Can You Sue The Seller For Not Disclosing Problems With The House? Absolutely. Here’s What You Need To Know About Disclosure Laws

Just about every state in the US has a long list of conditions that a disclosure has to meet. Whether its the law or the realtor that provides you with this, you’ll be receiving a disclosure form, as its illegal for a seller to not disclose problems that are wrong with the house. You can probably also find this form online. Read on: Home Buying: If the Seller Does Not Disclose a Problem – Trulia.

Of course, you’ll need a formal one. Disclosure forms are set up as checklists. They include space for writing in any details on any one particular item. Every little minor detail does not have to be disclosed, and they shouldn’t be. Some of these things might include a knicked baseboard, a scratch on the floor, or a dirt mark on the paint on the wall. This document is mean tot disclose actual defects that are large enough to where it may affect whether or not someone would buy the house, and if so, how much to offer it based on those problems. Here are the main conditions that disclosure laws generally include:

  • plumbing/sewage issues
  • water damage
  • termite damage
  • roof defects
  • heating/AC issues
  • foundation issues
  • issues with the house title
  • lead-based paint

There actually are some states in the US where you have to disclose if any violent crimes occurred in the house. Or, environmental issues as well, such as: radon, earthquakes, and fire hazards. Any seller that does not disclose known defects to the house can be sued directly by the buyer once that defect is found. This lawsuit will be based on the court requiring to show the disclosure, or, fraud. See: Problems Discovered After Home Purchase and Home Inspection. If you can’t reach an agreement with the seller, you’ll likely take them to court. IF the court decides that the buyer is in the right, then you’ll probably be responsible for:

  • repairs and damages
  • attorney fees
  • might have to take back the home
  • punitive damages

The bottom line, if you are a seller, is to always disclose any defects within your home. You’ll be found out later, and you’ll be paying a lot of money in legal fees. It’s not worth the risk. See: Can You Sue if a Home Seller Lies or Conceals Defects? – Nolo.


  • Bridget


    I have just listed my home. How can I avoid this happening? As far as I know, there aren’t any issues with our home, but I feel like I should cover all my bases to avoid this. What can I do?

  • webmaster

    It can be good idea to have your home inspected prior to putting it on the market and then to make needed repairs; be sure to also include in your disclosures the items you won’t repair. This helps avoid surprises and thus negotiation problems once a buyer makes an offer on your house. It reassures buyers that you’re doing everything possible to deliver a house that’s in good condition. Making repairs may even mean you can up your listing price.


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