Have you ever purchased a house and years later discovered defects with the property? This could be a potential failure to disclose by the seller.

A seller has a duty to disclose material defects regarding the subject property to the buyer. Typically, there is a purchase and sale agreement, and disclosures that are executed.

It is very important to note what a seller discloses to the buyer. If a buyer purchases a home and discovers defects within the statute of limitations, it is our recommendation to review and analyze the disclosure paperwork. Depending on what time of the year a buyer purchased a house, sometimes it is difficult to ascertain what the actual problems are with the house. For example, a buyer purchases a home in the summer, and in the winter, there is heavy rain; thereafter, the buyer discovers that the roof needed to be repaired and is leaking.

Other defects can include things like improvements that weren’t permitted, termites, violations related to building codes, foundation problems, flooding and others.

The next step would be to either send a demand letter, mediation and/or arbitration (depending the contract), or filing a claim in Superior Court.

A demand letter can include a breakdown of the dispute history (to help educate the judge if it does go to court). A potential resolution can be included in the letter as well, such as a date for payment to be collected. Additionally, it could include a mention of this leading to the courts and a lawsuit if not resolved.

Mediation is when both dispute parties meet to discuss and try to hash out the dispute at hand. Having legal representation involved in these discussions allows for a third party to be present that can be impartial and offer professional advice. Arbitration is when an alternative to a lawsuit is worked on.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you need help with a failure to disclose.