Law Office of Kimberly A. Abrams & Associates, P.A.

The doctrine of 'caveat emptor' in Florida

Many real estate disputes start when a buyer realizes that the property they thought they were buying doesn't meet their expectations. It is particularly frustrating when a person was counting on using a piece of property in their business, and it turns out that the property has a serious defect like bad plumbing or electrical wiring issues.

Traditionally, in Florida, the buyer of a piece of commercial real estate has the obligation to research and inspect the property they are buying. On the other hand, a seller does not have any obligation to tell a buyer about any problems with the property. The only obligation a seller has is to speak truthfully, if they choose to speak at all. This principle is called the doctrine of "caveat emptor."

More and more, Florida law is tending to move away from the doctrine of caveat emptor, and, in many cases, the seller of a piece of real estate has an obligation to disclose any defects in the property before the buyer signs on the dotted line.

In many cases, a problem with a piece of commercial property can lead to litigation. In such cases, a buyer will ordinarily have to show either that the seller has not been truthful in their statements or had a duty to disclose a problem with the property. This can be a complicated process, and a qualified real estate attorney can be of valuable assistance in these types of cases.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does 'Caveat Emptor" Mean?," Accessed May 25, 2017

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