In this brief guide, we will discuss the statement “ problems after buying a house UK“ and what you can do about it.

Problems after buying a house in the UK

There are many problems which could pop up after buying a house in the UK. In England, there is a “buyers beware” market and the seller only has to truthfully answer what you aks him and any other information requested in the TA9 property information form.

Whilst in places like Scotland the seller has to be forthcoming with information about the property.

Some of the problems which you could discover after buying a house in the UK include:

Damp

Japanese knotweed

Woodworms

Structural defects

Land reclamation

Restrictive covenants

Rot

Missing fixture and fittings

A common problem which is discovered after buying a house is that the seller has removed furniture and fittings which were agreed as part of the sale. In this case, you should simply contact your conveyancer who will contact the seller or their representatives and inform them of this. It could be a simple error. If the seller refuses to return the furniture or fittings then you may be able to make a claim against them.

Damage after the exchange of contracts

Another common problem is when the damage has occurred between when there has been an exchange of contracts and completion. This is why most mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers recommend that home insurance is obtained at the exchange of contracts. Unfortunately, in this case, your main option will be to make a claim against your insurance policy.

Problems with new builds after purchase

If you have a problem after buying a new build property then most new build properties will have a 10-year warranty which you can make a claim on.

What to do about problems after buying a house in the UK

If you spot problems after buying a house in the UK here are a few things you can do depending on who is likely at fault for these problems

Sue the seller for misrepresentations

You may be able to sue the seller for misrepresentations if they lied. Although it is your responsibility to ensure that what you are buying is suitable for the purpose, which means carrying out all the necessary checks to ensure you are buying a suitable home, the seller cannot simply lie to you or misrepresent the facts. 

You should use a property surveyor and use a conveyancer when completing your home purchase. But even when a property surveyor is used, they tend not to do their jobs correctly in some cases and in other cases, the seller makes it difficult for them to assess particular parts of the house and provide a complete and useful assessment of its condition.

The seller’s responsibility when selling a house

In the UK there is no requirement from the seller to disclose any issues with a home but if they lie about questions you have asked them and you can prove this then there is an obvious problem. The seller has a duty to answer all the questions you have asked them accurately. The TA9 property information form is the standard form used to request information from the seller. Once the seller has answered all these questions your conveyancer may still go back to them and ask more specific questions.

You can, therefore, sue the seller for misrepresentation if they have lied on the property information form or through any medium which you can prove. You can contact a solicitor who will look at your case and determine if you have a strong case for misrepresentation.

There are various ways the seller could misrepresent the property but regardless of what it is, as long as it formed part of your buying decision then you can sue the seller for misrepresentation.

Misrepresentations could be about:

Damp

Japanese knotweed

Woodworm

Ownership of the house

Planning permissions

Neighbourhood disputes

These are some of the problems you could face after buying a house in the UK.

How to bring a misrepresentation claim

To bring a misrepresentation claim you will need to first prove that the seller lied about something. Thusiswhy it is always advised to communicate to a house seller over email where there is proof of communication. You will also have to prove that the seller was aware of the issue which you are claiming they misrepresented. This can seem hard to do but a chat to the neighbours could reveal a cache of information implicating the seller.

As long as you can prove these few points you will be able to make a claim against the seller and possibly have the sales contract rescinded. You will then be able to return the property to them and recover all your funds. If you start this process, you may want to keep your mortgage lender informed.

If the issue isn’t very big then the courts may instead see it asr more proportional for you to claim for damages and use this to rectify the issue and hence award you damages or any diminution in the value of the property.

Sue your conveyancer for negligence

You may be able to sue your conveyancer if you have problems after buying a house in the UK and these are problems that the conveyancer should have spotted. As above, you will have to prove that the problem was something that could have been preventable had the conveyancer done their job properly. In some cases, the conveyancers will settle out of courts to avoid a lengthy lawsuit.

Sue the property surveyor for negligence

Just as you could sue the conveyancer, you may be able to sue the property survey if you find problems after buying a house in the K and these are problems which the property surveyor could have alerted you to by doing their job properly.

You will have to prove that it was very likely that the property surveyor would have spotted the issue if they had followed guidelines set out by their chattered institute of property surveyors or typical working guidelines.

If you can do this then you can sue the property surveyors for professional negligence.

How to avoid problems after buying a house in the UK

Problems after buying a house in the UK are common and you won’t be able to avoid all but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances that you have any problems after buying a house in the UK. below are some of the steps you can take:

Use a conveyancer

Most mortgage lenders will insist you use a conveyancer when buying a house if you are getting a mortgage to buy the house. By using a conveyancer you ride yourself of any liability for work which a conveyancer would have ordinarily done.

Use a property suveyor

S with using a conveyancer, a property surveyor will be more experienced in checking the house for any defects and using one rids you of most of the liability if you then have problems after buying the house that should ordinarily have been spotted by a property surveyor.

Get home insurance before you complete

Getting home insurance before you complete on the hoke purchase will help you reduce any potential issues that may occur immediately after you move into the house. Most mortgage lenders will insist that you have buildings insurance before completion.

FAQs: problems after buying a house in the UK

Is seller responsible for repairs after closing?

No, as seller isn’t responsible for repairs after closing except you can prove that the seller lied about a question which you asked them that concerns the part of the house which needs to be repaired.

You may be able to negotiate with the seller to pay for the repairs or you may have to use the courts to compel them.

Can someone sue after buying a house UK?

Yes, you can be sued after selling a house to a buyer in the UK. A buyer can sue you after buying your house if you misrepresented the property or did anything that could be seen as a breach of the sales agreement or fraudulent. Buyers can take out insurance which covers their costs if they have to sue a seller.

Using a mortgage broker

You may want to consider using an independent mortgage broker to get a mortgage. This will help you avoid some of the problems you may face as a buyer.

Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases. This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages than going directly to a mortgage lender.

A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you.

After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle. This will allow you to shop for your home easier as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously or it will give you confidence that your remortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. Once you have found a home you want to buy or are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your remortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.

This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.

If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer. Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it, they will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.

In this brief guide, we discussed the statement “ problems after buying a house UK“. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.