Required Disclosures in Residential Real Estate Transactions
When you are selling or buying real estate in Florida, it is critical to understand what kinds of disclosures are required. Similar to other states, Florida requires that parties selling residential properties disclose certain information to buyers, including details about the history of the property and its condition. If a seller fails to provide certain required disclosures, the seller can be liable for defects on the property. Whether you are listing a property for sale and need assistance with required disclosures, or you are planning to purchase a residential property and have questions or concerns about disclosures, one of the experienced attorneys at our firm can assist you.
Florida Residential Real Estate Disclosures Must Include Factors That Substantially Impact the Property’s Value
Under Florida case law, anybody selling a home must disclose to the buyer any information about the property that is likely to significantly impact its value. The Florida Supreme Court applied language from a previous court case in another state that clarified when such disclosures are necessary:
“[W]here the seller knows of facts materially affecting the value or desirability of the property which are known or accessible only to him and also knows that such facts are not known to or within the reach of diligent attention and observation of the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.”
Failure to make such disclosures can result in the seller being liable even after the property sale has occurred.
Additional Required Residential Property Disclosures
Sellers of residential property also must disclose the following according to the Florida Statutes:
- Radon gas risks and other known environmental hazards;
- Property tax information, including information about the buyer’s expectations concerning property taxes (the buyer cannot expect property taxes to be the same as they are for the current owner), and information about how improvements to the property may result in a reassessment of the property and a property tax increase;
- Condominium or homeowners’ association (HOA) fees required when the property is within a community governed by an HOA;
- Coastal protection requirements and erosion risks for coastal properties in Florida;
- Existing disputes or legal claims that may affect the property;
- Property boundary disputes in the past or present;
- Existence of sinkholes (including any currently present as well as any sinkholes remediated in the past), which can be particularly important for Florida properties in the Tampa area where sinkhole risks are especially high; and
- Structural problems with the residential property.
Contact a Real Estate Attorney About Required Residential Disclosures
If you have questions or concerns about required residential real estate disclosures as a seller or buyer, one of our real estate attorneys can speak with you today. Our firm has years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of real estate matters in Florida. Contact Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A. for more information about the services we provide in real estate transactions.