Can a buyer sue a seller over an undisclosed road construction project that will not even reach the property?

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Can a buyer sue a seller over an undisclosed road construction project that will not even reach the property?

We sold our house about a month ago. Yesterday we were contacted by our realtor and the buyer is threatening legal activity because we did not disclose to them that there would be a road widening project on the street the house is on. This widening project is not planned to reach the property per

projections through 2040. In fact projections through 2025 show it stopping 3 blocks away from the property. These facts are published in newspapers and on the city website. It is not something we thought we had to disclose. It’s public knowledge, we weren’t hiding it. Our number one reason for moving was the busy road, which we can’t hide. They had a 2 week due diligence period. Do they have a case?

Asked on June 27, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Utah

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Based on what you write, they do not appear to have a case. They would be essentially suing you for fraud: for a knowing misrepresentation of a material fact upon which they reasonably relied. However:
1) If the road is not coming to their property until 2040, it is debatable whether it is "material": that is a long time away.
2) And even more importantly, if it is public knowledge and something they could reasonable have found, they they were not entitled to rely on your representations (or omissions) in this regard, because they could have found this for themselves; when the buyer can find the information readily enough, it is not reasonable to rely on what the seller says or does not say. 
Therefore, there is reason to think that they fail to meet two prongs of a viable fraud claim.


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