Enhancing Transparency in Property Transactions

Transparent colour houses

Updates to BASPI and TA6 Forms in the UK

In an attempt to further greater transparency and provide crucial information to buyers, on 25 March 2024 updates have been introduced to the Buyer’s and Seller’s Property Information (BASPI) schema in the UK.

This updated version brings amendments to both Part A, focusing on the disclosure of material facts, and Part B, which entails additional information required for the legal process. Simultaneously, updated TA6 forms have been released by The Law Society, marking significant developments in the conveyancing landscape.

BASPI & TA6: Updates

BASPI, developed by the Home Buyers and Sellers Group (HBSG), is a pivotal component of broader efforts to promote the disclosure of essential information by sellers at the point of listing. Estate agents, mandated by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, are tasked with ensuring that buyers receive adequate information to make informed decisions about their purchase. Over the past two years, guidance has been provided by the National Trading Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT) in three parts: A, B, and C, with agents required to include such information on property listings.

Part A of BASPI encompasses a range of information, including disputes, alterations, notices, fixtures, utilities, insurance, and more, whereas Part B explores legal ownership, services, warranties, energy and completion details. The latest amendments introduce new questions covering various aspects such as freehold shares, reserve funds, commercial property inclusion, and more.

Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, emphasized the importance of updating BASPI to ensure its relevance and adequacy in today’s property market. She highlighted that these amendments help identify material information crucial for buyers, although the conveyancing firm is required to review title and authority information during due diligence.

The launch of the fifth iteration of BASPI coincides with the release of updated TA6 Property Information Forms, further streamlining the conveyancing process. Law Society president Nick Emmerson emphasized the importance of early contact between sellers and solicitors to address potential issues and facilitate the flow of information from property marketing to the legal process. Updates to the TA6 form include details such as property references, tenure, parking information, building safety, flood risks, accessibility features, and more.

Reactions to the Updates

However, these changes have sparked criticism from the Society of Licensed Conveyancers (SLC), which voiced concerns over the lack of consultation and the increased size of the forms. Simon Law, Chairperson of the SLC, highlighted the need for property-specific information to be disclosed before buyers make an offer, suggesting that the inclusion of such questions in the TA6 form contradicts this principle unless estate agents or conveyancers are engaged prior to marketing.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the updates to BASPI and TA6 forms represent significant strides towards enhancing transparency and providing crucial information to buyers in property transactions. While these changes aim to streamline the conveyancing process, concerns regarding consultation and form size warrant further consideration to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the disclosure process.

 

More information

How MGB can assist

If you have any further queries in relation to the above article and would like to speak to the property team at MGB, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist.

We can be reached by email at email@mgb.law or by telephone at +44 (0) 20 7499 0620.

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