Everything You Need to Know About the Auction Legal Pack

An auction pack is a set of documents provided for prospective buyers, indicating all the information they need to know about a property they may plan to bid on. Here at Clive Emson Auctioneers, we allow registered buyers to download the auction pack on demand, ensuring each bidder can review this paperwork before the auction date. But what does an auction legal pack include?

Because a property auction involves a binding agreement, where the highest bidder commits to the sale, it is essential they have access to all information and can bid with confidence.

If you’re new to property auctions as either a buyer or seller, we’ll explain all of the reports and documentation that should be included within a legal pack and how your auctioneer and solicitor can help compile everything you need.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered professional legal advice. Clive Emson Auctioneers licensed legal advisors, and the content of this article should not be construed as creating any kind of advisor-client relationship. Readers are advised to seek the services of a qualified legal professional or advisor for personalised advice tailored to their legal situation.

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What Should an Auction Legal Pack Include?

Some paperwork will be relevant to every auction listing, regardless of the property type or value. Other requirements depend on the nature of the property or plot of land, with differences between residential and commercial and furnished and unfurnished lots.

For example, if you are selling a property that already has a tenant, you will need to include a copy of the rental agreement, whereas this would not apply to a vacant residence or a commercial premise.

Every property auction listing should be accompanied by a legal pack that comprises:

  • The common auction conditions of sale, including any specific terms or requirements such as additional costs to be borne by the buyer.
  • Official copies of the property title register and plan. If the property is not registered with the Land Registry, it should have a copy of the deeds and a document called an Epitome of Title.
  • An up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and copies of any paperwork related to planning permission.
  • Search information including environmental, local authority, drainage and water searches, plus any additional searches that are relevant, such as searches for properties on flood plains or close to mining areas.
  • A Property Information Form, called TA6, which covers the property boundaries, guarantees linked to the property and any current disputes.

We’ll run through exactly what you need to provide for the TA6 form next.

A solicitor and a buyer sit at a desk surrounded by auction-related paraphernalia such as a gavel, a model house, and a justice statue

Property Information Forms for Auction Sales

The Property Information Form is a standard document allowing the seller to communicate important information with an interested buyer. The form works through several areas, from general information about parking to factors that may affect the insurance of the building and any work that has taken place at the property.

If you’re selling a property at auction in the UK, you should also explain any informal agreements or arrangements in place, including right of way, usage rights or anything else a new owner may need to know.

Additional Documents Required for Some Legal Packs

As we’ve mentioned, some information will apply to some types of property but not others. You may need to provide:

  • A form listing all the fixtures included within the property. The Fittings and Contents Form can specify any contents that will pass into the successful buyer’s possession. This form is not required for some sales, such as if the property is being sold with a tenant in residence.
  • Properties that are owned as leasehold rather than freehold must have a Leasehold Information Form within the legal pack. The form provides information about the length of the lease and details any service charges or ground rent payable.
  • Commercial properties or mixed-use premises offered for sale should have a Commercial Property Standard Enquiries form.
  • Properties sold with a tenant should include a copy of the tenancy agreement, normally an Assured Shorthold Tenancy contract, or copies of individual tenancy agreements and the HMO licence if the property is an HMO (house in multiple occupation) along with an up to date statement of rent

Your auctioneer and solicitor can advise if there is anything further that should be included in the legal pack. Many of the documents in these lists, such as the ‘TA’ forms, are a legal requirement regulated by The Law Society – we’d always advise against bidding against any auction where a legal pack is not provided, or these documents are missing.

How to Prepare a Legal Pack for an Auction Sale

Most sellers will liaise with their solicitor or conveyancer, who will need to conduct the searchers and verify whether any new documentation or certificates are required – the property may need a new EPC, for instance, if it doesn’t currently have a performance grading, or the EPC is out of date.

The time required to prepare a legal pack will also vary depending on how quickly local authority searches are returned in your area, how complex the paperwork is, and how fast your solicitor can work through the process.

In most cases, the legal pack is ready within a week or two, which allows plenty of time for the standard three or four weeks between a property being marketed and entered into an auction. However, many sellers already have much of the information available before instructing an auctioneer and can add the searches and title deeds as soon as these become available.

Where the property requires extra paperwork or copies of tenancy agreements, these might take a little longer to prepare.

Applying for a Legal Pack on an Auction Property for Sale

Legal packs are important resources for buyers, and many will register with the Clive Emson Auctioneers and download a copy of the pack for the property or properties they are considering bidding on. They can then share these with their own legal representation to review beforehand or raise any queries they should be aware of.

While the seller is responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date information for the legal pack, the buyer remains accountable for conducting their own research or discussing any concerns with their solicitor or legal adviser before entering into a binding agreement.

In many cases, buyers and sellers choose to liaise with solicitors with expertise in auction sales who will be able to complete work on assembling or reviewing a legal pack quickly and within the short timescales that are the norm in auction sales.

If you’re looking to buy or sell your property at auction and need advice on the legal pack, get in touch with our auction specialists today. 

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