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Disclosure Disputes

Failure To Disclose Property Defects

Under California law, sellers have a responsibility to tell buyers about any material defects. A disclosure statement should be provided to the buyer, typically after the seller accepts the offer and sometimes even earlier. The disclosure statement must include all defects. Sellers, as well as realtors and brokers, may be liable if they fail to disclose defects to the buyer.

If you are involved in a dispute over failure to disclose property defects, you can benefit from the representation of an experienced real estate law attorney. At Nialis Law Group, APLC, in Orange County, we have more than 35 years of experience resolving real estate disclosure disputes.


Have you discovered a defect in your newly purchased home or commercial property? Are you a real estate professional who has been accused of failing to disclose? Whatever the case may be, we have the knowledge to steer your case toward a positive resolution.

Examples Of Undisclosed Defects

The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors defines a material defect as "a specific issue with a system or component of a residential property that may have a significant, adverse impact on the value of the property, or that poses an unreasonable risk to people." Examples of such defects include:

  • Leaking roofs or windows

  • Mold infestation

  • Faulty plumbing

  • Electrical issues

  • Foundation flaws

It is important to recognize that not every problem that arises after the purchase of property constitutes an undisclosed defect. If a furnace that was well past its expiration date breaks down, that may not be considered a defect. However, if an HVAC system that should still offer many years of use suddenly stops working, there may be an issue.

If a property was sold on an as-is basis, that does not necessarily shield sellers from having to disclose all issues. The buyer should still be made aware of all the problems with the property, and if additional problems become apparent that could reduce the value of the property even further, the buyer may be able to pursue a case against the seller.

Remedies For Property Owners Who Discover Defects

In most cases, the defects present themselves after escrow has closed. We will pursue compensation to cover the cost to cure the defects. When possible, we may attempt to rescind the transaction and recover the buyer's payment and more. We will determine who was responsible for the failure to disclose and take appropriate action.

To learn more about the Nialis Law Group and how we can help, contact us via email or call (714) 634-8001.

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.

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