Misrepresentation is where one person provides another with a false statement of fact or law to induce them to enter into a contract.

There are three types of representation:

  • Fraudulent misrepresentation occurs when the person knowingly, or recklessly, made a false statement;
  • Negligent misrepresentation occurs when the false statement was made carelessly or without having reasonable grounds to believe it to be true;
  • Innocent misrepresentation occurs when, at the time the false statement was made, the person believed it to be true.

Property misrepresentation can occur where:

  • The seller makes an inaccurate statement about the condition of the property to the buyer;
  • The landlord, or the landlord’s agent, made a false statement prior to the formation of the tenancy agreement.

What are the remedies for misrepresentation?

The remedies available include damages and the rescission of the contract. The remedies available will depend on whether the misrepresentation was fraudulent, negligent or innocent.

The aim of a damages award is to place the wronged party in the position it would have been in, had the misrepresentation not been made. It involves calculating the losses sustained as a result of the misrepresentation.

The court can order a rescission of the property contract. Effectively this results in the contract being undone, and the parties are restored to the position that they were in before the contract was entered into. However, it is only in exceptional cases that a court will look to rescind a contract.

We can represent a person seeking to bring a misrepresentation claim, or defend such a claim, and provide expert legal advice on the remedies available.

When does misrepresentation occur on a property sale?

There is no legal requirement for a seller to voluntarily disclose information on the property. The onus is on the buyer to find out everything it needs to know about the property before committing to buy it. However, sellers have a duty to honestly and accurately answer all enquiries raised by the buyer.

A buyer will therefore raise pre-contract enquiries to obtain relevant information. The following industry-standard forms are commonly used:

  • Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSE) for the purchase of commercial property;
  • The Law Society Transaction (TA) Forms for the purchase of residential property.

Property misrepresentation can occur when a seller dishonestly withholds information or provides false information in response to these enquiries. For example, a buyer may have a claim if the seller states that the property is free from Japanese Knotweed while knowing this to be untrue, or careless as to its truth.

Damages are usually assessed by the diminution in value of the property as a result of the issues. Damages might also include compensation for the inconvenience caused and for the cost of having any problems fixed.

We can act on behalf of a buyer or a seller in a property misrepresentation claim.

When does misrepresentation occur prior to a letting agreement?

Misrepresentation can occur if a landlord, or his agent, made a misrepresentation prior to the formation of a tenancy agreement. However, a mere statement of opinion will not usually be treated as a misrepresentation unless it amounts to a statement of fact.

If the statement does not amount to a misrepresentation, a tenant may still rely on the provisions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 under which landlords and their agents are prohibited from giving or withholding misleading information. If a tenant is given false information or an overall impression that deceives, the tenant may be entitled to claim damages or to unwind the tenancy agreement.

We can represent tenants and provide expert legal advice on the options available in your particular case.

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Mustafa Kalaycı
Mustafa Kalaycı
The most honest, hardworking, and fully professional law firm I have encountered or worked with. Despite speaking different languages, they effectively understand you through their interpreters, find the best advisors to assist you, and acquire the necessary information. They create a friendly, family-like atmosphere with a straightforward approach, particularly in litigation expertise. My gratitude goes to all the staff involved, especially James Naylor and Jenny Cheung, for their dedication. Thanks for everything. Mustafa KALAYCI
I used Naylor Solicitors to help us purchase our freehold. It wasn't as straightforward as we'd hoped as the previous freeholder and his solicitors were difficult to deal with (not responding to calls or emails etc,) which delayed things. At one point the freeholder threatened to pull out of the sale despite previously agreeing. Our solicitor Adam was swift in his response, reminding the other side that we had a verbal agreement and that they were risking us taking legal action in that regard. He was then able to make sure the sale went through as agreed. I highly recommend Naylor Solicitors.
Simon Grey
Simon Grey
We found Naylors after talking to a few solicitors and they sounded the most knowledgeable. They helped us with a neighbour dispute. Dominika was fabulous throughout, and we were able to resolve a long standing issue. We would like to thank Dominika for all her help and support.
Simon Hill
Simon Hill
I was the main client contact of 60+ objectors on a breach of restrictive covenants case in Hertfordshire lasting several years. Naylors had been recommended by our QC and were superb throughout. We won the case convincingly. Would certainly recommend them.
Farook Paracha
Farook Paracha
Dedicated and professional firm with the Clients interest at the forefront. Clear and unambiguous advice for a complicated legal matter expanding over several months. Naylor’s agreed to represent us clients at a time when we had completely lost all hope from keeping our property safe from forfeiture. We couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Despite this we always felt confident and in control with the quality of advice and our legal cost. I would definitely recommend Naylor’s LLP to everyone I know. Special thanks to Dominika, Nikki & Jasper. Regards Farook Paracha
Frazer A-F
Frazer A-F
We have been dealing with with Dominika Libova at Naylors for the past year on a dispute, we have been really pleased with the service she has provided. Dominika was approachable, friendly, professional and knowledgable, supporting us every step of the way. Fees were agreed in advance at every stage and where honoured, even reducing fees on a couple of occasions to meet the estimates. I would highly recommend Dominika and the Naylor's team.
Yannick Schindler
Yannick Schindler
Dominika and her firm recently secured a good outcome for me in a property dispute and I highly recommend her. Whenever I spoke with Dominika on the phone, it was very clear to me that she had considered the matter very carefully and I was impressed with her attention to detail. I particularly valued her ability to respond very quickly and pragmatically to new, and sometimes unexpected, developments during litigation. She was also very skilled at developing strategies before and during litigation to achieve desired results while keeping costs low. Dominika made the impression of being a very adept and motivated litigator and throughout the entirety of the matter I was very, very happy to have her in my corner.
claire bryant
claire bryant
From start to end our experience of Naylor solicitors and Dominkia in particular, was faultless. They are a very professional firm. Dominika was incredibly knowledgeable in this specialist area we sought advice in (ROL), listened and acted upon our wishes, but also was very helpful in guiding us in taking the right course of action. Communication was always timely without any delay and she always made the time to explain matters that we needed extra clarification over. I highly recommend.