Asserting Non-Disclosure Claim Involving Residential Real Property and Whether Facts Are “Readily Observable”

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Under Florida law, there is a claim dealing with the purchase and sale of residential real property known as a Johnson v. Davis or a non-disclosure claim.

September 29, 2021
David Adelstein - Florida Construction Legal Updates

Under Florida law, there is a claim dealing with the purchase and sale of residential real property known as a Johnson v. Davis or a non-disclosure claim: “[W]here the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer.” Lorber v. Passick, 46 Fla.L.Weekly D1952a (Fla. 4th DCA 2021). A seller’s duty to disclose extends to a seller’s real estate agent/broker. Id.

A non-disclosure claim is asserted by the buyer of residential real property when the buyer discovers defects or damages with the real property that he believes materially affects the value of the property. While there may be the sentiment these are easy claims to prove, they are not.

Remember, a non-disclosure claim deals with facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are NOT readily observable. The use of the language “readily observable” has been found to mean:

“[I]nformation [that] is within the diligent attention of any buyer. To exercise diligent attention…a buyer would be required to investigate any information furnished by the seller that a reasonable person in the buyer’s position would investigate and take reasonable steps to ascertain the material facts relating to the property and to discovery them—if, of course, they are reasonably ascertainable.”

Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at dma@kirwinnorris.com



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