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Property Transactions Bill

This is the text of the Property Transactions Bill, as presented to the House of Commons on 15th December 1999.

Property Transactions Bill
1.Certain agreements to be treated as contracts.
2.Proof of ability to pay.
3.Frustrated contracts.
4.Duty to provide sales information.
5.Short title, commencement and extent.





Make provision about property transactions.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Certain agreements to be treated as contracts.     1. - (1) This section and sections 2 and 3 apply to an agreement between a vendor and a purchaser for the sale of a property for a price greater than £2,000.
      (2) Such an agreement shall constitute a contract, which shall be binding on both parties.
      (3) Where such a contract is made the vendor and purchaser shall each pay to the other party or to the agent of the other party a sum which shall not be less than £2,000.
      (4) The vendor and the purchaser shall agree a date for completion of the contract.
Proof of ability to pay.     2. - (1) No person shall enter into an agreement to purchase a property without proof of his ability to pay the agreed sale price.
      (2) A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of £700 in addition to forfeiting any sum paid under section 1(3).
Frustrated contracts.     3. - (1) Subject to subsection (2), if one of the parties to a contract-
    (a) withdraws from the contract; or
    (b) otherwise frustrates or fails to complete the contract by the agreed date
       he shall forfeit any sum paid under section 1(3) and shall be liable for any costs in excess of that sum incurred by the other party in consequence of the contract.
      (2) But subsection (1) does not apply where a purchaser has reasonable grounds for withdrawing from a contract.
      (3) "Reasonable grounds" shall include but shall not be limited to-
    (a) the discovery of a structural or other defect in the property which was not known to the purchaser at the time of the agreement;
    (b) the discovery of a development proposal or other factor having a direct effect on the value of the property which was not known to the purchaser at the time of the agreement.
Duty to provide sales information.     4. - (1) An offer to sell a property shall be accompanied by a sales information pack which contains relevant information about the property.
      (2) Not later than six weeks after this Act comes into force the Secretary of State shall make regulations specifying the information which is relevant for the purposes of subsection (1).
      (3) A person who fails to comply with the requirement in subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of £700.
      (4) Section 3 of the Estate Agents Act 1979 (orders prohibiting unfit persons from doing estate agency work) is amended, by inserting after subsection (1)(a)(ii)-
      "(iia) an offence under section 4 of the Property Transactions Act 2000, or".
Short title, commencement and extent.     5. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Property Transactions Act 2000.
      (2) This Act shall come into force 3 months after it is passed.
      (3) This Act extends to England and Wales only.

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