Practical tips about the top ten thematic topics that smart consumers should pay attention to during property transactions or appointing estate agents.
Unauthorised Building Works
If a building order has been issued by the Government in respect of any unauthorised building works of a property and the order has been registered at the Land Registry, the relevant encumbrances will be set out on the land search register of the property. An estate agent should state the related encumbrances on the Property Information Form and attach with it a copy of the land search.
If there are unauthorised building works in a property, the Government may require the property’s owner to demolish those building works. Should the owner refuse to demolish those building works, the Government may carry out the demolition for the owner and may sell the property to recover the demolition cost. Hence, there may be problems with its resale or application for mortgages.
The EAA has also issued guidelines requiring estate agents to ask sellers/landlords to provide the details of any additions or alterations to the property, and to remind buyers/tenants of the risks associated with buying or renting such properties. If a buyer is willing to buy a property with unauthorised building works, the seller should clearly state so and clarify the related responsibilities of both parties in the sale and purchase agreement, including which party will be responsible for the cost of demolition and restoration, as well as other legal liabilities.