Does our building's management company have to answer our buyer's questions?

Our property lawyer Fiona McNulty answers your questions
Question: We are selling our flat and the buyers' solicitors have sent our solicitors another long list of questions, which our solicitors say must be sent to the secretary of the management company that runs our building for her to answer. Apparently she charges a fee of £100 plus VAT for answering these questions. Is this usual — and why can't we just answer the questions ourselves? We have already completed a number of forms and enquiries for the buyers' solicitors.

Answer: The forms you have completed already will be Law Society protocol forms, such as the fixtures and fittings form and the property information form, and you may have answered additional enquiries raised by the buyers' solicitors. These will relate to matters within your personal knowledge — for example, whether the boiler has been serviced etc. The latest list of questions will be enquiries of the leaseholder/freeholder and will include questions relating to the management of the building/block in which your flat is located.

These questions should not be answered by you — the buyers need independent information concerning matters such as arrears of service charge or rent, breaches of covenant, and details of the cost of any anticipated future works for which the future buyers may find themselves liable. If you were to answer the questions, you might paint a rosier picture: for example, you may not disclose any arrears of service charge, or that the building needs a new roof, as your buyers may be put off.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

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