Is a seller obliged to disclose and, is it legal to include, added square footage in listing?

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Is a seller obliged to disclose and, is it legal to include, added square footage in listing?

If unpermitted living area space was added to the house not by the current seller, but by the previous seller, is the current seller under legal obligation to disclose that fact? Also, is it legal for the unpermitted area square footage and rooms to be added to the total house square footage and number of rooms in the seller’s listing? What are the options a buyer has after closing to take legal action on such an issue?

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you mean that you have a room or area that was illegally added to the house - with out a permit - or that would not be permitted becuase of say zoning (it is too cloe to the neighbors house)?  I think that if you know it and hide it and it becomes an issue then you could be in trouble.  I think that you should speak with a real estate attorney about the specifics here and get things cleared up one way or another.  Misrepresentation is the contractual issue you are concerned with.  Good luck.


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