I have just moved house and find to my dismay that my new neighbour is difficult and aggressive, causing problems with late night noise, parking issues etc. Should the previous owner of this house have informed me about the problems?
All sales and purchases are dealt with in the form of The Law Society standard conditions of sale, whichever edition is used. These are a comprehensive and complete collection of conditions which set out the process and procedure which governs what sellers and buyers must disclose, how to disclose, as well as a guide for solicitors and buyers and sellers, which must be followed. You can vary some of these conditions of sale, which "special conditions" are attached to the standard conditions. However most of the conditions are not varied and therefore both parties are contractually bound to comply with them.
Part of the conditions that must be complied with, unless the buyer agrees to waive them, is the completion, signing and handing over of the protocol forms. These forms are comprised of the fittings and contents for which set out what will remain at the property and are included in the sale price, and those items which will be removed, and any that may be sold. Another form is the property information form. This form is completed by the seller, to the best of the seller's knowledge of the property, and is deemed to be a legal document, and for which the seller is legally responsible for the information given. If the seller gives incorrect information in this form he may be liable to pay compensation to the buyer for any loss or damage suffered by the buyer.
One of the questions in the property information form is whether there have been any disputes or complaints regarding this property or a property nearby, and is the seller aware of anything which might lead to a dispute about the property or a property nearby, and to give details. If the seller answered this negatively and did not give full disclosure then you should go back to the seller for an explanation, and if necessary to seek full legal redress.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.