Q&As

A buyer completes the purchase of a new build property from a developer. The buyer does not carry out any survey prior to exchange. Following completion the buyer discovers serious defects with the gas, electrical and plumbing system and other items (which it confirms in a building survey). What remedies does the buyer have under purchase contract for these defects?

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Published on LexisPSL on 30/06/2017

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A buyer completes the purchase of a new build property from a developer. The buyer does not carry out any survey prior to exchange. Following completion the buyer discovers serious defects with the gas, electrical and plumbing system and other items (which it confirms in a building survey). What remedies does the buyer have under purchase contract for these defects?
  • Rescission
  • Does the buyer have any other remedies?
  • Does the buyer have NHBC or other similar protection?

We have assumed in answering this Q&A that the property was fully constructed at the time of exchange of contracts, is freehold and that there are no construction obligations for the developer within the sale contract. If that is not the case, then there may be other remedies available to the buyer either for breach of contract or, perhaps, pursuant to the Defective Premises Act 1972.

Rescission

The remedy of rescission is considered in the Practice Note: Termination for breach of property contract. The term ‘rescission’ is used to describe two different remedies:

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