Duty to warn if sale falls through

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Duty to warn if sale falls through

We recently tried to purchase a home. During the walkthrough and inspection some troubling things were noticed. Specifically fire hazards exposed main electrical work outside, inappropriate wire for the job performed, Exposed insulation near ignition sources, etc. I am a retired firefighter and also a contractor so I noticed these problems and was willing to repair them without decreasing the offer as the seller wouldn’t budge on price. It was obvious that they had attempted to fix them by themselves and were aware of most of the findings without disclosing them. The appraised price was well under offered and the seller again wouldn’t budge so the sale fell through. I noticed these due to my background and reported them to the homeowner. I fear they will not report them to the next people who put in an offer and may even try to cover them up again without fixing them properly. Do I have a duty to warn and report to the findings to the fire inspector?

Asked on September 13, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no legal obligation or duty to report fire hazards you noticed at a property not your own to the fire inspector or any other government official. You have no legal connection to the property and the law does not separately impose any duty to report hazards noticed on other's property.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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