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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10456
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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I have gone up into my attic and have observed that the wall

Customer Question

I have gone up into my attic and have observed that the wall is a single layer of breeze blocks and although the wall is clearly not structural - there is a clear gap between it and the roof structure - I can see cracking in two of the breeze blocks of the wall. My purchasers surveyor went up into the attic and this wall is clearly visible - not hidden or obscured by anything.
My question is - do I now have to draw my purchasers attention to this.
Many thanks.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your enquiry. A Seller is under no duty to advise a Buyer about the state and condition of the property, and a Buyer therefore has to rely on their own Survey. Likewise, a Buyer buys the property in the condition it is at the date of exchange of Contracts, and as the cracks are already there, you would have no liability to the Buyer in this regard. Before completion, your Solicitor is under a duty to confirm to the Buyers Solicitors whether or not any of your answers on the Property Information Form (PIF) have changed. As none of the questions on the PIF relate to the state and condition of the property, this issue does not legally need to be disclosed. I hope this assists and sets out the legal position. If I have helped, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer. Kind Regards Al

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for setting out the legal position, I had been told previously that the position regarding house purchases had changed and I was obliged to disclose anything and everything. I am still concerned however that by saying I have had no problem with the wall, when I have had to repair cracks in the plaster, that they may say I have misled them and I would like to know where I would stand on this issue as well.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thanks for your reply. Having re-read your original question, I must apologise as I had not noted that you have previously told your Buyers Solicitor that you have had no problem with the wall. The legal position is that if you have deliberately misinformed the Buyer in answering any of his Solicitors enquiries, you could be sued by your Buyer for Misrepresentation. The Buyers Surveyor should of course spotted the cracks during his Survey, and if the Buyer proceeds without being aware of the cracks, he is more than likely going to sue his Surveyor as it would be easier for him to do so (his Surveyor will have professional indemnity insurance and in effect, the Buyer would claim on this insurance). However, he would also be entitled to sue you through the Courts, if he could prove that you have deliberately misinformed him. I therefore have to leave it to you as to whether you disclose the previous remedial works. Apologies again for my previous answer- if you had not had any work carried out previously, my original answer remains the same. Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hi,
No we didn't have any remedial work done as they were just hairline superficial cracks in the plaster around the door frame - so we just used polyfiller before we painted the wall - they weren't anything that caused us concern and still don't apart from this ongoing concern that I have to disclose every little thing or I am going to be sued by someone.
I'm slightly confused by your answer so I am hoping that this additional information will clarify.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, apologies for my confusing answers. The law is that you are under no duty to disclose any defects in the property whatsoever and it is entirely up to the Buyer to satisfy himself, by way of conducting a Survey. However, if the Buyers Solicitor asks a specific question and you do not answer this question correctly, the Buyer may sue you for Misrepresentation if the answer given was not true and the Buyer then relies on your answer in proceeding with the purchase. So, if you had had to get a builder in to carry out work to the wall and you had replied that you had had no problems with the wall, you may be guilty of Misrepresentation. From what you have said, however, it does not appear that you have had any problems with the wall, as such, and the presence of minor cracks, would not in itself mean that you have "had problems". My advice, therefore, would be that you needn't mention anything further on the subject, and just because you have seen the cracks from the attic, does not mean that you now have to disclose this fact. Kind Regards Al

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you that has been a great help. Are you able to advise me on what I need to do if I do not want the Q&A to be displayed on the Just Answer website or do I need to contact customer services.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thanks. Please could you contact customer services, who I am sure will be able to get it deleted. All the best Al

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