Blog & News

Some Takeaways. What Do All These Cases Mean?

September 20, 2017 Posted in Blog

 

We’ve covered a lot of ground quickly and gotten deep into the legal weeds, but we have done so purposely to give you a sense of the complexity of the legal landscape and the care that you must exhibit as you navigate it.

 

Let’s back up to a 20,000 foot perspective and assess. While the cases we’ve explored have diverse fact scenarios, we can see some points clearly:

         

(a)   Commercial properties are not included under non-disclosure requirements.

  • Brokers are equally liable.
  • As-is clauses don’t give any cover. It is unknown whether a disclaimer expressly waiving the duty would work (although I believe that careful drafting may work in this regard).
  • Some courts have moved to the standard of whether the fact is something that the seller may not have known but should have known, in other words, eliminating the element of actual knowledge of the seller.
  • Courts have been unable to agree on what is reasonably ascertainable, what duties are on the buyer to exercise diligence.
  • An error in any document provided to the buyer will be held against the seller. An example could be as simple as a flyer having the wrong dimensions or square footage of the home.
  • By statute, a murder/suicide that occurred in the house does not have to be disclosed, nor does the fact that someone who lived in the house had HIV/AIDS.

Section 689.25, Florida Statutes.

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