Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

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Post by deeplyblue » Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:04 am

chica wrote:To clarify

1/2 the original dispute was over the boundary position

3 yes we bought the property

4 yes we inherited the boundary dispute

5 have spoken to our solicitor who dealt with the purchase

The vendor answered in the negative all the questions in part 1 of the SPIF, however wrote a sentence "there was a dispute over a broken fence but the nieghbor has agreed to put it up again when he has repaired his path"

The vendors solicitor answered part 2 of the SPIF in the positve { thus agreeing any information he held was consistant with the vendors reply to part ! "

We buy the house, 6 months in to find there is a continuing boundary dispute. Have dealt with that at a cost of thousands. In the process uncovered documentation regarding dispute from previos owner and the solicitor who both signed the SPIF. IE this dispute was still active whilst our purchase was going through and niether vendor or his solicitor disclosed this information.

Any help on this would be appreciated, and ref to law or rules would certainly help.

hope this helps

many thanks
Okay, you are now in the territory where you need trained legal advice. I'll quote from the website of a law firm, trying to alarm people about PIQs
Bearing in mind that buyers may well rely on the contents of the PIQ you potentially run the risk of the buyer claiming that he relied on inaccurate information in placing an offer on the property. In the circumstances, clearly the best advice is to make sure that the Property Information Questionnaire remains accurate. ... q-faqs/796
Now IF that's true, then your case would be a good example, I think. But, then I'm a layman, and for this sort of thing you need a professional. You could start with your own solicitor, or you could see if this is one of those cases which run on a no-win, no-fee basis from a specialist law firm.

It is an interesting question as to whom you would actually sue - the vendor, the agent or the solicitor. I would add a note of caution - this sort of thing can make lawyers rich and clients poor, so be careful. If the best you could get would be (say) £4,000, then you need to be sure you aren't going to be paying out £6,000 in costs. Second note of caution, is that suing solicitors is especially difficult. They all have professional indemnity cover, which means that you're fighting their insurance company, not them.

Your solicitor should be able to advise you on this matter, and possibly get the opinion of a specialist lawyer - which will cost you hundreds of pounds an hour. If the lawyer tells you it's not worth the effort, then you drop it, having wasted no more than a few hundreds of pounds, rather than the thousands that finding out in court would cost.


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Re: Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

Post by pandora110 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:10 am

Conveyancer wrote:There is some misunderstanding about this Act. It makes it a criminal offence to make a false or misleading statement in the course of an estate agency or property development business.

The Act does not:

(a) Give rise to any right to compensation solely by reason of an offence being committed.

(b) Impose upon an agent a duty to pass on to a potential buyer any information given to him by a third party, even if that third party is in dispute with the seller.

(c) Set out what information must be given in sales particulars.


If you are in dispute with your neighbour and a “For Sale” board goes up, by all means tell the selling agent about the dispute, but do not be surprised if he takes no action. His sole obligation is to answer truthfully any questions put to him, although he can decline to answer questions.

It is far more useful to give details of the dispute to the neighbour's solicitor. A solicitor cannot pass on information he knows is false or misleading. If the client insists, the solicitor must decline to act. Of course the seller can change solicitors. A solicitor is not under any obligation to, and indeed ought not, explain to the buyer's solicitor why his instructions have been withdrawn since this is privileged information.

Whether it serves any useful purpose to make the dispute known is going to depend on the nature of the dispute; you need to take legal advice and consider the matter carefully.

A word of warning: you may believe you have a good case, but it may have no basis in law. In certain circumstances if you delay a transaction or cause it to fall through you may be liable for damages if sued for slander of title.

:o ... l-leather-


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Re: Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

Post by Roblewis » Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:05 pm

Looking at the answers on the SPIF wanders away a little from the PMA, Estate Agents are subject to the PMA but vendors and their solicitors are liable under contract law. The SPIF forms part of the contract terms and you would be looking to sue the vendor for misrepresentation in the sort of situation outlined above. The SPIF, as I say elsewhere, is not just concerned with boundary disputes rather ALL disputes and similar matters. Revealing one dispute but hiding another is still misrepresentation and is thus actionable. The vendors solicitor seems to have forgotten that the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Law Society expect the vendors solicitor to act with absolute propriety and ensure matters of which they are aware that need to be disclosed are in fact disclosed. They can lose the right to undertake any conveyance work involving mortgages, for either side, if found so responsible.

Your conveyancer really ought not have accepted the statements you offerred without more evidence and s/he too may be actionable. Get independent advice, checking your insurances for legal expenses cover.

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Re: Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

Post by RUHEAP » Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:11 am

from ruheap. notices.....i have erected large clear notices around my garden plus one directly in front of my neighbours gate warning all visitors that about 100 tons of fly tipped solid & fluids have been tipped on my garden for 11 rats urinate on the items any small cut infected can be deadly....warning local children to call 999 if any cut whilst playing in my garden... lucky shot killed one last was as long as a small rabbit not counting the tail....
another point re no data on deeds that my garden is an area of special conservation and on which a tree preservation order exists & even half my garden is ancillary tomorrow is another day & its so easy for the council to add clauses as they wish ...what next ? i allowed officially allowed to drive on my garden.....10yr rule on caravan parking....had to remove a single rope swing from a tree...needing council permission to do many things in my garden. house shown as freehold but is it ?

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Re: Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

Post by Conveyancer » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:08 pm

Since I made the first post in this thread the law has moved on. Agents are now under a duty to disclose material information within their knowledge. For more details see here: ... FT1364.pdf
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Re: Property Misdescriptions Act 1991

Post by Conveyancer » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:11 am

The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 has been repealed on the grounds that the provisions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 offer sufficient protection for the consumer.
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