Real Estate Law
What Are the Different Types of Seller Disclosures I Must Make in Illinois?
When an Illinois residence is up for sale, state law requires that you as a seller have to provide certain information to potential buyers. The seller disclosures are intended to assist buyers in making educated decisions about the purchase of a property. If you or your real estate agent fail to disclose required information, you may be subject to fines and penalties. The seller disclosure requirements have been regulated after the Illinois legislature enacted the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act. (765 ILCS § 77.) Failure to properly fulfil your disclosure requirement regarding your home may land you in legal trouble. top Illinois real estate attorneys are always ready to help you resolve these issues. The article will give you detailed information about you are obligated to disclose when selling your home.
The types of disclosures that Illinois home sellers must make
When selling your property in Illinois, you are legally required to disclose any known significant problems. This that may alter the property’s worthand safetyincluding previous floodingpoor living conditions, building code violations, environmental problems, land border conflicts, and things like structural flaws and faulty construction systems.
Before you sign the sales contract, you must disclose all that is laid forth in the usual form that follows. To make the discussions fair between you and the , this disclosure is intended to educate them, not provide them with a guarantee.
A typical disclosure form for residential properties addresses a large variety of problems and frequent concerns. You will have to account for line items such as the following when you complete the form:
- Crawlspace flooding and basement leak
- If the land is near a floodplain
- Cracks in the foundation
- Whether the site was utilized for methamphetamine production
- Defects in the fireplace
- Problems with the roof, ceiling, or chimney such as leaks or damage
- Storage facilities for underground fuel
- Faults in walls, windows, doors, or floors
- Any plumbing, HVAC, or electrical problems
- Issues in wells or water supplies
- Presence of dangerous substances (including radon, asbestos, and lead)
- The presence of termites
- Boundary conflicts
As you can see, the number of requirements you must fulfil is quite large, and you must do so correctly. However, with the assistance of real estate attorneys, you can resolve any issues that may arise and protect yourself from legal repercussions.
Under what circumstances should these disclosures be made?
Damage and Repair to the Building’s Structure
When buildings are constructed and modified, they are often appropriately built. However, since building flaws may go unnoticed at first, they are likely to be found overtime. When the house owner sees cracks in the foundation, the owner is responsible to fix it. Failure to make a repair on an existing issue absolutely requires the disclosure.
Even if the proper repair is made and there is a reason to believe that the issue no longer exists, the disclosure of the issue should be made with the explanation of what remedy was taken.
Troubles with Sewerage
If you know of plumbing concerns, such as leaks, cracks in the pipes, blocked drains, access to water shutoffs, or other problems and fail to tell the buyer, you may yourself in legal trouble for nondisclosure.
Paying heed to HVAC Issues & Worries
Despite seems like an easy matter to discover and fix when visiting a property, there have been cases when it’s been found that someone visited in the wintertime and had the which subsequently failed Failure to a product’s working condition and operational capability may make you vulnerable to lawsuits.
Further, The Illinois Radon Awareness Act is applicable to residential real estate transactions. In certain home lease agreements, disclosure may be required if a test reveals a radon hazard that has not been remedied by an IEMA-licensed contractor or has not been retested and shown no danger. If a lease requires disclosure, it applies solely to apartments situated on or below the third level. Prior to entering into a contract, you as a seller must also supply the buyer with a booklet titled “Radon Testing Guidelines for Real Estate Transactions” and the Illinois Disclosure of Information on Radon Hazards. The Act makes no requirement that a seller do radon testing or participate in “mitigation measures.” If you face any issues with the radon requirements, do consult with an expert.
What happens if you fail to make a proper disclosure or provide false information?
If you as a seller make a disclosure with false information, the buyer may terminate the contract prior to closing; however, the buyer’s remedies post-closing for known incorrect information include actual damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney fees. However, the buyer has a limited time period in which to file suit to pursue remedies under the Act.
The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Act does include certain safeguards against liability in the event there was an error, inaccuracy, or omission on the part of you as a seller, including the following:
- The Seller was unaware of the error, inaccuracy, or omission.
- The Seller had a reasonable belief that the material defect had been rectified; or
- The Seller relied on information provided by a public agency, an engineer, a land surveyor, a structural pest control operator, or a contractor (but only on matters within the scope of the contractor’s occupation) in order to respond to the disclosure. However, this exemption applies only if the Seller is unaware of the error, inaccuracy, or omission – meaning you cannot rely on the contractor or other professional if you know they are incorrect.)
Consult a professional Illinois real estate attorney for more information on the Illinois property sale disclosure obligations.
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