"Part C" Material Information

Part C information may or may not be necessary, depending on whether the property is affected by the issue being addressed. This section is specifically relevant to properties impacted by the particular issue due to their location or other factors.

This section includes:

Building Safety

When listing a property, it’s essential to include accurate information regarding any known building safety issues and any planned or required works to address these concerns. Here are some common examples of building safety issues to consider:

  1. 1. Unsafe cladding
  2. 2. Integrity of building materials (e.g., asbestos)
  3. 3. Risk of collapse (e.g., damaged roofs or structural failures)
  4. 4. At-risk wooden decking for external structures (including balconies)
  5. 5. Lack of emergency lighting where required
  6. 6. Insufficient fire/smoke alarm systems

material information for a property listing- Part C

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This section is not limited to fire safety in tall buildings but encompasses any safety issue in a residential building that could impact the buyer’s cost of repair or maintenance, availability of mortgage or insurance products, or their peace, privacy, or enjoyment of the property.

If multiple issues are present, all should be listed. Complex issues should be explained in simple terms, with the scale of any remediation or development work clarified.

In cases where building safety work has already been completed, such as remediation to unsafe cladding, obtaining a copy of the completion certificate is recommended.

Prospective buyers should be able to obtain answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the defect/hazard?
  2. What work needs to be done?
  3. What work has already been completed?
  4. What will the potential cost be to the new purchaser?
  5. Will it affect the buyer’s ability to reside within the property? (e.g., need for temporary accommodation during works)

The costing of work and liability for remediation or waking watch fire patrols can be complex. If the estimated cost is unknown, the listing should warn prospective buyers of potential considerable costs of repair or remediation.

Legislative changes following the Grenfell Tower disaster have brought widespread attention to building safety. Buyers must understand the implications of these changes, including compliance with new legislation, planned remedial works, financial implications, disruption to the property during works, and responsibilities regarding building safety.

Each building’s situation is unique so that some questions may be more complex. Seeking professional advice is advisable to ensure a thorough understanding of the building’s safety status and any associated implications for potential buyers.

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Restrictions and rights

Restrictions

In a property listing, it’s crucial to accurately describe any known statutory or contractual restrictions related to the property. Here are some common examples of restrictions to consider:

  1. Conservation areas (HMLR – Local Land Charges, Local Planning Authority) 
  2. Lease restrictions (HMLR)
  3. Listed building status (HMLR – Local Land Charges, Historic England, CADW, Historic Environment Scotland, NI Direct) ■
  4. Real burdens (only in Scotland) 
  5. Restriction on permitted development. (Article 4 Direction) (HMLR – Local Land Charges, Local Planning Authority) 
  6. Restrictive covenants (HMLR
  7. Tree preservation orders (HMLR – Local Land Charges, Local Planning Authority)

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and the terminology may vary between devolved nations. Therefore, it’s essential to explain the nature of the restriction and its implications in detail.

Common restrictions may include limitations on the following:

  1. Sub-letting part or all of the property
  2. Running a business from the property
  3. Renting the property as a holiday home
  4. Parking large vehicles or static homes on the premises

For properties in Scotland, it’s also important to consider the existence or nature of reservations or real conditions.

By providing comprehensive information about statutory or contractual restrictions, potential buyers can understand any limitations or obligations associated with the property, allowing them to make informed decisions regarding its purchase.

Rights and easements

In a property listing, it’s important to accurately describe any known rights or easements related to the property or land. Here are some common examples to consider:

  1. Public rights of way across the land
  2. Easements (HMLR
  3. Servitudes (Registers of Scotland

A Public Right of Way (PROW)

A Public Right of Way (PROW) is a legal record of the public’s rights of way, categorised into four types:

  1. Footpaths: Intended for walking, running, mobility scooters, or powered wheelchairs.
  2. Bridleways: Designed for walking, horse riding, bicycles, mobility scooters, or powered wheelchairs.
  3. Restricted byways: Accessible for any transport without a motor, as well as mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs.
  4. Byways open to all traffic: Permit any form of transport, including cars, although they are primarily used by walkers, cyclists, and horse riders.

Definitive maps of public rights of way are available, which property agents may find useful for reference. It’s important to note that the presence of rights of others over the use of property and land can impact the privacy, security, and enjoyment of the property.

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Flood and erosion risk

Pragmatic and diligent approach

In a property listing, providing an accurate description or statement regarding any known risk of, or actual, flooding at the property is essential. Flood risk can impact maintenance or repair costs, mortgage availability, and the availability of relevant insurance products, such as building or contents insurance, or may lead to increased insurance premiums.

To help property agents understand the concept of “flood risk,” three questions should be addressed:

  1. 1. Has the property been flooded in the last 5 years?
  2. 2. What are the sources of risk? (e.g., river, sea, groundwater, surface water, etc.)
  3. 3. Are there any flooding or sea defenses at the property? (Including details).

By answering these questions, potential buyers can better understand the flood risk associated with the property and make informed decisions regarding its purchase.

