Bernstein & Feldman, P.A.

Providing Personal Counsel
And Representation For Over
30 Years

Undisclosed defects when purchasing a home

As Maryland homeowners may know, buying a new house may be a joyous occasion until the buyer is faced with a major defect in the home that was not disclosed. For instance, an undisclosed leak in the roof may be a costly repair and may damage interior wiring and insulation. However, the new homeowner may have recourse to recover damages for a hidden defect.

When selling a house, the owner is responsible for disclosing known major home defects in the property. Disclosure requirements vary from state to state, and some states may include an inspection to assure the new owner that termites are not present. Federal law requires that home sellers disclose the presence of lead-based paint in homes that might be costly and time-consuming to remove as well as a potential health hazard for the new buyers.

After the close of escrow, in which money has changed hands, a new homeowner who finds a major defect in the new property that was undisclosed may have recourse to recover funds necessary to repair the defect. In the event of major defects, the transaction may be rescinded in limited instances. In some states, erroneous statements about a house's defects may make the original owner liable for repairs if it may be shown that the owner knew about the problem and was not forthcoming. If a professional did not discover a major defect during the time of inspection, the new homeowner may only be able to recover the cost of inspection.

Real estate purchase disputes sometimes arise when a new home is bought, and an individual in that situation may wish to speak to an attorney. An attorney may advise a new homeowner about the possibility of recovering damages to make repairs on a property for undisclosed defects.

Source: FindLaw, "Required Real Estate Disclosures When Selling Property," Accessed on Jan. 28, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information