What is a property information form?
Property Information Form – Helpful Tips
When you come to sell your property, you will be asked to complete a copy of the Law Society Property Information Form. This form contains a number of questions about the property, the answers to which will be reviewed by the buyer’s solicitor as part of their investigation of the property.
Below are some helpful tips to assist you in completing the form:
Section 4 – Alterations, Planning and Building Control
This section relates to any works that have been carried out to the property for example extensions, conservatories and loft conversions, although this is not an exhaustive list.
Section 4.1 asks you to detail all the works that have been carried out. Although not clearly stated, you should note any works that have been carried out to the property that you are aware of, even if this was prior to your period of ownership. The year or date in which the works were carried out would also be useful to provide here.
Copies of any planning permissions, building regulations approvals or Competent Persons Certificates (ie NICEIC or FENSA) should be provided as evidence of the works undertaken. If no documentation can be provided, clearly state this in section 4.2.
Section 6 – Insurance
This section asks for details of whether the property is currently insured. It also goes further to ask whether there have been any issues with obtaining insurance for example if the property is subject to high insurance premiums or if insurance has been refused.
Section 6.3 asks for details of any insurance claims that have been made. It is useful at this point to provide comprehensive details about any insurance claim that have been made. Details could include what damage was caused, whether this damage has been rectified and whether there have been any reoccurring problems. Any evidence of the works carried out such as building regulations certificates should be provided. Providing this information should help limit the number of enquiries raised by the buyers solicitor during the course of the transaction.
Section 7 – Environmental Matters
This section looks at issues such as flooding, radon gas and energy efficiency.
The majority of this section is self explanatory, however section 7.7 asks for confirmation as to whether any installations have been financed by the Green Deal Scheme.
The Green Deal Scheme in simple terms is a government initiative to help homeowners install more energy efficient technologies. There would be no up front costs for the installations but the costs would be covered by payment through the energy bills. A common example would be loft installation, but this is not to be confused with free loft installation that is provided by some energy companies.
It is particularly important for a buyer to be made aware if the property is subject to this scheme as the costs for the works will stay with the property, not the individual who commissioned the works.
Section 11 – Occupiers
This section basically asks who is currently living in the property. It is important to state if there is anyone else living in the property if they are over the age of 17 years, as they will also need to sign the contract to confirm they will leave the property on or before completion takes place.
Section 11.5 asks if the property is being sold with vacant possession. This means that no person will remain in the property and the property will be empty on completion (save for the fittings and contents outlined in the Fittings and Contents Form which is also completed as part of this process).
If the property is being sold with tenants still in occupation, details will need to be provided in section 11.3 and 11.4. In these circumstances the property would not be sold with vacant possession. It is helpful to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement and any details of the amount of deposit paid by the tenants and where this deposit is held ie a deposit protection scheme, as early as possible.
Section 12 – Services
In order to avoid unnecessary enquiries later on in the course of the transaction, it is best to try and provide all relevant documentation mentioned in this section e.g. the Competent Persons Certificates. These would usually be provided to you by the company who carried out the works ie the installation of the new boiler or electrical works (if regulated as part of the Competent Persons Scheme), and duplicates can usually be obtained if necessary. Building regulation approval may also have been required which would be provided by the local authority.
A copy of the most recent boiler service report should be provided, if available, so that the buyer can see that the boiler is in good working order. If this can not be provided, a buyer may request that a service is carried out before the transaction proceeds to exchange of contracts, however please note there is no legal requirement for you to do this.
Points to Note
As a seller, you will need to ensure that this form is completed to the best of your knowledge. If you are unaware of an answer or are simply not sure, then state this next to the tick boxes or ask your solicitor for further advice. It is important the answers are accurate as the buyer will rely on these and may have a claim for compensation if it later transpires that an answer was incorrect. If during the course of the transaction your answers change, you should let your solicitor know so they can notify the buyer’s solicitors.