Responsibility after sale?

by Readers Question

14:00 PM, 29th December 2019
About 3 months ago

Responsibility after sale?

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Responsibility after sale?

A year ago I sold a property that was used loosely as self contained units/bedsits. The new owner knew that it did not have full planning consent for this use – it had previously been a hostel, then HMO (I had an HMO license) when licensing came in and a few were altered further.

The new owner intended to upgrade and to use as fully self contained units and let via an agency. He did do a lot of work, but did not deal with the planning issues by way of a certificate of lawful use which he had assured me he would.

He’s now been issued with an enforcement notice and has asked me to join forces with him to appeal saying that I am equally liable for this and will be prosecuted for benefiting from illegal earnings during the time I had it. He was 100% aware of the buildings planning consents when he purchased.

Question is, is this correct?

I doubt anything I add will now help his case as he was refused the CLUED and the enforcement notice issued rather than the opportunity to reapply.

Many thanks

Harlequin Garden



Comments

silversurfer2017

19:36 PM, 31st December 2019
About 3 months ago

When buying a property 'caveat emptor' applies. You did not mislead the buyer with false information. It was up to the buyer to do his full research before proceeding with the purchase, and also further research of the measures necessary if he wanted to modify the property further. This he clearly failed to do. I would suggest you do nothing.

Graham Bowcock

15:32 PM, 1st January 2020
About 3 months ago

If you provided information honestly, then you should have no liability; the buyer (through their solicitor and valuer) should have done their own due diligence prior to purchase.

I suspect that you (but the buyer) would have been better applying for the CLUED as the facts were essentially yours, not his. It is necessary to prove that a use existed and to provide appropriate documentation (photos, letters, statutory declarations, etc.) which for your buyer would have been "second hand". This may be why his application was refused and he now needs your help. He should have thought about this prior to purchase.

As ever with these things, it maybe best to have a word with your conveyancing solicitor as the devil is always in the detail. Subject to their advice, you would be best advised not to enter discussions. if the buyer persists, then get your solicitor to write firmly.


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