For real property non-disclosure cases the law is relatively clear. Where a seller knows of material facts and such facts are not known to the buyer and are not known to or are within the diligent attention and observation of the buyer the seller is under a duty to disclose. On the other hand, where the facts are within the reasonable observation of the buyer he has a duty to investigate, and his failure to do so obviates any claim he might have for non-disclosure. Thus, the key issue in many disclosure cases is whether the buyer was entitled to rely on the seller’s non-disclosure or whether the buyer should have investigated and discovered the thing complained of on its own.
Schorr Law won an arbitration on this very issue arising out of the sale of a house at the bottom of a cliff. The arbitrator ruled against the buyer by claiming the buyer was not entitled to rely on the seller’s non-disclosure of the instability of the cliff. In so finding, the arbitrator said the buyer was like the buyer of a horse which is limping, yet never inquires as to the reason for the limp or tries to ride the horse before concluding the bargain. Such a buyer does not deserve protection. He has not acted reasonably and has ignored the obvious.
Of course, each case is different and over the past 10 years we have seen many cases where the buyer really had no means of discovering the non-disclosed item or the seller took active steps to conceal the problems with the property.
To inquire about a free consultation on your non-disclosure case (no matter which side you are on) please contact us today at (310) 954-1877, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by text at (323) 487-7533. Our Los Angeles based real estate attorneys pride ourselves on having litigated many non-disclosure cases throughout Southern California and really know the anatomy of these cases.