Experienced. Driven. Effective.

Who is liable if your new home has defects? 

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions

Purchasing a new home can be a very exciting time. Fortunately, it didn’t take you long to find a place and put in an offer –  which was subsequently accepted. 

Now, you have moved in and are ready to put your own stamp on the place. Unfortunately, the excitement has been dampened by a number of defects with the property. You were not aware of these before completing the transaction. Who is liable if your new home has defects? 

Did the seller fail to disclose? 

Illinois requires sellers to disclose defects if they are aware of them. The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act (the Disclosure Act) states that sellers must fully disclose defects in the electrical system, building structure and plumbing of the property. 

If a seller was aware of such defects and neglected to tell you about them, they could be liable for damages. 

Did the property inspector do their job?

Sellers may not always be aware that the property has defects. If they were genuinely unaware, then it is difficult to hold them liable. In any real estate translation, it is commonplace to have your own inspector conduct a thorough assessment of the building. 

The inspector is trained to find material defects and they must report them to you if discovered. If an inspector fails to spot obvious defects or does not report them to you before purchase, you may be able to hold them to account. Inspectors must adhere to the minimum standards set by the Department Of Financial And Professional Regulation.    

Purchasing real estate is a significant transaction and it shouldn’t be spoiled by undisclosed defects. If there are defects in your new home, be sure to seek legal guidance so that your options can be analyzed.