What To Do If You’ve Bought A House With Problems Not Disclosed in the UK

The joy of a brand-new house comes with many stressors too. 

Once the stress of moving day has been completed, you have redecorating, unpacking, the admin of updating your address with all relevant parties, as well as getting to know new neighbours (as well as a potential new area!) 

So discovering undisclosed problems after moving into your new home can add heaps of stress to the experience. But don’t worry – you’re not alone. If you’ve bought a house with undisclosed problems, there are steps you can take as a UK buyer to rectify the situation. If you’ve found yourself in this position, here are the steps to take to make your claim and set the situation right. 

What to do if you find problems after buying a house?

Step 1: Identify and Document the Issues

As soon as you spot the issue in your new home, document it immediately. Take pictures and be sure to keep a record of all expenses and communication related to the identified issue.

If possible, hire a professional surveyor to assess the property’s condition and identify if there are any further issues. 

Step 2: Consult Your Solicitor

Get in touch with your solicitor or conveyancer, who will review the property forms completed by the seller. 

If the seller of your home failed to disclose any known issues or made false claims about the condition of the property, you might be able to build a legal case against them. Have your solicitor review the information and advise.

Step 3: Contact The Seller

Once you’ve spoken to your solicitor, reach out to the seller. 

In some cases, it may be that the seller has deliberately attempted to conceal information about issues with the property. However, it is also possible that your seller was unaware of the issue and had no intention of deceiving you, in which case making contact with them may bring the situation to a simpler resolution. 

Just be sure to keep all communication documented so you have a record of what has been said. 

Step 4: Mediation and Legal Proceedings

If the seller denies any wrongdoing or refuses to address the matter, your next step is to explore alternative methods of resolving the dispute, such as mediation. If this is unsuccessful, it may be necessary for you to pursue legal action. 

In cases where you have purchased a house that has undisclosed issues, you may find protection under the Misrepresentation Act of 1967. By providing evidence that demonstrates the seller’s dishonesty or negligence in their disclosures, it might be possible for you to seek compensation for damages or potentially cancel the contract altogether.

Step 5: Check Your Insurance

When dealing with undisclosed problems in your new house, don’t overlook the potential help you might have in your insurance policy. Homebuyer’s or homeowner’s insurance can sometimes offer a lifeline in these scenarios.

Some insurance policies have provisions that protect against undisclosed or unexpected problems. These might cover the cost of repair work for certain issues or even provide financial support for legal expenses incurred during a dispute. Make sure to read your policy carefully to understand what is covered. If you’re unsure, contact your insurance provider for clarification.

Carrying out repairs to undisclosed issues

While legal proceedings and disputes can take time to resolve, you may find it necessary to undertake some repairs immediately, especially those affecting the safety or habitability of the house.

When carrying out these repairs, be meticulous in tracking all the costs involved. This includes labour, materials, and any professional services required. Retain all invoices, receipts, and contracts. If you’re successful in your claim against the seller, these documents serve as evidence of your additional expenditure due to the undisclosed problems. This could be crucial in recovering your costs and ensuring that you are not left out of pocket due to the seller’s negligence or dishonesty.

Remember, while this process might seem daunting, it’s essential to ensure your home is safe and comfortable for you and your family. Despite the initial inconvenience and expense, rectifying these issues will ultimately enhance your enjoyment of your new home and protect your investment in the long term.

Advice for Sellers

Just as buyers need guidance in navigating the property market, if you’re a seller concerned about the condition of your property, you may benefit from some advice to ensure a smooth and successful sale. 

To avoid any issues arising from undisclosed issues, here are a few pointers:

Be Transparent

Transparency is critical in any property transaction. Make sure you disclose any known issues with your property upfront. Not only is this ethical, but it also builds trust with potential buyers, which can be influential in a sale. Concealing problems can lead to legal disputes, damaging both your reputation and wallet.

Get a Property Survey

Consider having a professional property survey conducted before listing your property. This step can help identify any potential issues that you may not be aware of. Addressing these issues early can increase the attractiveness of your property, potentially increase its value, and reduce the likelihood of post-sale disputes.

Use a Reliable Property Buying Service

A reputable property buying service can make the selling process significantly easier. With thorough property evaluations, you’ll ensure a smooth sale that takes the stress out of the process, and is a massive advantage if you’re looking to sell quickly. With these services, you can be confident that your property is in safe hands and reduce the risk of disputes arising from undisclosed issues. 

Understand Your Legal Obligations

Familiarise yourself with the Misrepresentation Act 1967 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Understanding your legal obligations can prevent inadvertent violations and potential legal problems.

Consult a Solicitor

A good solicitor can provide invaluable advice and ensure all the paperwork is in order. They can help you navigate the legalities of selling a property and ensure you meet all disclosure obligations.

Looking to sell a house with significant issues? 

If you’re concerned that your home is not in a fit condition for the property market due to problems like fire damage or structural issues, services like Zoom Property Buyer could be an invaluable asset to help you make a quick, hassle-free sale. 

Our experts conduct thorough inspections and evaluations and are well-experienced in identifying potential issues. 

Additionally, we buy properties in a range of conditions to spare you costly repairs down the line and give you peace of mind at the close of sale.  

Want to know more about buying or selling your property? Find out more on our blog or contact us today!


Picture of Bobby Turner

Bobby Turner

Market research, writer & property specilaist for Zoom Property Buyer. Over 10 years in property sector. Previously at WhatHouse?