What to do if you’ve bought a house with problems not disclosed

Undisclosed problems can be a nightmare for house buyers.

Here’s our advice on how to deal with a ‘disclosure dilemma’.

 

So, you’ve discovered issues with your home after purchase – now what? 

Buying a home can be a stressful enough experience without finding fault with your new property. 

Even if you carried out a thorough inspection, followed up by a home survey; there’s still a chance you’ll encounter problems down the line. Damp. Noisy neighbours, Cracked foundations. Broken boiler. The last list you want to be writing while settling into your new place – even over a weekly shopping list – is a repair list.

If you still haven’t closed on the house, ring your agent, and see if the fault, or faults, can be resolved.

The seller may offer to fix the issue for you, or you may be able to get a reduced price.

If you’ve signed on the dotted line, don’t worry, not all is lost.

The onus is on the seller to divulge anything that may impact a buyer’s decision before contracts are exchanged. Non-disclosure is a serious matter. 

If you believe the seller has lied, or withheld information about the condition of the property, you can try and initiate a misrepresentation claim.

Your best course of action at this point would be to speak with a property solicitor to find out what your options are.

 

How to ensure all faults and problems are discovered prior to purchase

Hindsight can be a wonderful thing once you’ve bought a house.

‘Why didn’t I ask about this?’ ‘I wish I’d known that at the time.’ ‘The nearest pub’s how far away?!’

The last one maybe isn’t all that important, but you definitely don’t want to be wondering ‘Why this or why that?’ just days after picking up your keys. 

With more than 12 years’ property experience, we know a thing or two about fault-finding. Here are a few pointers:

 

Purchase from a reputable seller

It may sound like an obvious one, but buying from a trustworthy seller will straight away remove a lot of anxiety.

Do your homework.  

If you’re buying through an estate agent, or from a developer, research the business thoroughly.

Check their website, look for reviews, go through their social media accounts.

Try and speak to other people who have bought from them in the past.

If you are buying privately or using a cash buying company, ask around, try and get as many recommendations as possible. Make a face-to-face appointment so you know exactly who you’re dealing with. Never be afraid to ask too many questions. 

The more you know about your seller the more confidence you can have in moving forward.

You’re entering into a huge life commitment, costing thousands of pounds. No stone should be left unturned.

And a reputable seller will always answer all your queries and concerns.

 

Home surveys – should the seller provide this? 

You can go and look at a house two, three, four times. There’s no guarantee you’re going to find every single fault.

Especially if you forget your ladder.

If you have any doubts whatsoever about the condition of the property you’re buying, a home survey is the way to go.

Property surveys are optional, but identifying repairs early on could save you thousands of pounds further down the line.

The buyer is usually the one footing the bill, but this could be your best chance of finding out whether a house genuinely meets its asking price.

And if you find out the roof is about to fall in, then you can ask the seller to fix it, or have them drop the price.

Home surveys should always be carried out by a qualified surveyor. 

There are a number of different surveys available – depending on just how comprehensive you want to be. Ideal if you’re working with a tight budget. But, remember, the cheaper survey, the less in depth it’s likely to be. 

If you’re buying a new build, have a look at getting a snagging survey before exchange. 

 

Visual inspections & questions prior to purchase

Taking a look around a house before you make an offer, or exchange contracts, is still a hugely important part of the process.

This is your chance to inspect every single room, quiz the seller, put any doubts you have to bed.

Take your time. Make as many appointments as you like. And ask as many questions as you want.

Here are a few to get you started…

How long has the property been up for sale?

Have you had any offers so far?

What’s the area like?

Are there any local planning applications I need to be made aware of?

What are your neighbours like?

What is the history of the building?

Why are you moving?

Are they any plumbing, heating or electrical issues?

Are the roof and the foundations in good condition?

Are there any cracks in the exterior brickwork?

Make a note of their answers, and don’t be afraid to give the seller a ring after if you’ve forgotten to ask something.

 

What are your duties as a seller?

When selling a house, there are a number of responsibilities the seller must undertake.

And sorry, but filling out forms is one of those duties.

A property information form (TA6) must be completed requiring a seller to disclose all important information relating to the property. 

Sellers also need to provide an Energy Performance Certificate when a property is sold. These certificates assess the property’s energy use and CO2 impact. 

As the seller you have a duty to answer all property questions honestly and accurately. 

Providing misleading information can lead to legal problems in the future. 

Hull Cash Buyers assists with this entire process, so you don’t need to worry about a single thing when you’re selling a house. 

We can’t guarantee you won’t have any forms to fill out – sorry – but we can promise we’ll be with you every step of the way. 

Stress-free fast sales are our speciality, so if you want money in your bank sooner rather than later, give us a ring.

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