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Commercial property standard enquiries replies

Getting it right first time and what to do if you think you’ve been misled.

We previously published an article about why replies to enquires are so important following the case of Morrell and another v Stewart and another [2015] EWHC 962. The case held that a buyer was entitled to damages because their seller had been economical with the truth in replying to standard enquiries.
The recent case of Greenridge Luton v Kempton Investments [2016] EWHC 91 only serves to reinforce the message that you must answer these enquiries as fully as you can. In this case, Kempton Investments gave replies to standard enquiries in the usual way. One enquiry asked: “Except as already disclosed, have there been any complaints or disputes relating to the service charge?”  Kempton’s response stated “There have been no complaints or disputes as such. From time to time TUI have raised queries on mainly historic issues. TUI have recently raised further enquiries.”
In fact, Kempton were aware of a dispute over a service charge that had been ongoing for some years and had resulted in TUI withholding just under £100,000 in service charge payments.
Greenridge discovered the true situation before completion and rescinded the contract. They then successfully sued Kempton for the return of the contractual deposit and damages. In this case the sellers misrepresentations were deliberate, however, it doesn’t detract from the point that, whether deliberate or careless, misleading and inaccurate replies to enquiries have consequences.
If you are considering selling your property our expert team of Commercial Property solicitors can guide you through the process so why not call us on 0800 088 6004.
Alternatively, if you have recently bought property, or are in the process of doing so, and think that your seller has not been honest or accurate in their replies to enquiries our Commercial Litigation team are on hand to help.