Undisclosed property defects can lead to real estate litigation

| Jul 9, 2021 | Real estate litigation |

While Ohio residents may be in a hurry to finally sign paperwork completing the sale of a house, it is important to not rush into anything. Older houses often have various issues and not disclosing them can lead to costly and lengthy real estate litigation.

Who’s responsibility is it to disclose defects and when?

Depending on the state, it is a seller’s responsibility to disclose defects in the property. Usually this means material defects should be listed and explained to the buyer. A failure to do so might result in the sale becoming invalidated.

What is a material defect?

A material defect is one that causes an issue with a part of the residential property, can have a negative effect on the property’s value, or can create an unreasonable risk to someone. A material defect does not arise when something is at the end of its natural life, such as a furnace breaking down many years later.

What happens if someone does not disclose a defect?

Sellers either forget or fail to disclose defects. Water damage, septic issues, bad roofing, outdated wiring, and rotten wood, are common defects that sellers do not disclose before the sale. Consequently, a buyer can pursue real estate litigation.

When one’s dream house turns into a nightmare property, it can be frustrating for the buyer. He or she may not know who to hold liable, the seller or the property inspector. To understand one’s options in such instances, it might be helpful to consult an experienced attorney.