Pragmatic and diligent approach

Property agents should adopt a pragmatic and diligent approach to disclosing historic flooding at a property. In addition to the standard flood risk questions, the following minimum additional information should be provided:

  1. 1. When the property flooded, covering all flood events.
  2. 2. The frequency of flooding events.
  3. 3. The source of flooding (e.g., whether it resulted from a river bursting its banks, groundwater, sea, or other factors).
  4. 4. Adaptations made to the property to mitigate or prevent future flooding events. This should include any flood or sea defenses installed and any measures taken to reduce future impacts.
  5. 5. Whether there are known issues with obtaining insurance products due to flood risk.

By furnishing this comprehensive information, property agents can ensure potential buyers are fully informed about the property’s flood history, measures taken to address flood risk, and any associated insurance challenges. This approach promotes transparency and empowers buyers to make well-informed decisions regarding the property’s suitability for their needs.

Pragmatic and diligent approach

Property agents should adopt a pragmatic and diligent approach when disclosing historic flooding at a property. This means providing thorough and practical information to potential buyers, ensuring they clearly understand the property’s flood risk history and any associated implications.

In addition to the standard flood risk questions, agents should go the extra mile by disclosing:

  1. 1. When the property experienced flooding, including details of all flood events.
  2. 2. The frequency of flooding occurrences.
  3. 3. The source of flooding, such as river overflow, groundwater, sea inundation, or other factors.
  4. 4. Any adaptations made to the property to mitigate or prevent future flooding, including the installation of flood or sea defenses and other protective measures.
  5. 5. Known challenges with obtaining insurance products due to flood risk.

By taking this pragmatic and diligent approach, property agents can demonstrate their commitment to transparency and accountability, helping potential buyers make informed decisions about the property’s suitability for their needs and risk tolerance.

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Planning Permission or proposal for development

A comprehensive property listing should include an accurate description or statement of any existing planning permission or proposals for development, construction, or change of use affecting the property and its immediate locality. Property agents are encouraged to take a pragmatic approach to defining what constitutes the “immediate locality” based on the specific circumstances of each property and identified issues.

Common examples of planning issues that should be addressed in the listing include:

  1. 1. Existing planning permission affecting the property’s construction, development, or change of use.
  2. 2. Any Article 4 directions or related restrictions from the local authority that limit permitted development rights, including changes of use to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), applicable in all devolved nations.
  3. 3. Building works to surrounding structures that may impact privacy or light, such as neighbouring properties constructing second-story extensions.
  4. 4. Obstructions to views resulting from ongoing or proposed developments, such as planned construction on a greenfield site opposite the property.

Prospective buyers should be directed to the relevant local authority website for updates on planning applications and larger developments in the area.

By providing detailed information about planning permissions and proposals, property agents enable potential buyers to assess the impact of future developments on the property and its surroundings, empowering them to make informed decisions about their purchase.

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Property accessibility and adaptations

In a property listing, it’s important to include an accurate description or statement of any known property adaptations or features that enhance accessibility. To clarify what we mean by “accessibility/adaptations,” NTSELAT considers the following items to be material information:

  1. 1. Step-free access from the street to the inside of the property, which may include ramps or lifts.
  2. 2. Wet room or level access shower.
  3. 3. Lateral living, where essential living accommodation is all on the entrance level.

To aid property agents in understanding these features, taking photographs that showcase them effectively is recommended. This could include photographs looking outward to any private outside amenities or gardens (if present) and photographs looking back into the property to highlight the accessible features.

By providing detailed descriptions and visual representations of accessibility adaptations and features, property agents can ensure that potential buyers clearly understand the property’s suitability for their needs. This transparency enhances the buyer’s ability to make informed decisions about the property.

Step-free access (ramps/lifts)

Property agents should remember to describe the access to the front door of the property when using the term “step free access”, including photos of dropped kerbs, ramped pathways etc. Agents should disclose the presence of star lifts/internal lifts and existing ramps. If there is a dropped kerb, it is always advisable to disclose this and to provide a photograph for visual aid. As mentioned above, property agents should also include a description of garden access.

Wet room/ level access shower

Property agents should ensure the disclosure of any wet floor shower rooms, level access or walk-in showers, and/or specialist baths within the property. Utilising photography can effectively achieve this disclosure.

Lateral living – living room/kitchen/bathroom and at least one bedroom on entry level/one floor

For single-storey properties or those with essential facilities on the entrance level, it’s crucial to include this information in the property listing. This category encompasses properties with additional rooms above the entrance level, but the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and at least one bedroom are located on the entry-level.

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Coalfield or mining area

An inclusion should cover, where applicable, verification of a property’s location on a coalfield or its direct impact on other mining activities.

Limited details regarding non-coal mining activities can be sourced from the British Geological Survey, including non-coal mining plans and access to mining plans, Opengeoscience scans, and photos through their database.

Real estate agents seeking to determine a property’s susceptibility to coal mining effects should refer to the Coal Authority’s Coal Mining Reporting Area via the Interactive Map Viewer.

Positioning a property within a coalfield or mining zone might influence the availability of mortgages or pertinent insurance offerings, such as building insurance.

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