This article focuses on stigmatized properties and exactly what disclosures, if any, are required. Basically, a stigmatized property is one where some event produces more of a psychological impact rather than a physical impact or defect. Property may be stigmatized by events like murder, suicide or drug-related arrest, or the property may be considered haunted by ghosts or spirits. Stigmatized property also includes those premises on which a famous person may have once lived.
In a recent article that appeared in Fox Business News, Real Estate Attorney Les R. Kramsky, Esq. stated that “When selling a house there are required disclosures in almost every state.” “If you know about any roof or basement leaks, you’re obligated to disclose them.”
Most states do not require the disclosure of a haunted house, murder, suicide, felony or other crimes that occurred on a property. However, the past presence of a meth lab has to be disclosed in some states, including in Illinois because there can be a lot of chemical residue left over that could make people sick.
Mr Kramsky further stated that "If homeowners knowingly withhold any material information to a buyer, the seller could face a lawsuit. Winning a lawsuit of that nature may not be that easy. According to General Counsel Kramsky, not only can it be expensive to sue the seller, but the buyer will have to have a really strong case to win."
“If you don’t disclose it nothing will happen unless after the buyer purchases the home something happens, then they have right to sue the seller,” says Kramsky. “It’s kind of like lemon laws, you can sue for any type of misrepresentation.”
Mr. Kramsky concludes by stating that :When in doubt, and authorized, it's usually best to disclose the information, even at the risk of losing the sale."
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Marriott Marquis, New York
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