Seller’s Duty of Disclosure – What must be disclosed?

During the Conveyancing process, it is an implied term of a contract for the sale of a property that the vendor is selling free of incumbrances (burdens).

As an exception to the caveat emptor rule, the seller must disclose:

Who is occupying the property?

If the property is of unregistered title and the buyer inspects the property he is deemed to have notice of the right of any occupiers.

Where the title is registered, the rights of occupiers may be overriding interests. It is recommended that a full disclosure of occupants rights should be disclosed and Conveyancing Solicitors should raise appropriate enquiries if nothing is mentioned by the seller regarding occupants.

What Overriding Interests are disclosable?

The seller is expected to disclose latent overriding interests. In practice a questionnaire is usually sent to the seller to complete and returned to the buyer’s Conveyancing Solicitor.

Local land charges

Unless the contract provides to the contrary, the duty of disclosure requires the seller to disclose what would be revealed in a local land charges search. The seller's Conveyancing Solicitor will generally conduct a the search before drafting the contract, unless there is a clause excluding such matters from being disclosed.

Matters outside the seller's knowledge

These would generally be excluded due to the standard contractual conditions in the contract. However, it should be noted that any knowledge acquired by the seller's Conveyancing Solicitor during the course of the transaction is treated as being known also by the seller and must be disclosed.

To prevent problems from arising after a sale has completed, it is advisable for both parties to instruct a qualified and experienced Conveyancing Solicitor as they will be familiar with the types of information that must be supplied.

For more information, contact us on 0330 660 0286.