Ridout Barron


Real estate: What are material latent defects?

Anyone in Alberta who considers selling his or her house might have questions about the process. The seller in a real estate deal has several obligations, one of which is the disclosure of material latent defects. But what are they? Material latent defects are physical defects that are invisible to the real estate agent and prospective buyers.

Defects that could render the property dangerous must be disclosed. Anything that would make it unfit for occupation or to live in or conditions that make the property unsuitable for the buyer's purpose must be declared. Also, any other defects that would likely not be discovered during a visual property inspection must be disclosed. Some shortcomings could even escape discovery by a professional property inspector.

Material latent defects could also include matters such as the owner not having the necessary documents such as building permits. The seller must disclose any defects that would require a significant financial outlay to repair. Another latent defect could involve an order by authorities or local government to carry out specific repairs on the property. Nondisclosure might have dire consequences, that could even put the sale in jeopardy.

The process of selling real estate in Alberta can have many hidden stumbling blocks and is typically best handled by an experienced lawyer. Legal counsel can assist with listing material latent defects and other obligations and intricacies of selling a home. A lawyer with knowledge and experience in all facets of residential real estate can improve the chances of smooth sailing throughout the legal and other procedures involved in selling real estate.

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Ridout Barron

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