Moving house is a hugely exciting time. However, the conveyancing process can be daunting, and the road to home ownership inevitably comes with the odd twist or turn along the way.
Buying or selling a property involves a set procedure, and certain steps need to be completed from initial offer to completion. There are many elements involved in the conveyancing process, with a set legal process to follow and many administrative tasks to complete, and it can often prove overwhelming for those unfamiliar with it.
Even for seasoned movers, there can be challenges in conveyancing, and it is always worth instructing an experienced conveyancing solicitor from the outset of your house sale or purchase. A specialist solicitor will ensure that the transaction runs smoothly and will make you feel as relaxed as possible during the process.
It also pays to be prepared. Being aware of each stage of the conveyancing process and knowing what is expected of you and when, will prove invaluable and can help speed up the sale or purchase of your new home.
In this blog, our Conveyancing Solicitors ensure sellers are on top of what is required of them by looking at the information a seller needs to disclose to prospective buyers of their property.
Sellers’ Legal Requirements
For many years, the onus was on a buyer to unearth any potential problems about a property they were interested in under a principle called ‘caveat emptor’ (‘buyer beware’).
However, this changed in 2013 when buying a home was brought under the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations. Bringing property sales under this law was designed to protect buyers by increasing transparency. It means that a seller is now legally obliged to inform a buyer of any issues or defects about a property that might affect a buyer’s decision.
While it might be tempting to focus on the positives of your property in a bid to secure a sale, sellers must make several key disclosures, both good and bad. Failure to disclose any relevant information could result in fines or legal action.
So, what information must a seller disclose when selling a house?
When selling a property, a seller must complete a Property Information Form (TA6 Form), which is designed to give a buyer more details about the property’s condition and any known problems.
A TA6 form covers 14 main categories about a home. Sellers need to provide information on:
- Property boundaries, including any movement of boundaries and who is responsible for maintaining them (fence, hedge, etc).
- Disputes and complaints, for example, neighbour disputes.
- Notices and proposals, such as information about proposals to develop or change the use of nearby land or buildings.
- Alterations, planning and building control. If you have made changes to the property, you will be asked to show the works have the proper consents and approvals.
- Guarantees and warranties that relate to the property, such as a new home warranty or damp proofing.
- Insurance, i.e. whether you have insurance on the property and details of any claims you have made against it.
- Environmental matters. In this section, you give information about any environmental matters that might affect a property, such as flooding or Japanese knotweed. You will also be asked to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
- Rights and informal arrangements, such as rights to light or whether your property can be used for public access.
- Parking arrangements for the property.
- Other charges affecting your property, such as any payments to a management company.
- Details of the occupiers of the property.
- Services, including whether the property has central heating, and drainage and sewerage supplies.
- Information about connections to utilities and services, such as who is currently supplying utilities and services to the property and the location of any meters.
- Transaction information, including whether the sale is dependent on the seller completing the purchase of another property on the same day and any special requirements about a moving date.
Sellers must provide the various title deeds and ownership documentation as part of the disclosure process, including documents like the Land Registry Title, lease (if applicable), and any other supporting paperwork related to the property’s history.
In addition to the Property Information Form, sellers are also required to complete a Fittings and Contents Form (TA10 Form), which requires sellers to list all the fixtures and fittings included in the sale. This clarifies what items are part of the property and which will be removed before completion.
The forms can be complicated and need to be completed carefully. A solicitor can help with any issues and advise exactly what information needs to be disclosed. For example, if you have had a minor falling out with a neighbour in the past, but it has been resolved, an experienced conveyancing solicitor can help you decide whether you need to declare it on the form or not.
For more information on the conveyancing process and to find out more about what is involved, download your free guide here.
Solicitor for Residential Conveyancing
If you want to buy or sell a property and need legal advice, Bowsers Solicitors can help. We have extensive experience of conveyancing and ensure both buyers and sellers receive an efficient, cost-effective and fast conveyancing service.
In addition to the tasks that a solicitor or qualified legal professional must carry out, several other third parties are involved in the conveyancing process, including mortgage lenders, surveyors, local authorities and estate agents.
Due to our extensive experience and robust local presence, we can ensure the process runs seamlessly in line with the other elements.
Bowsers Solicitors is also proud to be accredited by The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS), which is a recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices.
If you are looking for property law advice, please contact our experienced conveyancing solicitors or chartered legal executives today on 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form.
For more information about our residential conveyancing practice, click here.