What if a property issue is found that the seller didn’t know about and didn’t list in disclosure?

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What if a property issue is found that the seller didn’t know about and didn’t list in disclosure?

I have been renting a property to others for five years and am now selling it to a buyer. Because I have not lived there, it is difficult to answer items on the Disclosure statement with much more than ‘unknown.’
What if a property issue is found that the seller didn’t know about and didn’t list on disclosure?

Asked on July 28, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The issue is not just whether you did in fact know, but whether you reasonably "should" have known. If it's something that a seller your position would normally or logically be aware of, then it is the same as if you in fact knew but failed to disclose--you could be liable. (The law does not allow people to use "willful blindness"--deliberately not taking notice of issues--as grounds to avoid their obligations.) So if it's the sort of problem that the tenants would likely report to their landlord (like a noticeable plumbing or heating issue), you could be held liable for nondisclosure.


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