As fall moves on, and summer becomes a distant memory, much of the real estate purchased throughout the summer will begin to reveal some unfortunate defects. As the autumn rains pick up, basements begin to spring leaks, mould grows and things begin to fall apart. Some of these defects are easily fixed. Many require large amounts of time and money to repair.
In some cases, you can recover the cost of fixing these defects from the seller of the home. This largely depends on the type of defect. In Ontario, defects of the kind described above are either latent or patent. A patent defect is one which visible and apparent upon a cursory inspection of the property. For example, if you walk to a house you intend to purchase and see mould sprouting of the drywall, the mould would be considered a patent defect. If the seller took steps to hide the mould, or the mould was not visible but the seller knew it was there and failed to disclose it’s presence, the mould could be considered a latent defect.
Generally speaking, a seller hiding or failing to disclose a latent defect is actionable. This means the purchaser can sue the seller for their failure to disclose the latent defect in hopes of recovering the cost of repairing it. Often these sorts of claims are brought to the Small Claims Court. However, if the defect is large enough, they can be brought to the Superior Court of Justice. If you have encountered a defect and wish to be compensated for repairing it, contact MacDonald, Charette & Associates to book an appointment. We will be more than happy to help.