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Who do you report deliberately misleading property descriptions too? (Fuming)

(15 Posts)
AndShesGone Tue 15-Nov-16 09:30:02

My solicitor says the entire patio area and the actual steps that lead to my house are 'communal'.

Estate agent described in details 'private patio'.

Would you complain about this as obviously we're 1400 quid into this bloody transaction?
And if so, who to?

SoupDragon Tue 15-Nov-16 09:34:05

There will be some disclaimer at the bottom of the estate agents description that says they shouldn't be relied upon.

It may not be deliberate, it might be what they were told by the vendor.

wooooofudge Tue 15-Nov-16 09:40:37

Yes - you can't rely on the EA details and it's caveat emptor so good that solicitor has flagged this. Your solicitor can ask follow up questions of the vendor to get more info.

AndShesGone Tue 15-Nov-16 09:41:21

It is deliberate, she's still telling me in emails that it's 'private' because no one else uses it hmm

If the shop below changed hands they could legitimately come out their rear door and smoke all day in my 'private patio'.

As far as I'm aware private indicates sole use.

SoupDragon Tue 15-Nov-16 10:36:34

That's one interpretation of private, yes (and the most usual one) but the EA has said it's not that by saying it's just that no one else uses it.

They have usually covered their arse really well.

SoupDragon Tue 15-Nov-16 10:38:53

There is probably some kind of ombudsman you can complain to though. Start with the manager of the EA if there is someone higher than who you are dealing with.

SoupDragon Tue 15-Nov-16 10:42:02

the property ombudsman might have some advice andinformation.

foobio Tue 15-Nov-16 10:50:26

If you haven't yet exchanged, then consider lowering your offer?

We discovered when measuring up for furniture that the dimensions on the floorplan of our house were exaggerated by 20% in every dimension. We dropped our offer by 5k and the vendors put it back on the market for a month before begrudgigly accepting.

Word of warning though - unfortunately the vendors were difficult with us through the rest of the process, and in hindsight (following lots of other problems with the EA), we do not believe the estate agent told them why we dropped our offer.

We tried complaining to the EA management who just referred us to the disclaimer on the particulars. We intended to inform the ombudsman, but once we'd moved in we just wanted to forget about it!

wooooofudge Tue 15-Nov-16 11:37:20

The EA acts for the vendor - of course they are fighting the vendor's corner as they don't want you to pull out of the sale.

You need to decide how important this element is to you, whether you will still go ahead knowing another resident (I presume) may rock up on their garden chair with a drink in their hand outside whichever part of the flat it is. If it's a deal breaker then walk away and make sure your solicitor tells the vendor's solicitor why.

wooooofudge Tue 15-Nov-16 11:40:23

If it isn't a deal breaker, then consider reducing your offer to reflect the fact you don't have sole use of the patio. Btw, 'private patio' could mean for the block/development as opposed to public.

YelloDraw Tue 15-Nov-16 12:13:38

I would either 1) pull out if private patio was a deal breaker or 2) reduce off accordingly based on the new information.

don't get drawn into the sunk costs fallacy... the £1.4k is nothing compared to having a property that isn't right.

YelloDraw Tue 15-Nov-16 12:26:43

This would be a deal breaker for me. It is not a private patio and you run the real risk of neighbors using it, even if they don't at the moment.

SpotTheDuck Tue 15-Nov-16 12:39:05

I don't think that description is misleading: it's a private patio only available for the building, not the general public.

They can't give you exclusive rights to use the patio (is that what you were expecting?) as legally that kind of exclusive right would in fact operate as a lease, even if it's called a right, and obviously they don't want to actually lease it to you.

If you are really annoyed about this, you can complain to the ombudsman. You can also have a look at the property misdescriptions act - estate agents do have some liability for incorrect information given out, although they will always try to exclude this.

But tbh I don't think you're going to get anywhere!

Kirriemuir Tue 15-Nov-16 13:59:57

If the seller advised the EA that this was a private patio then it could be down to that. EA do not have access to title deeds to be able to check. Nor are they qualified to do so unless they have a residential conveyancing practising certificate and have the title deeds in front of them.

What evidence do you have that this was a deliberate act?

Spickle Tue 15-Nov-16 14:00:13

This is precisely why you instruct a solicitor to do the legal work. EA particulars are only accurate as far as the vendor can advise. EAs do not look at leases or any legal documents particular to the property.

As SpotTheDuck rightly says, it is a private patio that Joe Bloggs off the street can't use, but other leaseholders can. Therefore it is private to the block but is not private to your property.

Balconies are also often excluded from the ownership of the leaseholder. This is because they are part of the structure of the building and come under the freeholder/landlord's ownership and maintenance responsibilities. However, a balcony is private in that the leaseholder would have sole rights to use a balcony accessed solely from their property.

Also agree that you're unlikely to get anywhere with this, other than reduce the price offered, but of course that will depend on how easy it would be to get secure another buyer.

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