My property has issues that the seller knew about but did not disclose

You worked hard to buy a home and you the deserve peace of mind that you got a fair deal.

Buying any piece of property can be frustrating and exciting. That excitement is ruined when buyers find out months later that a seller failed to disclose material defects with the property. In such cases, the buyer may be entitled to compensation. How can you be confident in the home you decided to call your own? California places heavy legal responsibilities on the seller in a real estate transaction to provide “meaningful disclosures” about the property they are attempting to sell. The failure to disclose known defects or issues that affect the “value or desirability” of the property can result in substantial liability to seller and their agent(s), and often result in litigation.

Disclosure is Required Even for Properties Sold “As-Is”

Sellers cannot get around their disclosure requirements by selling the property “As-is”. Simply because you purchase a property as is does not mean that seller will not have to disclose defects which they are aware of. Many court rulings have stated that an “as is” clause does not alleviate a seller of disclosure duties. In Loughrin v. Superior Court courts ruled that not disclosing defects which are not visible, even when the property is sold as is holds the sellers liable. You are not permitted to contract your way out of this duty to disclose. In fact the Supreme Court has ruled on this exact same issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

It depends. However, the general rule is three years after the defect is discovered. You have a limited amount of time to take action. If you suspect that Seller knew about property defects but did not disclose them, contact us online or at (619) 399-7700 for a confidential consultation.
That depends on the contract. Many California sale contracts require you to Mediate before filing a lawsuit. You have a limited amount of time to take action. If you suspect that Seller knew about property defects but did not disclose them, contact us online or at (619) 399-7700 for a confidential consultation.
That depends on the contract. Many California sale contracts include Arbitration provisions. You have a limited amount of time to take action. If you suspect that Seller knew about property defects but did not disclose them, contact us online or at (619) 399-7700 for a confidential consultation.
The seller and their agent(s) must provide a fairly transparent picture into not only the physical structure and underlying real estate itself, but the neighborhood and other factors surrounding the enjoyment and use of that property.

In California, the seller is required to provide the buyer with a comprehensive document known as the Real Estate “Transfer Disclosure Statement” or “TDS.” This document must be provided in a timely manner and as soon as possible

Yes. You can file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages against a non-disclosing Seller and their agent. You have a limited amount of time to take action, however. If you suspect that Seller knew about property defects but did not disclose them, contact us online or at (619) 399-7700 for a confidential consultation.
In any residential commercial transaction, a seller has a duty to disclose any material defect with the property. What is a material defect? Material defects are anything which would impact the value or desirability of the home. This is judged from the buyer’s perspective. A buyer who would not have purchased the property if they knew about the defect would be entitled to a claim for damages. For example, if you were sold a house and the seller failed to disclose that mold exists on the property, and you would not have bought the house if you had known about the mold, then you would be entitled to damages.

In California, the seller is required to provide the buyer with a comprehensive document known as the Real Estate “Transfer Disclosure Statement” or “TDS.” Sellers and their real estate agents must make a full disclosure in the TDS to avoid allegations of “fraud, misrepresentation or deceit.” The TDS covers a broad range of subjects from issues with the plumbing to cracks in the foundation and a host of other typical property issues.

Here is a list of the different types of non-disclosure issues.

  • Non disclosure of leaky roof
  • Seller non disclosure of toxic mold
  • Seller non disclosure of past flooding
  • Seller non disclosure of structural defects

These are only a small sample of the different non-disclosure issues. To know more about your rights feel free to contact our offices for a confidential evaluation.

  • Death in the Home
  • Neighborhood Nuisances
  • Hazards
  • HOA Information
  • Repairs
  • Water Damage
  • Missing Items
  • Pests
  • Remodels with Missing Permits or Violating Building Codes
  • Other Possible Disclosures

Commercial Properties Have Disclosure Obligations As Well.

Buyers of real estate–often homes but also commercial and industrial buildings–often feel that they have been the victim of an unscrupulous seller. An experienced real estate litigation attorney can help evaluate the probability of success in a lawsuit over these claims, and this post will highlight some of the issues than often arise. Multi-Unit and Commercial transactions have differing guidelines and more sophisticated standards of compliance.

Real Estate Agent Liability

In most cases a real estate agent can also be held accountable when there is fraud. However, the statute of limitations applies differently to brokers and real estate agents. In such cases there is a 2 year time limit to bring your claim. This period begins to run from the moment of possession or occupancy of the property. A broker or agent owes certain duties to prospective purchasers or buyers of property. If the agent had knowledge through his communication with the seller of these defects, then he will be charged with a duty to disclose it. Failure to do so will hold the broker agent liable.

Let Our Experienced Real Property Litigation Attorneys Help You

If you believe that you purchased a commercial or residential property and the seller or their agent(s) knew of hidden property defects they failed to disclose, you should contact an experienced real estate litigation attorney. You have a limited amount of time to take action. If you suspect that Seller knew about property defects but did not disclose them, contact us online or at (619) 399-7700 for a confidential consultation. Our office will work to hold non-disclosing sellers accountable, and recover the maximum financial damages available under California law.

Testimonials

My wife and I highly recommend Webb Law group. We were in a difficult situation as we made an expensive investment for our family and the seller made material misrepresentations. To add insult to injury, we were sued for their mistake! Mr. Webb and his team not only got the lawsuit thrown out, but made the PLAINTIFF PAY US. His team really did an excellent job. Mr. Webb really fought hard for us and looked out for our best interests in this complicated lawsuit. Also, I really appreciated how everyone in the Law group would call or email back in a timely manner.

Andy Hall

Contact Webb Law Group

If you would like to schedule a free, no-risk consultation with Webb Law Group, call 559.431.4888 or 619.399.7700 between 7am and 5:30pm Monday – Friday. You can also submit a request through our online form. If we cannot answer you inquiry immediately, we will be in touch within 24 hours.

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