Duty to have or provide information about houses on the market
124.Section 98 provides that a person who has responsibility for marketing a house that is on the market must possess prescribed documents in relation to the house. The duty to provide these documents is set out in section 99. The person marketing the house must comply with a request from a potential buyer for a copy of any or all of the prescribed documents, within a period to be set out in regulations. The duty does not apply if the person marketing the house believes that the person making the request is unlikely to have the means to buy the house, is not genuinely interested in buying the house, or is a person that the seller would not be likely to be prepared to sell the house to. This does not allow for unlawful discrimination and does not apply where the person marketing the house believes that the request is from an officer of an enforcement authority. A charge to cover the reasonable cost of making and sending a paper copy of the documents may be made. It is possible to provide electronic versions of the information, but the potential purchaser must consent in writing to this. There is no requirement on the person responsible for marketing the house to provide the documents if, between the request and the date by which the documents should have been provided, the house is sold, taken off the market, or for any other reason that person ceases to be responsible for marketing the house.
125.Section 100 allows the person responsible for marketing the house to levy a reasonable charge under section 99 and to specify terms in writing. These could include a restriction on the further circulation of the document without the seller’s permission.
126.Section 101 applies to anyone acting for the seller of a house, where the house is not being marketed, or is on the market but that particular agent is not responsible for marketing it. The agent must nonetheless possess the prescribed documents before informing people that the house is, or may become, available for sale.
127.Section 102 defines the circumstances where a person is to be considered as acting as an agent. Essentially this means that, in the course of a business, they act on instructions from a seller of a house.
128.Section 103 requires the person marketing the house to ensure the authenticity of copies of documents provided or shown to a potential buyer.