Never underestimate the importance of carrying out sufficient investigations when purchasing a property. The term ‘Caveat Emptor’ is still relied on today, and places onus on the buyer to find out if there are any physical defects or legal issues relating to the property. Checks should include a review of the title, planning history and the state and condition of the building. A full investigation must be carried out once contracts are exchanged (save for exceptional circumstances), there will be no recourse by the buyer resulting in a lost deposit if the decision is made not to proceed.
- Make sure you identify issues as early as possible before a binding contract is in place. Allow your lawyer to investigate issues thoroughly, exchange may be delayed, but it is better to be aware of issues with the property than be liable for significant contractual disputes and a reduction in property value.
- Sellers creating a sales pack must remember to include as much information as possible and any issues identified at an early stage.
In order to speed up any property transaction planning from the outset is key.