries.
  • Disputes and Complaints – any problems with neighbours for example noises or anything that has arisen or may in the future.
  • Alterations, planning and building control – this section of the document is to disclose any alterations that have been already made on the property, and the consenting paperwork with the alterations.
  • Notices and Proposals – this may be proposals for building in the future within the area, or whether neighbours are planning to build on their property.
  • Guarantees and warranties – any guarantees and warranties relating to the property from other companies.
  • Insurance – whether the property has already got insurance or not, and also the type of insurance on your home.
  • Environmental matters – these are issues such as the types of flooding the house may be susceptible to or whether the house has had Japanese knotweed.
  • Rights and informal agreements – this may include leases on the rights to mines and minerals, channel repair or any other similar matters.
  • Parking – this section covers whether the property has parking facilities and which kind.

Will A Property Information Form Affect My Sale?

You must remember that certain parts of this document won’t necessarily put your buyer off completing the sale. Just because you may not get on with your current neighbours, doesn’t necessarily mean that the new owner will have the same type of relationship. Or even if your property needs work, using the right wording can convey the possibilities for your property, such as ‘offers opportunity for modernisation’.

If you have had problems in the past with your property, for example having Japanese Knotweed, then you need to find the necessary paperwork to prove that your house has dealt with issues such as this. Having all the essential paperwork can give potential buyers the full context and give them confidence in buying your property moving forward.

Although in some cases, there may be factors that affect whether a buyer proceeds with a sale. For example, if part of your property is structurally unsafe, this may affect the sale price. But if you compared this to the time and money spent in fees that you would spend if you ended up at court, then it would be a smarter choice to disclose these issues.

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