Will a broker’s licensed be taken away for failing to disclose that a furnace was installed without apermit?

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Will a broker’s licensed be taken away for failing to disclose that a furnace was installed without apermit?

Real estate broker buys a mobile home. It had no furnace, so the broker installed one. But no permit and they failed to mention it on the seller’s disclosure. Then they sell the home on land contract, and 5 weeks later the heat exchanger cracked. The CO detector went off but the woman shut it off, ate dinner, went out for 2 hours, came home to 4 of her 7 birds dead. So she then called the fire dept. She had a a new furnace installed; no cost to her. Broker tried to make restitution with woman repeatedly; she turned all offers down. Filed complaint with state. She wants $8,000 and brokers license revoked.

Asked on December 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What she wants is all well and good for a broken furnace that caused the CO detector to go off that she ignored that caused her birds to die but she probably won't get what she wants.  Revocation of a broker's license or any license is not up to the person who was harmed but rather up to the licensing agency.  A real estate broker would be subject to the real estate commission in your state or department of real estate.  As to the issue at hand, the broker's negligence (broker knew or should have known an installation permit was needed or needed to be done by a licensed technician) reasonably and directly could have caused the CO detector to go off as a result of the crack in the heat exchanger.  Then the argument is did her negligence (by ignoring the CO detector, not calling the fire department, not ventilating the home, and then leaving for 2 hours) intervene in such a way that was not a foreseeable event from his negligence and therefore cut off his liability for the birds' deaths? It may be but that would be the argument to present in front of the commission if there is a hearing there or before the lawsuit if there is a lawsuit. 


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