When selling a property, it’s common to be concerned about the less positive aspects of your home, and whether they’ll put prospective buyers off or not. While it’s tempting to gloss over the negatives, withholding information is never a good approach. In fact, in some cases, it’s a prosecutable offence.
Here’s a run-through of the issues you need to declare when you’re selling your house or apartment.
Issues to disclose when selling a property
Structural changes / issues
If you’ve made structural changes to the property, you’ll need to let your estate agent and solicitor know. Similarly, if there are any structural problems that you’re aware of, it’s important to be honest about them.
Boundary disputes / problematic neighbours
It’s especially tempting to conceal any issues with neighbours, particularly over boundary disputes. However, if there are any issues of this nature (and that includes party walls), this is something you need to inform your solicitor / estate agent about. While you’re not under any obligation to reveal much information about your neighbours, you must let prospective buyers know if they have an ASBO.
Crimes / death
In an ideal world, you will have lived at your property peacefully, and won’t need to disclose any information about criminal activity. However, if the crime rate is high in your area, this information will need to be shared with buyers. Likewise, if there was ever a violent death in your home (even if it was before your time), it’s vital to let your agent and solicitor know.
Other key information to mention is:
- If your property is on a flight path
- If there’s Japanese Knotweed growing on your land
- If there are any plans for development nearby
- If any nearby properties have planning permission to make structural changes that may impact your property in some way
How to disclose information about your property
Usually, your solicitor will give you a TA6, or as it’s more commonly known, the Property Information Form. If your name is on the title deeds of your home, then it’s your responsibility to complete this form and return it.
The form will ask you to provide details about all the aspects listed above. As it’s used as a pre-contract document, it’s legally binding, which means you can be sued if you deliberately leave out any information, or lie about something.
Can you get away with it?
Some sellers do choose to conceal negative information. While they might get away with it in the short-term, there’s every chance that the buyer will attempt to take legal action against them in the future. In short, it’s just not worth the risk.
If you’re unsure exactly how much to reveal in this process, talk to your solicitor or estate agent. Be as open and transparent with them as possible – remember, they’ve got your best interests at heart, and the advice they give you will be focused on the property sale, and also ensuring that you don’t face legal trouble in the future.
If you’re looking to sell your home, Hastings International can help you find the perfect buyer. Please visit our Selling Property page or get in touch with one of our team.