Duty to warn if sale falls through

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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