2014-04-02

How to avoid an action for latent defects

Old house Articles in this section are of general information and in every situation are subject to the application and interpretation of a law, rule or factual situation that may differ. Consult us for any specific question.

The only way to guard oneself against an action for latent defects is to sell the building without the legal warranty. However, during the selling process, honesty is imperative and the seller has to disclose any information he knows about the house’s condition; other legal actions exist for the buyer in the case where information was withheld.

It is rare for a buyer to accept to purchase a building without the legal warranty, the most common case is usually when the house is very old. What to do then? Disclosing, in writing, to the buyer all the information you know about the building’s state such as: water damage that has occurred in the past, the repairs done, any abnormalities you may have come across, defects in certain appliances, etc.

The most common defenses a seller can invoke against an action for latent defects are :

►The defects were disclosed prior to the sale

►The defects were visible at the moment of the sale

►The buyer knew about the defects at the moment of the sale

►The defects appeared after the sale

►The defect is not serious and does not affect the functionality of the building

►The denunciation of the defect was made late

If you receive a formal notice or an action for latent defect, contact us immediately.