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Duty to disclose

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  • Duty to disclose

    Hi

    Anyone have any thoughts or advice?

    We bought a property in Staffordshire (with an optional acre of land that was subequently withdrawn when we asked about buying it) and found most of the local people friendly and pleasant. However, there are one or two that are decidedly "off".

    We now understand that the property we bought was the subject of a challenge to a will and taken away from the inteded inheritors (grandson and granddaughter) and it is this fact that we understand is the cause of the "off" atttude ("that house should have gone to x and y and not sold").

    It also explains a statement made regarding the extra acre (we aren't selling the land now as X says he will leave home if we sell any more of his inheritance).

    Should this have been disclosed as things like noisy neighbours or other disputes have to be notified?

  • #2
    Re: Duty to disclose

    Under English law the onus is on the buyer to investigate a property he or she is acquiring - the seller is under a limited duty to disclose "latent incumbrances" (i.e. things that affect the property that aren't immediately obvious, such as rights of way) and defects in title (e.g. ownership deeds have been lost). It may be worth asking your solicitor for his or her opinion on the circumstances you outline - although unfortunately there's probably little you can now do about it I'm afraid.

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    • #3
      Re: Duty to disclose

      To be fair, the problem isn't even in relation to the property itself, but is a family tiff of some sort. I don't think there is any actionable misrepresentation or non-disclosure from what you have said
      This is based on my experience as a conveyancing solicitor in England, but I do not accept liability for information I give in this forum

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      • #4
        Re: Duty to disclose

        Indeed, the issue isn't one of anything that will affect the property value, ie, structural issues, environmental damage problems. It's just an issue with some neighbours.

        However, what you may probably find is that so long as you sympathise with the situation and explain you didn't realise, and would never have bought the property if you had known, then the residents will likely see you as much the victim as anything else, and gain at least some degree of sympathy.

        However, if you lord it around, ie, "It's my house now, so tough on everybody!" you may find yourself digging a deep hole.

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