inspecting a property

The importance of physically inspecting a property of interest as a prospective buyer

Why it is important to physically inspect the property you are interested in?

When buying a property, many may be surprised to learn that it is the responsibility of the buyer to uncover problems with the property. A seller’s responsibility is largely limited to disclosing any ‘defects in the title’ of the property (where the property has an undischarged mortgage or a legal claim against it for instance). This principle, traditionally known as ‘Caveat Emptor’ or ‘let the buyer beware’ in English Common Law, means that it is essential that prospective buyers physically inspect the property for any issues prior to purchase.

How to thoroughly conduct a physical inspection of the property

Check the accuracy of the title plan

Make sure to confirm that the title plan – essentially, the map of the property kept at the Land Registry – corresponds with the physical site. It is important to ensure that the boundaries drawn on the map match the actual property site. You can request a copy of the title plan from your solicitors.

Assess the general condition of the property’s interior and exterior

Inspect the condition of features such as doors, walls, windows, and the roof. Identifying damage before completion of the purchase offers the opportunity for the buyer to request the damage to be fixed as a condition of completion or for a possible reduction to the purchase price.

Inspect the property again before exchange of contracts

Visit the property just before contracts are exchanged as final assurance you are content with the condition of the property. This is important because properties are ‘sold as seen at exchange’. Further, after exchange, both the buyer and seller are legally obligated to complete the transaction.

These physical inspections will be supplemented with enquiries raised by your solicitor. There may also be a survey and valuation report carried out by your lender if you are purchasing with a mortgage. It is also worth noting that you can order a professional survey from specialist surveyors for further information on the property.

For further advice and guidance on purchasing property, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced litigation law team. You can contact us on 0116 285 8080 or email us at

Contact usBond Adams Solicitors contact details

Bond Adams Solicitors
Richmond House
94 London Road
0116 285 8080

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