Real Estate Law  Real Estate Disclosures

Los Angeles Real Estate Disclosure Attorney

Providing Real Estate Legal Representation Throughout Southern California

California real estate law requires sellers to disclose to buyers of their real property "any material facts known to the seller affecting the value or desirability of the real estate." To legally sell a home in California, it's important to adhere to disclosure laws. These real estate disclosures were put in place to protect buyers and hold sellers legally liable for failure to maintain open and honest information sharing about the condition of a property.

There are serious consequences for failing to adhere to disclosure laws, and one of the primary effects of hiding problems or known issues is the seller will be opened up to being sued for problems the buyers find after assuming ownership of the home. The purpose of disclosure laws is to help buyers get as much information about the property they plan to purchase so they can make an informed decision. Disclosure laws help buyers present the seller with a purchase price that is more representative of their house's value because of necessary repairs.

Seller Disclosure Requirements & Transfer Statements

In California, sellers are required to disclose any known issues that happened on the property. That is not limited to building issues; it also includes catastrophic events on the property like a natural death or murder. In California, Sellers also need to complete a Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement (TDS) before completing the housing sale. The seller is required to use a prescribed list to disclose the condition of any property that will remain in the home after the close of sale and transfer.

The list usually includes items like:

• Fire & CO2 Alarms

• Household Appliances

• Public Utilities

• Swimming Pools

• Rain Gutters

• Insurance Claims

• Prior Litigation

The disclosure will also include structural additions made to the house during a remodel.
Structural additions would include household remodels and remodifications, like:

• Bedroom Add-ons

• Structural Modifications

• Roof Repairs and Leaks

• Previous Water Intrusion

and Erosion

Some other issues and situations require full disclosure by the seller, including the following situations:

• An airport is closer than 2 miles

• There’s a protected conservancy on record

• The property and area is zoned for a specific reason

• The property has been impacted by an industrial use facility

• The property was used to create methamphetamines

• The home is smoke detector compliant

The seller is required to disclose the following:

• Property taxes

• Security bars on doors and windows

• Lead paint hazards

Sellers are also required to provide a Natural Hazard Disclosure Report, which is a prepopulated Y/N form. It asks specifically about:

• Is the home in a flood zone?

• Is the home in a high-fire risk area?

• Is the home in a designated wildlife area?

• Is the home in an earthquake zone?

Buyers also have the right to know whether registered sex offenders reside in the area of the home. Additional disclosure statements could be required depending on the details of the real estate contract. The real estate agent and escrow officer should help to make a final determination regarding any additional disclosures needed.

Suppose a buyer discovers that a seller knowingly withheld disclosure information about safety, quality, or material issues of the home for sale. In that case, they may be able to cancel their purchase contract – even after the option period has ended. They may also be entitled to damages and fees per the real estate contract.

Los Angeles Real Estate Disclosure Attorney

If a buyer is worried about a pending real estate purchase, then the first course of action is to review all disclosure documents and contracts with a Los Angeles real estate attorney. At the Law Office of Steven R. Lovett, we assist with Los Angeles real estate disclosure cases. We can review the details of your situation and help develop a strategy.

Call our offices at (888) 577-1518 to schedule a free telephonic consultation.

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