Caveat emptor

Common law rule meaning ‘let the buyer beware’. The principle is that the buyer of goods had the opportunity to satisfy himself as to the suitability of the article and therefore no liability attaches to the vendor. However, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 provides a measure of ‘buyer’ protection and the Defective Premises Act 1972, s.3, abolishes caveat emptor in claims based on a vendor’s negligence in certain building work done pre-sale or pre-letting of property. Insurance contracts are subject to utmost good faith and not caveat emptor. The FCA calls upon the seller of financial products to give ‘best advice’.