The Catch 22 scenario

In order to carry out some further investigations, it will be necessary to expose hidden parts of the property. Such exposure works will often cause localised damage. Typical examples would be where floor boards are pulled up to inspect the underfloor timbers for rot/decay or cutting a hole in a ceiling to inspect the roof space above. The seller will be concerned that the exposure works may reveal defects that could result in the buyer withdrawing from the purchase or seeking a reduction in the purchase price. They will also worry about any damage that may be caused by the exposure works. For these reasons, a seller will often not consent to the carrying out of further investigations. The buyer is then left with the options of either withdrawing from the purchase or progressing with the sale and taking the risk that further investigations (carried out after the purchase is completed) will not reveal significant defects. However this latter scenario could prove very costly in the event that significant defects are subsequently revealed.