12 March 2018
When buying a home, make sure you know what to expect from the seller during the buying process.
The seller must provide you with an Energy Performance Certificate — or EPC — free of charge.
The EPC is produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor and lasts 10 years.
The rule of “buyer beware” applies but the seller must not fraudulently conceal known defects or reply dishonestly to pre-contract enquiries.
Your solicitor will have provided you with copies of the property information form, the fittings and contents form, and, if you are buying a leasehold property, with the leasehold information form.
The seller will have completed these forms and answered any additional enquiries raised by your solicitor, and should have done so accurately and honestly.
The Law Society’s Standard Conditions of Sale (5th Edition) is commonly used in most residential property transactions and provides for vacant possession on completion — unless the contract has been varied, usually because the property is being sold with a tenant.
The property you are buying is presumably for you to occupy, so you will want it to be vacant when you complete the purchase.
The seller should have disclosed prior to exchange of contracts if the property is occupied by anyone other than themselves.
If anyone aged over 18 is living with the seller at the property, that occupier should sign the contract to confirm no rights of occupation are being claimed and that they will leave the property on completion.