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These are your rights if you notice defects in your owner-occupied home

Give a reaction / real estate law / By adv. Jan Roodhooft

You buy an existing house or apartment. After you have lived in it for a while, you notice that the house has quite a few defects.

View the agreement

A seller is generally liable for hidden defects, provided you invoke them within a short period of time after you discovered them and provided you can demonstrate that the defect was already (in the bud) present at the time of the sale. However, almost all real estate sales agreements contain a clause that says that the seller is selling the house or apartment to you in the condition it is in and that he is not liable for hidden defects. Such a provision is usually also valid.

If there are visible defects, you cannot simply hold the seller liable for them. ).

The seller was aware of the defect

Things will be different if the seller was aware of the hidden defect and concealed it from you as the buyer. it is not liable for hidden defects.  Please note that you as a buyer will have to prove that the seller was aware of the defect. You can do this, for example, if the seller tried to hide a problem of rising damp by quickly painting over.

Professional seller

If you bought the property from a professional seller (e.g. a company that buys, refurbishes and sells homes), another regulation also applies. defect and cannot invoke a clause in the sales contract in which it excludes its liability for hidden defects.

What to do?

If you find sufficiently serious hidden defects, contact a lawyer.  He can consider the chances of success of a procedure with you.  can ask for a price reduction and in extreme cases even the dissolution of the sales contract.

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