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Hemsby and coastal erosion - frequently asked questions

If further properties are at risk in The Marrams why are homes there still being marketed for sale by estate agents?

Great Yarmouth Borough Council does not have the legal powers to prevent home sales and purchases. The Council would only be aware of potential sales when searches are run through the Council's system in relation to a particular property. These are in the form of standard enquiries and it is for the buyer's solicitor to raise the enquires they think necessary on each property. The Council has written to estate agents to advise them that they are attempting to sell properties at immediate risk of coastal erosion.

The rule, when buying property, remains very much caveat emptor(buyer beware) and it might be argued there is a role here for the governing bodies of estate agents to require members to give full, explicit and transparent disclosure around sales particulars for properties in areas of erosion risk.

A further avenue to potentially alert prospective buyers might be for at-risk areas to be identified in the pre-contract searches carried out during the conveyancing process, in the same way that flood risk, contamination or pending planning applications are flagged. However, this is not within the Council's current remit and it is not aware that it would be something triggered by the standard forms of search. Of course, any such a process would still rely on the prospective buyer taking heed of the information/warning when it was provided to them. People are entitled to ignore such advice - although lenders would then be unlikely to issue a mortgage loan.

Last modified on 05 January 2024

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