In Kansas and Missouri, as in most states in the U.S., an owner selling a property has an obligation to disclose any latent defects with that property. Latent defects may not be discoverable for months or even years, and failure to disclose is equivalent to fraudulent misrepresentation. If the seller does not disclose, the purchaser has a right to compensation for remedying those defects if the purchaser can show that the seller knew (or in Missouri, should have known) about the defect. In some cases, the buyer can even request that the purchase be rescinded.
Buying a property is one of the most significant investments one can make. It’s a process that involves careful planning, scrutiny, and a significant amount of money. However, what happens if you discover problems that were not disclosed when purchasing your property? This is a scenario that unfortunately many property buyers find themselves in.
The first step is the discovery of the undisclosed issues. This could happen in a variety of ways. Maybe you’ve started noticing water damage that wasn’t there during the initial inspection. Perhaps a neighbor has mentioned that the area is prone to flooding. Or maybe you’ve stumbled upon structural problems that were cleverly hidden. Regardless of the way you find out about these issues, it’s crucial to document everything. This includes taking photos, writing down your observations, and keeping any relevant communications.
Consult with Professionals
The next step is to consult with professionals. This could mean hiring a building inspector to assess the extent of the problems, or consulting with a real estate attorney within Hunter Law Group and we can help you understand your legal options. We can provide you with the necessary information and advice you need to navigate this challenging situation.
Review the Property Disclosure Statement
It’s important that you review the property disclosure statement provided by the seller during the sale process. This document outlines any known issues with the property. If these undisclosed problems are not listed in the document, it’s possible that the seller was unaware of them. However, if they were aware and deliberately hid these issues, you may have a legal case against them.
If it’s determined that the seller intentionally concealed these issues, you may have a few legal options. You could potentially sue for damages, or in some cases, you may be able to rescind the contract. However, the laws surrounding property sales and disclosures vary greatly, so it’s important to consult with a real estate attorney to understand the potential outcomes and costs associated.
Prevention is Better than Cure
While it’s essential to know how to respond if you find undisclosed issues after purchasing a property, it’s even more crucial to prevent these situations from occurring in the first place. This means conducting thorough inspections, asking plenty of questions, and ensuring that you fully understand the property’s condition before you buy.
If you find yourself experiencing problems with a property that went unaddressed throughout the purchase and diligence process, contact Hunter Law Group to see what steps need to be taken to reduce your liability and make sure that the responsible parties pay. Give us a call at (913) 320-3830 or visit us at https://hunterlawgrouppa.com/.