At the outset of the sale transaction the seller is required to provide a number of documents to the buyer’s Conveyancing solicitor.
The property information forms which are sent to the buyer’s solicitor along with the contract consist of a seller’s property information form and a seller’s leasehold information form. A fixtures fittings and contents form must also be provided. These forms provide a substantial amount of information to the prospective buyer who will use them as a starting point upon which to base their further enquiries.
The seller’s leasehold information form (SLIF) is required to be completed by the seller in most leasehold sale transactions involving residential property. The form is divided into a number of sections and all parts must be answered.
If a particular question does not relate to the property then the seller should answer with ‘Not Applicable’. If the seller is not sure of a particular answer to something they should consult their Conveyancing Solicitor. Their solicitor is required to check through all answers to ensure the form has been completed and the answers are accurate.
The Law Society has stated that checking the answers to part 1 of the SLIF is the responsibility of the solicitor and failure to do this may amount to professional negligence on the part of the solicitor. Answers to the questions must be based on the seller’s own knowledge but must also be consolidated with the information contained in the title deeds.
The seller’s replies should be factual and not based on personal opinions. Where the seller has stated in the form that he has in his possession certain documents, these must also be provided. If they are not available immediately the seller may state that they will be supplied at a later date.
A managing agent’s leasehold information pack may also need be supplied by the seller to the buyer. This will include information about the landlord and service charges etc. . Some of the information requested in the SLIF is therefore duplicated in the managing agents pack. However, all questions must still be answered.
If necessary the seller should check the managing agent’s pack for information regarding the landlord’s details and service charges etc. in order to provide accurate information in the SLIF.
The seller should also have a copy of his Lease in front of him when completing the SLIF or if the lease is with his Conveyancing Solicitor he should ask his solicitor to complete the relevant sections.