Whether or not a product has a latent or patent defect is important to know before you buy a new car or computer. Depending on the defect, you could be entitled to damages. These damages may vary, and include monetary damages, property damages, and even criminal damages.
Caveat Emptor doctrine
Purchasing real estate is a significant investment. It is important to be certain of your purchase and to inspect the home thoroughly. When defects are found, it is the purchaser’s responsibility to deal with the problem. However, if you are aware of a latent defect in the property, you may be able to recover damages from the seller.
The Caveat Emptor doctrine is an essential rule in English common law. It is designed to preclude information asymmetry between the seller and the buyer. It has been used in real estate commerce for centuries. While there are exceptions to the Doctrine of Caveat Emptor, the principles are generally followed today. It is important to understand that the caveat does not provide a statutory injunction, but rather is a means to protect the buyer from post-purchase disputes.
There are two types of defects in a product: patent and latent. A latent defect is something that would not be readily apparent to the buyer during a reasonable inspection. A patent defect is a condition that can be discovered by a diligent examination. For example, a hole in the wall of a house could be a patent defect. If a buyer is unaware of a patent defect, the vendor can be held liable.
A seller is not required to disclose all patent or latent defects. In fact, it is possible for a vendor to conceal a latent defect without making a fraudulent representation. For example, a vendor may have concealed the existence of a termite infestation in a residential building. If the vendor does not inform the buyer about a termite problem, the purchaser is unlikely to discover the problem, and therefore will not be able to bring a claim against the vendor.
While the Doctrine of Caveat Emptor is a valuable legal tool to protect the buyer’s interests, it is also very important to be careful. If you have concerns about a defect in the property, you should consult with a qualified attorney. Using the Caveat Emptor doctrine can make you very pro-buyer. Despite its significance, it is important to know that there are exceptions to the Caveat Emptor, as well as a judicially recognized doctrine of concealment.
The Caveat Emptor doctrine requires a seller to inform the buyer of any patent or latent defects that are known to the seller. This is not always a simple matter, as some latent defects are very difficult to identify. For instance, a bug infestation can be a latent defect, but is not a patent defect. Similarly, a product that is in good condition but has an internal defect is considered a latent defect.
The Caveat Emptor doctrine does not apply to a purchase made by fraud. For instance, a seller’s agent has a duty to inform the buyer of everything that is known about the transaction. But if the agent knows about a material defect, they are not protected by the Caveat Emptor doctrine.
Damages that can result from latent defects
Purchasing real estate requires careful attention to the property’s condition, including the existence of latent defects. These types of damages are not usually visible to the naked eye and can take years to be detected. This type of defect is often hidden and can be caused by defective workmanship, faulty construction materials, or poor workmanship. When it becomes obvious that the seller knew about a latent defect and failed to disclose it to the buyer, the buyer may be able to recover damages from the seller.
Latent defects occur during the construction of a building, and go undetected for months or years. They can be a problem for prospective home buyers and can affect homeowners insurance coverage. Some companies now offer “Latent Defects Insurance” to protect homeowners from the consequences of damage to their homes. These types of insurance can be purchased as a policy add-on to a homeowner’s existing policy, or as part of a new homeowner’s policy.
These defects can be very expensive to fix, and it can take years for them to be discovered. When they do appear, they are called “patent defects.” The term is defined by Cornell Law school as a “reasonable apparent defect to a prudent person.” Examples of patent defects include a patio with raised paving stones, a fence around a swimming pool, and too low a staircase banister.
There are two main types of latent defects. One is the patent defect. This is an obvious defect. It can be detected with the use of ordinary care. The other is the latent defect, which occurs at the time of the construction of a building. While the former is the most common, the latter can be much more difficult to detect.
Some defects can only be detected through destructive testing. These problems can also be grounds for breach of contract. A contractor or designer may be liable for latent defects for six to twelve years. A dilapidation report can help a new owner avoid the risk of a latent defect. The same principle applies to real estate contracts.
In most purchase agreements, the seller is exempt from responsibility for a latent defect if he or she provided a disclosure of the defect. A court will generally follow the caveat emptor rule. This means that the buyer must examine the property before he or she signs a contract. In order to bring a lawsuit, the buyer must show that the defect caused injuries or damages. Some of the most common cases involve hidden damages, such as a mold or termite problem. This can be very difficult to prove, but an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case.
A buyer may have the right to bring a lawsuit against the seller of a property for a patent or latent defect. However, there are several steps involved in doing so. A buyer needs to know the costs associated with bringing a lawsuit. In addition, a plaintiff’s claim may require the services of expert witnesses.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.