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Buying a Property from a Receiver or Insolvency Practitioner

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Representation of insolvency property sales with a toy house and auction hammer

Buying a property from a receiver or insolvency practitioner has several points of difference from standard conveyancing transactions. Here are some of the key things you need to be aware of.

Properties are sold “as is”

Properties sold by receivers or insolvency practitioners are typically offered “as is,” meaning the buyer must accept the property in its existing condition without any warranties or guarantees regarding its state. This means that you assume all risks associated with the property’s condition, including any defects or issues that may not be immediately apparent. As a result, you will need to conduct thorough inspections and due diligence to identify any potential problems before finalising the purchase, as you will have no recourse for compensation or repairs from the seller once the transaction is completed.

Limited information from receivers

Receivers may have limited information about the property, its history, or its compliance with planning regulations and building standards. This contrasts with standard sales where sellers are usually required to provide detailed information and declarations about the property.

Title Issues

There can be more complexities with the title when buying from a receiver. Your solicitor needs to conduct thorough due diligence to ensure that the title is clear and that all necessary documents and consents are in order.

Unfavourable contract terms

Contracts from receivers or insolvency practitioners often include special conditions that favour the seller, such as clauses excluding liability for property defects and stipulating that the buyer must complete the purchase within a fixed timeframe. It’s vital that you understand the contract terms, and how they differ from standard transactions, before buying a property from a receiver.

Properties are usually sold at auction

Most insolvency sales take place at auction, which introduces different procedures and timelines compared to standard private transactions. In an auction, you will be competing with others, potentially driving up the price. One benefit of this is that the process is usually quicker, with fixed dates for bidding and closing. However, you will need to be prepared with finances in place, as successful bids require prompt payment and completion within a specified timeframe, often with less flexibility than private sales.

You may encounter financial challenges

Obtaining financing can be more challenging, as lenders might be cautious about properties sold under insolvency circumstances due to potential risks and complications.

You will need to handle regulatory compliance

You will need to ensure that the property complies with all planning and building regulations because receivers typically do not address these issues. This due diligence may require obtaining additional surveys or reports, such as structural assessments, planning permission checks, and compliance certificates, to identify any potential legal or structural problems that could impact the property’s value or usability. Ensuring compliance is crucial to avoid future legal complications and unexpected costs for rectifying any non-conformities.

Your deposit may not be refundable

Be aware that your deposit might be non-refundable, and the completion timeline will likely be stricter compared to a standard property sale. You must be ready to complete the transaction quickly once the contract is signed.

Be sure to engage legal representation

Engaging an experienced conveyancing solicitor is crucial when purchasing from a receiver or insolvency practitioner. Your solicitor will perform extensive due diligence and help you to avoid any legal or financial hazards that are associated with these types of sales. With extensive experience in insolvency sales, the McCarthy + Co team will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your planned acquisition of receivership property. Complete our confidential online form and a member of the team will get back to you.

Joseph McCarthy

Joseph has been an integral member of our team since 2013, bringing a unique blend of expertise and dedication to his role. His specialisation lies in private client work, with a focus on conveyancing and probate. In simpler terms, Joseph’s role involves assisting homeowners and prospective homeowners in their property buying or selling journeys. He also offers support in managing the affairs of deceased individuals, guiding next of kin and executors through every stage of the process from the moment of a person’s death. Additionally, Joseph provides assistance in will drafting, ensuring his clients have peace of mind for the future. Joseph also regularly assists clients in creating Enduring Powers of Attorney and advises clients and their families on how to manage circumstances where a person’s mental capacities may be impaired.


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