Replies to commercial property standard enquiries: pitfalls to avoid

By Siobhan Doherty

Pre-contract enquiries can be time consuming and look cumbersome but replies to enquiries are an important source of information for a buyer, while a seller must be aware that some stock responses can have significant legal implications.

At the start of most property transactions, a prospective buyer will raise enquiries about the property that it intends to acquire. This article explains why replies to those enquiries are important, discusses the meaning of some commonly used phrases and offers practical advice to sellers.

The onus is on the buyer to carry out a thorough review of the property and to spot any potential issues. This is summed up in the Latin principle caveat emptor — let the buyer beware. In commercial transactions, the Commercial Property Standard Enquiries or CPSEs are usually raised. These are a comprehensive set of enquiries that help a buyer to understand the property and the interest that it is acquiring. A thorough set of replies can facilitate a speedy conclusion to a deal…

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