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Conveyancing searches: rights and obligations of clients

Conveyancing searches - rights and obligations of clientsKnowledge of facts obtained by the solicitor when acting for his client can be ascribed to the client irrespective of the fact that the client has knowledge of the matter or not. Thus, a seller can be held liable for misrepresentation to the buyer, even if did not have actual knowledge of the matter.  In such instances, it is common for sellers to seek indemnity from the seller’s solicitor.

Can you rely on searches made by a third-party?

The results of enquiries made by the searcher can be shared with third parties. Thus, a seller who has made pre-contract enquiries while purchasing the property can share the results of the same with the prospective buyer (and the buyer’s lender). It is up to the buyer to accept the results as they are, or commission another search. This can be done, if the buyer ascertains that sufficient questions were not raised or if the search results are not to his satisfaction. Similarly, it is also common for a lender to depend on searches made by the buyer.

What’s best for the client? 

All results related to the search should be noted and the buyer should be informed. These results provide vital information about the property intended to be purchased. These results should be studied carefully and the buyer informed about the implications of all search results. In fact, the conveyancing solicitor acting for the buyer should not approve the contract unless all search results are available. When a conveyancying solicitor is acting for the buyer as well as the buyer’s lender, he should share the search results with the buyer’s lender as well, especially when the search results are likely to affect the value or salability of the property.

Photo courtesy: buster19761976

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