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29 Aug, 2023/ by Homeward Legal /Sale & Purchase, Seller

If there is one thing that is particularly common across any type of industry, it's that these secular groups love to use jargon, three-letter acronyms and abbreviations that are otherwise baffling to those outside the specialized circle. And conveyancing is not any different in this regard.

One of those bits of abbreviated jargon is the TA6, or the Property Information Form - or, just to prove the point further, the acronym PIF.

However, in a sea of forms and information, the Property Information Form is perhaps the simplest of the lot, in terms of what it's designed to achieve, although care should be taken in its completion to avoid potential problems later on.

The Property Information Form is part of a suite of transaction forms defined and prescribed by The Law Society that has been in place for the last fifteen years or so and frequently updated. The PIF is an important document for every sale, whether it is a commercial property or residential, and it is the responsibility of the seller to ensure its satisfactory completion. 

Although stipulated by The Law Society, it is not a legal requirement to complete the form. It is strongly advised by the Society and your appointed conveyancing solicitor that, when you're selling your home, you ensure that you expend effort in completing it and filling in all the appropriate details to the best of your knowledge.

If you are a buyer, it is obviously beneficial for you to understand the precise details from the seller's point of view of the property you are planning to buy, and to raise any questions through your conveyancing solicitor.

The PIF layout

The Law Society stipulates the content of the form, which is quite straightforward and is laid out into 14 sections. 

Here is a summary of what the Law Society states for each of those:

Boundaries - this set of questions is posed to identify who is responsible for the maintenance of all the boundaries between you and your neighbours. It should be noted that boundary disputes are one of the biggest sources of dissent between neighbours, so it's important to get it right. The conveyancing solicitor will also help in finding detailed information from the authorities should the information be unclear or in dispute.The form also highlights the details of any parts of the property that might overhang the neighbour's, as well as any part wall agreements as there might exist.

Disputes and complaints - sometimes, things become difficult with neighbours and complaints are made - either against them or against you. This section is designed to identify and lay out any such complaints now or that might become a problem later - noise, boundary conflicts, etc.  

Notices and proposals - this section provides the opportunity for the seller to detail any knowledge of any notices or proposals (e.g. from the local authority, utilities, or neighbours) that might have an impact on the property. The information can be backed up by the conveyancer's search requests.

Alterations, planning and building control - whenever a property has been extended or significantly structurally upgraded, it will need planning permission and, once the work is completed, it will need the appropriate approvals (for example, sign-off on Building Regulations provisions). This section provides the ability to state existing consents and approvals. Note that the conveyancer may also confirm some of this information as a result of the searches. Note, too, that, if the building is either listed or in a conservation area, it becomes even more imperative to have proof that any changes made have all the requisite agreements and approvals - in some cases, where this is not the case, you, as new owner, may be liable for any costs for any dictated rectification.

Guarantees and warranties - with changes to the building come warranties to guarantee the quality of the work (e.g. extensions, new outhouses and sheds, replacement doors and windows, replaced guttering, and so on). This section is for listing any such paperwork (where they haven't expired or been superseded by other remedial or upgrade work).

Insurance - here is where the seller specifies whether buildings insurance has been taken out on the property and, if not, why not. They should also specify whether there have been particularly high premiums and details of any claims made against the insurance.

Environment - this section gives the seller the opportunity to state any issues with environmental matters such as flooding, Radon gas, etc., and provide more detail on any reports and investigations performed as a result of these concerns. It is also here that any details of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the building(s) are given, with the provision of dates of assessment and certification. This is becoming increasingly important as the country tries to combat increased heating costs and the instituted legislation to fight the impact on climate change.

Rights and informal agreements - this section highlights any access or other rights that might be formally agreed. And it can include any informal arrangements that might have been made with neighbours and others - for example, the use of a driveway by the neighbour.

Parking - this is designed to specify how vehicles are parked for the property. It may be as simple as stating that there is a driveway (with a capability for a particular number of cars), or perhaps a garage on-site or a rented or owned garage in the vicinity. Or it might be parking on the road (as long as it doesn't contravene any traffic laws) or reserved or permit holder parking.

Other charges - here is the specification of any payments to other sources in the upkeep of the building(s), such as management companies.

Occupiers - there may be one or more occupants, dependent on the type of property being bought, who will remain once the transfer of ownership is completed.

Services - this section highlights the details of the utilities currently coming into the property: electricity (with the compliance certification), gas, water and drainage and septic tanks, landline telephone, broadband, central heating (oil, gas or electric, etc.) and anything else that's appropriate to mention.

Connection to utilities and services - details of those companies providing the services and utilities stated in section 12.

Transaction information - this section highlights what else the seller is planning to do, such as buying another property. This information will help to establish the likelihood of a chain (and ultimately the length of that chain) that might impact the duration of the sale process.

It's not as daunting as it might seem when you see the several pages of the form to be completed. It'll take a bit of organization, but you could collate all the information and certificates, warranties, consents, proposals and anything else that is pertinent to filling the form in, before sitting down to the task.

But your conveyancing solicitor will also be able to provide guidance and assistance.

Worried about how much all of this legal process will be costing you?

That's where Homeward Legal can really help with affordable but quality conveyancing services! 

Homeward Legal will provide a quote that will not change - what you are quoted is what you pay for standard conveyancing process.

There are some unforeseen items that might arise during the purchase and/or sale, but the solicitor discusses these and their cost as they come up. 

In addition, to protect the homebuyer further, Homeward Legal operates a ‘no completion, no fee' promise, which ensures that, should the purchase or sale not go through as planned to completion status, no payment is required.

Call  to get your conveyancing quote started, or to discuss your concerns with your plans to move.

Or you can get a quick quote, using Homeward Legal's easy-to-use quote generator.

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