My partner is currently purchasing a property in England. In the report returned by the solicitor upon completing the searches, it is indicated that the shed and greenhouse are not included in the sale (this is mentioned in an email exchange and the list of included and excluded inventory).

However, in the sales material (both a brochure and a page on the estate agent's website) they are explicitly mentioned: "...gravelled area and large garden shed...", "...pond, greenhouse and raised borders...".

Additionally during visits to the property there was no indication given that they were not included, despite speaking to both the estate agent and the vendor themselves.

As a result, my partner feels misled about their exclusion. Is the sales information considered binding and therefore will they need to include these items? Or is this instead a matter of just adjusting the offer to account for the change?


Your partner has been misled. It is possible that this was not deliberate on the part of the vendors. They may well not have considered the possibility of taking the shed or the greenhouse until their solicitor mentioned it to them, or they realized that the shed and greenhouse wasn't going to be included in their new home either.

There is a responsibility on the estate agent not to make the details misleading, but the details are not binding. What your partner will eventually end up with is what is listed in the contract, and if the inventory says they are excluded, they are. The only option is to reduce the offer (or walk away).



Under English law, misrepresentation (see also) is when a false statement was made that induced you to enter a contract. It comes in three flavours: fraudulent, negligent and innocent. Your partner's situation is most likely negligent since the vendor owed them a duty to represent the property truthfully and carelessly didn't but does not appear to have done it recklessly or intentionally.

If they have not yet entered the contract then this is still a matter for negotiation. If they have entered the contract then the available remedies are rescission (i.e. voiding the contract and walking away) or damages (i.e. the cost of replacing the shed and greenhouse or the diminution in value of the property whichever is the lesser) or both (i.e. walking away and claiming the fees paid to the solicitor). Or the vendor could remedy it by leaving the shed and greenhouse there as they havn't yet been removed.

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    In order to make them pay damages or compensate you in some way, you would have to show that they really did mislead you. The fact that they were listed on the website does not meet that criteria by itself, because the other side could argue they decided they wanted more money if the shed was included and told you later etc. The seller can change his or her mind about price etc, but they have to tell you. – Putvi Oct 22 '19 at 22:26
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    @Putvi no, you have to show that a reasonable person would be misled - not that you were misled – Dale M Oct 23 '19 at 0:03
  • It's going to be hard to show that a reasonable person would have been misled if there is a schedule attached to the contract saying "the shed and the greenhouse are excluded". The fact that the properties details didn't say this may just mean that the vendor changed their mind (possibly because they hadn't considered the possibility of the taking them when the estate agent wrote up the details). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Oct 23 '19 at 12:55
  • @MartinBonner misrepresentation does not require intent. This is clearly misleading. – Dale M Oct 23 '19 at 19:03
  • @DaleM Showing a reasonable person would be misled is the standard used, not all you have to show. I'm glad you tried to help this person, but your answer is misleading, not Martin Bonner's in this case. – Putvi Oct 23 '19 at 20:07

If you had a contract signed saying those things would be included, then yes they should be included, because the seller would be in violation of the contract if they aren't.

If you just saw them on the materials and it was cleared up before the sale was finalized then no you can't force them to include them.

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