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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I bought a semi-det bungalow in an auction but there was no

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I bought a semi-det bungalow in an auction but there was no Property Information form/searches in the auction pack. I did my own conveyancing.
Q1. Was the seller under a duty to have enclosed these?
I now find that the bungalow was built 25 yrs ago without any planning/ bldg regs approval as an extension (granny flat) for a house and the house bit was sold the year before. The new ‘house’ owner is happily paying the council tax but I have no separate council tax bill and in the auction pack there was no mention of the tax band etc. I am worried that if I approach the council for a c.tax bill, they will look into the lack of bldg regs approval; planning is no longer an issue.
Q2. Should the auction pack must have included any such info considering the seller didn’t built the bungalow and bought the house+bungalow together as one unit and hadn’t done any structural work?
Q3. Could I be liable for C.tax payment from the time the house & Bungalow were split or since I bought the bungalow?
The contract said ‘the property is sold in its present state and condition’ and under auction conditions.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok I will wait a little longer.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Firstly in relation to the council tax, council tax is personal you are not responsible for the arrears, you are only responsible for your own occupation of the property.
Secondly purchasing a property at auction comes with the maxim "buyer beware" there is no obligation on the seller to disclose anything. You are responsible for conducting Due Diligence into the property. The only claim you may have is if the seller provided deliberately misleading information.
Thirdly in order to sell the property you will need to ensure that it complies with building regs. Normally the council are barred if no enforcement notice does not get issued within 12 months, but can go to court if the breach is serious enough. What I would recommend you do, is contact a private surveyor and at least find out what needs to be done to rectify and failings and what the cost will be before going to the council.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The bungalow was built approx 25 years ago and I have had it for 4years now. There has never been any enforcement notice served and there are no obvious signs of any failings as such.

I am actually now thinking of selling it in an auction and will put the office copies, contract, TR1, epc in the auction pack and wouldn't bother with anything else such as Property Information form etc. As I will not provide any wrong information, there should be no comeback upon me; do you agree?

Secondly, if the property is sold prior to auction or post auction by the auctioneers as sometimes is the case, does the same maxim 'buyers beware' still apply?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
I would recommend that the auction pack makes clear that the buyer is required to do their own due diligence and you are only selling the property as is with no "warranty or guarantee".
As long as it is made clear that you provide no warranty as to the condition or title of the property and that any buyer must conduct their own due diligence and rely on their own searches.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

I was also told that auctions are 'buyers beware' and one doesn't have to disclose anything and you have confirmed that. So why is there any need to clarify all this as it might make them unnecessarily suspicious?

As regards ***** ***** of the property, that is not a problem- it is registered and I have a plan too. The searches won't be in the pack, so it is obvious they get those if they want to. Do you not agree?

Regards

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
It is a principle of contractual formation that until the contract is signed all negotiations are subject to contract. It is important to tell the buyer to do their own due diligence so they do not try and come back to you and say you "should have warned" it is always better to have such a disclaimer in writing. It is also fairly common in property matters.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to say a buyer should rely on their own inquiry and searches. That is common in any property transaction.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok fair enough.

I also need to clarify that if the property remains unsold in the auction room, but sold by the auction agent after the auction or was sold prior to the auction by the auctioneers, does the same maxim 'buyers beware' still apply?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Buyer beware is a maxim that applies to any purchase.
The seller then has an opportunity to make inquiries of you. You can either respond to the inquiries or say that they must make their own inquiry. If you respond to the inquiries you risk those responses forming part of the contract.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

Sorry, I am asking that if a buyer exchanges contracts POST-auction through the auction agent without any further enquires; the sale still classed as 'Sold in the auction' or not?

Also if the buyer does exactly the same, PRIOR to auction without any further enquires; the sale still classed as 'Sold in the auction' or not?

Regards

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
If the buyer buys the property prior to auction then it wont be sold at auction. It will either be sold subject to contract or they exchange there and then and the buyer will do so at their own risk.
In the first scenario are you saying, the auction occurs no one buys the property, but the auctioneer sells the property to some one anyway after the auction has finished?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many properties remain unsold at the fall of a hammer because either no one bid or it didn't reach the reserve price.

Upto 21 days after the auction, the auctioneers leave it on the market, and if someone is prepared to buy at the reserve price, the buyer either goes to a solicitor to get the ball rolling like normal conveyancing or he goes to auctioneers office and exchanges himself there & then before he goes to a solicitor to complete the job.

Please reply in either case; can he later say that the seller didn't supply complete information in the pack or the seller withheld some information.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
As long as the seller makes the pack clear that the pack and sale of property is "subject to contract" and the buyer is required to do his own due diligence.
The buyer then will only have a claim if the pack is deliberately misleading or mis representative.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3557
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi

I have drawn up a contract to take into account your advice- attached herewith.

Can I please ask you:



  1. If you think it covers me adequately particularly Clauses 8 & 9 as I will not supply them with any Property Information Forms/ Council searches/ etc.

  2. Most solicitors use similar contracts; I have copied them to some extent as I believe they are not copyright or are they?


Regards

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I will look at this as soon as I can. Please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me until later tonight.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That's fine, thanks for letting me know.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Received notification of a reply but there's nothing here, so i will wait as you said, thanks

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
I will post a response as soon as possible.
For the time being please do not respond to this message.
Thank you
Kind regards
AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Hi< Thank you. That contract resembles a standard sales contract. The solicitors may have copyright over it if they have created their own version based on the standard terms. http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/advice/articles/standard-conditions-of-sale/ These are the standard terms that the Law Society Recommends that this contract is probably based on on. I would recommend using this as a reference point. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


Yes, I have already seen the Law Society standard terms and that is what I have already based my contract on. I am aware that other solicitors' contracts are also similar format but I have not copied anyone's word for word or anything. But I nevertheless was concerned that my format/ layout is similar- possibly because they have all based it on the Law Society's format- could that be a problem for me? Surely I can use this format or can't I ??

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