This was a complaint concerning non-disclosure of information where the potential buyer, Mr D, alleged that the Agent knew that there was a dispute over the ownership of the parking space at the property but said nothing, resulting in a long drawn out transaction from which Mr D eventually withdrew.
The information in question, which was clearly material to any would be buyer, was that the parking space which the Agent had marketed as part of the property, was in fact the subject of an ownership dispute between the seller and the freeholder to the extent that the matter was due to be considered by the Court. The parking space was not included in the seller’s lease and a deed of variation was needed to correct this, either by agreement between the seller and the freeholder or, if they could not agree, as ordered by the Court. However, upon inspection of all the information presented to me it became apparent that the Agent became aware of the issue a month after the sale to Mr D was agreed. Furthermore, from that point onwards the Agent regularly updated Mr D, despite struggling to obtain information from the seller’s solicitor and the seller consistently dismissing the problem as unfounded and easily resolved.
I acknowledged that updates were frustratingly slow in forthcoming and proved unreliable in terms of timescale for the completion of the transaction. However, it was clear that in this case the Agent did all they could to assist in resolving the matter as soon as they became aware of the problem. Moreover, given that the Agent was not aware of any parking issues until nearly a month after the sale had been agreed and had been presented with no information which should have put them on notice that there was a problem, I did not support the complaint.
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