Sellers and landlords should take care when providing replies to enquiries and ensure full disclosure is made as the buyer is likely to place reliance on it.
The case of First Tower Trustees Limited -v- CDS (Superstores International) Limited (2017) highlighted that it would be unreasonable for a seller to seek to exclude responsibility and liability by including (on replies to pre-contract enquiries) a non-reliance clause in the contract or lease.
The Court of Appeal confirmed that a buyer should be able to rely on pre-contract enquiries in conveyancing transactions. If a non-reliance clause overrides replies given to those enquiries, then they would become worthless.
Sellers should be reminded to be frank in completing their paperwork and when replying to queries raised of them and to ensure that if during the transaction there are changes to replies previously given, should be disclosed to the buyer.
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