Should we talk rubbish or not?

Our lawyer Fiona McNulty explains the importance of disclosing information when selling a property
legal cartoon
© Merrily Harpur
Question: Our new house is on the market. There is a right of way to the rear which we share with our neighbour and we use this to get to our bins.

Eighteen months ago, our solicitor wrote to our neighbour because they were obstructing the access with building materials to construct a small conservatory which would have encroached on to our right of way.

The letter worked as the conservatory has not been built, and the access has not been obstructed again. Once we have a buyer do we have to disclose this as the issue has been resolved?

Answer: Yes, you should disclose this. When selling a property it is important for you to inform the buyer of anything which affects the property which is not apparent on inspection.

There is a principle 'caveat emptor' which means 'buyer beware' and so the buyer always has to carry out reasonable enquiries and searches but the buyer is unlikely to be able to find about this issue and of course the letter to your neighbour unless you disclose this.

Your solicitor should ask you to complete a form called the Property Information Form which will be passed to the buyer’s solicitor with the contract. There is a question on this form which relates to notices, correspondence etc relating to the property having been sent or received. Refer in your answer to the issue with your neighbour, the fact that it has been resolved and provide a copy of your solicitor’s letter to your neighbour. If you do this you will not have misrepresented the situation in any way.

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If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, email We regret that questions cannot be answered individually.

Fiona is a partner in the property team at Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons Solicitors

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