Material Non-Disclosure Question

Question: So me and girlfriend bought a condo almost 2 years ago. There was a washer dryer and hardwood floors in the condo. Both were not properly installed and go against the hoa rules. The seller did not disclose any of this to us, and the repairs to get these items approved will be costly. Can I go after the seller for not disclosing these items?

Answer: That’s a really good question. This kind of thing often comes up. A seller has a duty to disclose known material defects in the property during the sale. It has to be known. “Know” is a pretty high burden to prove. You’d need to know they installed it, basically. Material is also sometimes problematic. It is hard to know whether a $5,000.00 problem for a $400,000.00 home is truly material. The other things to keep in mind are: cost of pursuing (hiring an attorney, personal time) and the mediation/arbitration provision. If you make a demand to them and they refuse, the next step should be to mediate. Generally, by contract, if you don’t agree to mediate, you lose your rights to attorney’s fees as the prevailing party.