How long are you liable after selling a house UK

Selling a house can be a complex process, involving numerous legal, financial, and practical considerations. One of the crucial aspects that sellers often overlook is their liability after the sale is completed. Understanding your post-sale responsibilities and potential liabilities is essential to avoid future disputes and legal complications.

Legal Framework

Misrepresentation and Fraud

In the UK, sellers are required to provide accurate information about the property. Misrepresentation, whether fraudulent, negligent, or innocent, can lead to legal claims.

  1. Fraudulent Misrepresentation: Deliberately providing false information.
  2. Negligent Misrepresentation: Failing to ensure the accuracy of information.
  3. Innocent Misrepresentation: Providing incorrect information without intent or negligence.

Limitation Period: Claims for misrepresentation can be made within six years from the date of the sale or the date when the misrepresentation was discovered.

Property Information Form (TA6)

The TA6 form is a standard document that sellers must complete, detailing various aspects of the property, including:

  • Boundaries
  • Disputes and complaints
  • Notices and proposals
  • Alterations and planning permission
  • Guarantees and warranties

Errors or omissions in this form can lead to claims by the buyer.

Limitation Period: Similar to misrepresentation, claims can typically be made within six years.

Common Areas of Liability

Structural Issues

Sellers must disclose any known structural issues. If significant problems are discovered post-sale that were not disclosed, the buyer may seek compensation.

Legal Disputes

Boundary disputes, rights of way, and other legal encumbrances must be disclosed. Failure to do so can result in legal action.

Non-Compliance with Building Regulations

Any alterations or extensions must comply with building regulations. If it is discovered post-sale that these regulations were not met, the seller could be liable for rectification costs.

Environmental Issues

Issues such as flooding, contamination, and subsidence must be disclosed. If a seller fails to inform the buyer of these problems, they could face legal action.

Time Frames for Liability

Short-Term Liabilities

  1. Completion to Six Months: Immediate issues such as undisclosed problems or defects.
  2. Six Months to Two Years: Issues related to non-compliance with regulations or significant undisclosed defects.

Long-Term Liabilities

  1. Two to Six Years: Extended period for misrepresentation claims and certain legal disputes.
  2. Beyond Six Years: Certain claims can extend beyond six years, especially if fraud is involved.

Practical Steps for Sellers

Thorough Inspection and Disclosure

Conduct a thorough inspection of the property and disclose all known issues. Honesty in the TA6 form and other disclosures can prevent future disputes.


Keep detailed records of all communications, inspections, repairs, and legal documents. This can provide crucial evidence if a dispute arises.

Legal Advice

Consult with a solicitor to ensure all legal obligations are met and to understand potential liabilities.

Resolving Disputes


Mediation can be an effective way to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. Both parties can negotiate a settlement with the help of a neutral mediator.

Legal Action

If mediation fails, legal action may be necessary. Both parties should be prepared for the costs and time involved in litigation.

Case Studies

Case Study 1: Undisclosed Structural Issues

A seller failed to disclose significant structural issues. Post-sale, the buyer discovered these problems and filed a claim for compensation. The court ruled in favor of the buyer, citing fraudulent misrepresentation.

Case Study 2: Boundary Dispute

A seller did not disclose an ongoing boundary dispute. After purchasing the property, the buyer faced legal challenges from a neighbor. The buyer successfully claimed compensation for legal costs and damages from the seller.


Understanding your liability after selling a house in the UK is crucial to prevent legal complications and financial losses. By ensuring thorough disclosure, maintaining proper documentation, and seeking legal advice, sellers can mitigate risks and ensure a smooth post-sale transition.

This guide covers the primary aspects of liability after selling a house in the UK, providing a detailed understanding of potential risks and legal obligations. By following these guidelines, sellers can navigate the post-sale period with confidence and minimize potential disputes.

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