This case provides helpful guidance responses to buyer’s questions. If sellers do not answer reasonably the buyers’ questions before the parties have exchanged contracts, they could risk compensation claims for misrepresentation.
In the case of Thorp v Abbotts  EWHC 2142 the buyers claimed fraudulent misrepresentation by the sellers in relation to planning developments. But the court found that the sellers’ replies were reasonable in this instance, and the request for ‘communications and notices’ was not sufficiently wide to require sellers to disclose leaflets distributed in the community.
Despite the ruling, the take home message is that Property sellers should think very carefully about their responses to buyers’ questions before the parties have exchanged contracts. If in doubt take specialist legal advice.
The court found that the sellers' replies were reasonable. They could not have foreseen that planning permission would be given for the development on appeal. It also found that the wording in the question referring to 'communications and notices' was not sufficiently wide to require them to disclose the leaflets sent to them about the local housing strategy.