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Ask the Question

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A recent case has highlighted the need to ‘ask the question’ when buying property. 

Ask the Question

Ask the Question

A purchaser of land claimed that the vendor had informed him orally that certain planning permissions had been granted in respect of the land without which the land was worth a great deal less. After the purchase was completed the purchaser discovered that in fact the planning permissions had not been granted. The vendor denied he had made such a representation but the court was inclined to accept the purchaser’s side of events. However, they also ruled that the purchaser had no remedy.

The reason for this was that the purchase contract included a provision, which is in virtually all property contracts, that representations by the vendor could not be relied on by the purchaser unless contained in a written response by the vendor’s solicitor to an enquiry raised by the purchaser’s solicitor.

The purchaser argued before the court that this was an unreasonable clause and should be struck out in light of the Unfair Contract Terms Act. The court held that the clause was effective and as this had not been confirmed by the vendor’s solicitors as required by the contract the purchaser had no remedy.

The moral of the story is if in doubt ask us to ask the question.

Further details please contact Malcolm Poynter on 01635 521212 or malcolm.poynter@clmlaw.co.uk

Written by Malcolm Poynter

November 8th, 2013 at 2:51 pm