Real estate sales in Florida require disclosing a property’s material facts or latent defects to potential buyers. Bankrate.com defines a latent defect as damage that does not appear when first conducting a property inspection.
When completing a new home’s construction, for example, inspectors may not notice a leaking roof. After completing the transaction and moving in, rainwater may begin to seep down walls and cause severe property damage. Based on terms outlined in a new home’s warranty or sales contract, you may file a legal action to recover.
Material facts sellers and builders must disclose in Florida
As reported by the Florida Realtors’ website, property sellers owe a duty to disclose any material fact about a home that may affect its value. An issue that could reduce the property’s value requires disclosing it to potential buyers. Adding an “as-is” clause in a sales contract may not protect sellers from legal liability.
According to PropertyCasualty360, latent defects include problems with a property’s construction. Soil, for example, may not compound correctly. It may cause serious damage to a property’s structure or its walls. Builders may avoid lawsuits by hiring inspectors who could detect signs of potential issues that may cause problems in the future. Homebuyers may receive a copy of the inspection reports.
Florida law allows buyers to sue several parties
If you purchased property in the Sunshine State, you may file an action for damages against a builder, contractor or former owner. As noted on the Florida Legislature website, you must first file a claim that provides a defendant with an opportunity to fix or repair the defect.
Real estate buyers may perform due diligence before completing a sale. If a defect that a seller failed to disclose reveals itself later, a buyer may proceed with a lawsuit to recover for property damages and any related personal harm.