Florida state law requires those who sell property in the state disclose certain defects.
What defects does state law require a seller disclose? In most cases, these are defects meet one of two requirements. The defect will either jeopardize a real estate transaction or could pose an unreasonable risk to personal safety.
What are some examples of material defects? Issues with a roof that result in serious leaking, decayed shingles that allow for moisture to enter the property and breakdown the home as well as cracks within a home’s foundation are some common examples of material defects that require disclosure prior to sale.
It is important to note state law generally requires observation of the defect. State law does not limit the observation requirement to the seller. Liability can extend to include the observation of a hired inspector.
Examples of material defects that are not likely observed and may not qualify for protection could include issues with wiring or plumbing defects.
Who is liable if a material defect goes undisclosed? The answer will depend on the details of the real estate dispute. If the owner was aware and failed to disclose, the owner would likely bear some liability. This can extend to include a real estate agent or inspector if either were aware of the material defect and did not make full disclosure as required by state law.
As such, sellers are wise to act to protect their interests during real estate transactions. An attorney experienced in this niche area of the law can help.