Did You Discover A Material Defect in Your Home After Closing? You May Be Entitled to Legal Remedie
Imagine, an individual invests in one of the largest purchases of their lifetime - a new home. After purchasing the new home, the purchaser discovers that there is a material defect in the property that he or she did not have knowledge of, or bargain for, prior to the closing. Is the purchaser entitled to a remedy? Quite possibly under 765 (ILCS 77/) Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (the “Disclosure Act”).
Background and Purpose of the Disclosure Act
In Illinois, the Disclosure Act is a statute that modifies the common law doctrine of caveat emptor, which is a principle that a buyer alone is responsible for checking the quality of property before a purchase is made. Penn v. Geri, 334 Ill.App.3d 345, 350 (2002). The Disclosure Act requires that the seller of real property fully complete a form about a wide range of conditions of their property prior to the sale in effort to protect home buyers from sellers who may falsely report the condition of their property.
In order to satisfy the requirements of the Disclosure Act, a seller of real property in Illinois subject to the Act must complete the disclosure document prescribed by section 35 of the Disclosure Act. 765 ILCS 77/20 (West 2010). The disclosure document in section 35 of the Disclosure Act “is a disclosure of the residential real property being sold” and lists twenty-three (23) specific conditions and/or material defects that could potentially be present in the property, and asks the sellers to certify whether they are aware of the presence of these defects or conditions in the property. 765 ILCS 77/35 (West 2010). The seller can certify whether or not they have actual knowledge of the material defects by checking “Yes” or “No” or “N/A” next to the specific condition, so there is a written record of known material defects in the property that the buyer should consider prior to closing on the property.
What Happens If A Purchaser Discovers An Undisclosed Defect After Closing?
If a purchaser discovers an undisclosed defect in his or her home after closing, the purchaser should contact a law firm with experience litigating violations of the Disclosure Act, such as Ball & McCann, P.C. Our experienced counsel will provide you with step by step instructions on how to preserve evidence, and begin building your case to maximize your recovery. This will include gathering evidence to recover actual damages causally related to out of pocket costs for repair and/or replacement of real and/or personal property. In addition, if there is evidence the seller knowingly violated the Disclosure Act, or knowingly failed to perform any duty prescribed in the Disclosure Act, we will fight tirelessly to ensure you are not only compensated for your actual damages, but are also reimbursed for court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 765 ILCS 77/55 and potentially other statutes.
So if you or a loved one discovered problems with your home before or after closing, or if are you simply seeking advice on how to prevent such a situation from occurring in the future, contact the law firm of Ball & McCann, P.C. today so we can use our experience to protect you and your family.