Latent Defects in Real Estate

Latent Defects

October 9, 2018

Categorised in:

In Real Estate, latent defects are defined according to four criteria:

– The defect must be hidden (“latent” means “not apparent”), i.e., not visible upon close inspection.
– The defect must be serious. This means it must make the building less fit for purpose to such an extent that the buyer would not have bought it or at least would have bought it for a lower price.
– The defect must have existed before the property was sold. The buyer must prove that the defect was already there before the deed of sale was signed at the notary’s office.
– A reasonable buyer must be unaware of the defect. If the buyer did not discover the defect upon close inspection of the property, they could have a case against the seller.

When we talk about a latent defect, we mean a defect that was not visible or that the buyer did not know about when they signed the deed of sale. In most cases the seller is unaware of the problem as well, which makes latent defects particularly difficult to anticipate.

How can I avoid latent defects?

As a buyer, you need to be vigilant. The first step is to work with a broker and an inspector who are familiar with the area. Then read the inspection report carefully and do any additional checks that might be recommended.

If you’re a seller, your real estate broker will be able to help you fill out the seller’s declaration and will recommend a pre-sale inspection.

What if I discover a latent defect?

If, as a buyer, you discover a latent defect after the sale, you must notify the seller in writing and let the seller see the defect before any repairs are done. Once the defect has been reported, it is in each party’s best interest to get an independent expert’s opinion.

What will my broker do?

Your real estate broker will check public information about the property and will objectively advise each party. They will try to discover anything that could be detrimental to the property and notify each of the parties accordingly.

If, despite every effort, latent defects are discovered after the sale, your broker can refer to you a competent legal expert to resolve the issue in due form.

 



Decluttering you home

Decluttering: It’s Therapeutic and It’s a Good Thing

Let’s say the time has come to sell your house after you’ve lived in it for quite a few years. Then you realize you have way too much stuff. Like so many other people, you want to sell your home but have no idea how to start clearing out, decluttering, and tidying up the interior… View Article

Vendre sa maison en été

4 good reasons to sell your property in the summer

Summer is here, temperature is rising above 30 °C and you’re planning your next getaway, far from being in the mood to sell your property. Most people, indeed, usually prefer to wait until fall to list their property on the market. This popular practice is most likely due to the belief that summer is the… View Article

Copropriété Co-ownership

Is a condo the right choice for you?

The appealing lifestyle and affordable cost have made condos an increasingly popular choice in recent years, especially among first-time buyers. But there’s more to condo ownership than that—it makes you a part of a community. Before making a purchase offer, find out if condo living is right for you! Before you buy First of all,… View Article