Proposed law to ensure sellers compile legal documents before putting house on market

Proposed legislation that would create a statutory obligation for a “seller’s pack” to be prepared in advance of a property going on the market for sale, has been supported by the Government in the Dáil on Thursday.

The Seller’s Legal Pack for Property Buyers Bill 2021, put forward by Independent TD Marc MacSharry, outlines that a set of legal documents would be compiled and advertised with the property for sale and made available to potential buyers.

The documents would include contracts for sale, title documents, architect’s certificate of compliance with planning documents and building regulations, evidence of rights of way and local property history details.

The proposed legislation is aimed at ensuring all relevant documentation is in place to cut delays being experienced by prospective buyers as well as reduce the number of property sales that fall through.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the Government was not opposing the Bill and welcomed the objectives behind it. However, Ms McEntee said some challenges and difficulties had been identified that would have to be further considered.

The Fine Gael TD said other jurisdictions had not necessarily had “a positive experience with seller’s legal packs”. She said a similar pack was introduced in 2007 in England and Wales but had to be suspended in 2010.

“The [UK] Government concluded that the pack had added to, rather than reduced conveyancing costs and delays,” Ms McEntee said.

The minister also said the Bill could lead to additional costs being placed on sellers and that a number of practical and legal issues would have to be addressed before going to committee stage.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesman Eoin Ó Broin said he had similar concerns but that it was

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