The Sellers Property Information form (SPIF) is one of the forms the seller must complete, during the Conveyancing process and it forms part of the pre-contract package. It provides information about the property, e.g. whether there have been any alterations, boundaries, rights of way, disputes with neighbours and whether the property benefits from any guarantees, amongst other things.
The Buyer will rely on the contents of the SPIF and so it must be very carefully completed. If, when completing the form you are unsure about the answer you must say this. You should not answer in the negative or provide a misleading answer. Even if you state as one of your answers ‘ the seller is not aware’ some investigation must have been carried out by you to lead you to that conclusion.
If an incorrect answer is given and this is subsequently discovered the buyer may make a claim against the seller under the law of misrepresentation. This could prove quite costly and could happen several years down the line after the property has been bought. If the defect is discovered before the property is bought the buyer may have the contract rescinded. If it happens after there can be a claim for damages or compensation which can be quite substantial depending on the nature of the misrepresentation.
If for example, there have been disputes with the next door neighbour this must be revealed in the form. It has been suggested that a prospective buyer should go as far as to make enquiries with the neighbours as to their relationship with the seller to see whether all is as harmonious as the seller suggests! However, ultimately, it is for the seller to disclose all in the SPIF. The SPIF forms part of the contract and must be taken very seriously. It should also be checked by the seller’s solicitor and matters should be clarified if need be. The solicitor should complete part II of the form after checking the answers against the information in the possession of the solicitor.
Should you have any queries concerning your Sellers Property Information Form please contact us on 033 0660 0286 or call your Conveyancing Solicitor direct on the number they have provided.