The importance of a buyer relying on their own searches and inspection has been confirmed in a recent case (Hardy and another v Griffiths and another  EWHC 394).
This highlights a buyer’s obligation to investigate the property for defects before purchasing a property. Any issues that the buyer is not happy to proceed on must be identified and dealt with prior to exchange of contracts.
In this case the buyer failed to have a survey carried out on the property which had damp issues, this was only discovered following exchange of contracts. The buyer claimed the seller had misled them and requested their deposit back, however, there was no evidence to show the seller had given false information that was relied upon and the buyer should have made their own investigations.
There was also a clause in the Contract that the buyer could not rely on anything said by the seller, only replies to enquiries from the seller’s solicitor to buyer’s solicitor could be relied upon.
It is strongly recommended that a proposed purchaser has a full survey carried out and inspects the property prior to exchange to identify any defects that should be raised.
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