If you are buying or selling a property, it is essential to know what exactly the obligations of a vendor are. One of the most important issues to be considered is whether it is the vendor’s duty to disclose specific defects with the property or not. In order to answer that question, the court usually classifies the defect into one of the 2 categories: patent or latent.
What are Patent Defects?
Patent defects are defects in the home or property that can be discovered by inspection and careful observance by the purchaser. An example of this can include water damage and visible cracks on the walls.
What are Latent Defects?
Latent defects are the flaws that cannot be revealed by such inquiries. These defects are structural in nature. Such misrepresentations usually happen because of false statement by the seller. However, silence can also make the seller a culprit. If you are a victim of the latent defect, you can hire a law firm specialized in Condominium Law to act efficiently in latent defect cases.
A real estate seller is expected to disclose details of all latent defects to the buyer before a contract is sealed. If he does not disclose, the sale of the property may not be hampered but it will lead to severe consequences in the future.
Latent defects are those defects that are unknown to the buyer. In order to be considered as serious, the feature must be crucial to the buyer’s enjoyment and should add the value of the house. Usually, buyers would not sign the contract if they knew about latent defects.
Ways to Protect Yourself as a Buyer
In order to avoid consequences of defects, you can hire home investor and have the potential home inspected. He will be able to investigate and find out all patent defects before you buy the home. You should personally spend time and the property and do own investigation.
You should visit the property at different times of the week and day. Some concerns can only be discovered under certain conditions. For example, to know that the house starts smelling of cat urine on humid weather, you will have to visit multiple times. Under such circumstances, avoiding the purchase seems like the easier option, even though there are ways to recover from latent defects.
If you travel multiple times to the destination, you will also get an idea about traffic rush during on and off-peak hours. Visiting on weekends will give you an idea of what weekend activities take place in the neighborhood. Even though most of these are patent defects, the buying decision depends on them.
Do not be satisfied with whatever the vendor tells you about the house. Poke and prod around the property to check whether it is worth the investment. Your home should be in a condition that is acceptable to you.
You must also review the disclosure very carefully and ask follow-up questions on any concerns. A disclosure statement usually discloses major aspects of a property’s structure and foundation. The disclosure statement is generally broad, so you can request more details on any section.
If any warranties or representations enticed you to buy the home, include that in the contract.
Finally, you should directly the vendor about major concerns. You can ask to enquire about everything that is important to you and communicate how important they are to you. You can talk about allergy, pets, etc. It is best if you communicate via any kind of written form, as you will have evidence of the conversation.