When it comes to constructing a property, there are two types of defects: patent (obvious) and latent (hidden). Understanding these terms can help you determine your legal options when selling or purchasing real estate.
Patent defects are completely visible to the naked eye—for example, faulty pipes, water stains on walls, or wall cracks. These defects are often the result of construction defects or poor materials or workmanship.
Latent defects are hidden defects
Latent And Patent Defects
Faults and defects in construction projects caused by failures in design, workmanship or materials may not become apparent and readily detectable until many years after completion of a project, long after the defect liability period. In such cases, such faults are known as “latent defects” and are a common cause of property damage and loss.
The law states that it is a seller’s obligation to make sure they disclose any hidden defects or problems with a property to the potential buyer before it is sold. If a seller fails to make this disclosure, they can be held responsible for trebled damages.
When buying a home, buyers are often concerned about hidden defects that may not be spotted through an inspection. These hidden defects can be costly to repair or replace and can impact the value of a home.
In some cases, buyers have even experienced significant property losses due to hidden defects. The problem is that these defects can be difficult to prove through expert evidence, which makes it difficult for buyers to collect compensation for the losses they have incurred.
However, buyers who discover a hidden defect after the purchase of a property can pursue legal action against the seller for the cost of repairs and compensation. This can be a stressful situation for both parties.
Latent defects are a big concern for purchasers and financiers alike because they can be costly to fix or replace and affect the value of a property. They are also a potential liability for homeowners insurance companies.
While it is not always possible to prove that a seller knew of a hidden defect before the sale, they are obligated to tell buyers about any defects that could negatively impact the value of a home. Having these defects revealed before the purchase can allow a buyer to cancel their offer or negotiate for a lower price.
If you have recently purchased a property and you discovered a major hidden defect that is preventing you from fully enjoying the home, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. The lawyer will be able to guide you through the process of pursuing legal action against the seller.
Patent defects are observable defects
What are Latent And Patent Defects?
If you are considering purchasing or building a property, it is important to understand the difference between latent and patent defects. Understanding the differences can help you avoid costly mistakes during the construction process.
A latent defect is one that could not have been reasonably discovered during the building process. This defect may be a design, material or workmanship issue that cannot be easily detected by those involved in the build process. It might only become apparent months or years later when the structure is complete and used for its intended purpose.
In contrast, a patent defect is one that is readily visible during the inspection of a property. Examples of this include things like incorrectly laid foundations or drainage, cracks in walls or floors, broken roof elements, leaks and water stains, and many more.
However, these are not the only issues that can make a building or home unsafe and unusable. Even when a property is new, it can still have significant problems that require repairs and renovations.
If you’re a property buyer or seller, it is your responsibility to inspect the condition of the property thoroughly. This is referred to as caveat emptor, or “buyer beware.” You should take care to ensure that your purchase does not have any glaring construction defects that can affect the quality of the property.
Fortunately, most property defects are not as serious as those that lead to severe damage, so ensuring that your home is safe and secure should be a major priority when making your decision to purchase or sell. Knowing the difference between patent and latent defects can help you identify the type of damage that is likely to be present in your property so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase or sell.
In most cases, it is the seller’s responsibility to disclose any hidden or latent defects that are present in a property. This is because the Latin maxim “caveat emptor,” or “buyer beware,” applies to property sales.
Latent defects are a seller’s responsibility
When you buy a home, there are several things that need to be considered. One of the most important is that you conduct a thorough inspection of the property. This is a good idea because it can help you identify defects that may make it difficult to sell the home later on. Another is that you review the home’s disclosure documents.
You should also hire a qualified home inspector to help you determine the condition of the home before making your purchase. This will allow you to negotiate a lower price or request that the seller repair any issues you notice.
In some states, you can refuse to purchase a property that has latent or patent defects unless the owner fixes them. However, this is not always the case.
Generally, it is a seller’s responsibility to disclose all material latent defects that they know about and could reasonably be expected to discover. If they fail to do so, you can sue them for trebled damages.
These defects can include electrical problems, structural damage, faulty foundations, water leaks, and even contaminated soil. You should always consider these issues when buying a home because they can be very costly to repair.
The law relating to latent defect disputes involves many different parties and can be challenging. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney who understands the law of latent defects before you decide to pursue this type of claim.
A latent defect is a fault or flaw in a property that is not obvious to the prudent buyer and cannot be discovered by a reasonable inspection before the sale. The defect must also render the immovable unfit for its intended use, and it cannot be denied that the seller knew of the defect before the purchase.
If you have recently purchased a home and have discovered a significant problem with it, you should seek legal assistance from a lawyer as soon as possible. This will ensure that you have a solid legal strategy in place to help you recover damages from the seller.
Patent defects are a buyer’s responsibility
When you buy a house or a commercial property, it is your responsibility to ensure that the property is free from defects. It is important to know whether a defect you find is latent or patent, so that you can determine the best course of action.
Latent defects are hidden flaws that can be difficult to detect by a standard inspection. These flaws could include mold, water damage, or electrical issues. These defects can only be discovered through a thorough inspection of the property.
If you find a latent defect after purchasing a home, you may have grounds to sue the seller for negligence or fraud. It is important to understand the law surrounding these kinds of claims, and to consult a real estate lawyer before you sign your purchase agreement.
In some cases, a seller can be held responsible for patent defects that they fail to disclose. In this case, the buyer can cancel the purchase and seek damages from the seller. This is known as caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware.”
The law regarding patent defects can differ from state to state. In Ontario, for example, a buyer has two years from the day of discovery to file a claim against a seller.
It is not illegal for a seller to conceal defects, but it can be considered negligent or fraudulent if they do so in order to prevent a buyer from discovering them. The seller must reveal any information about the property that is relevant to the sale, including patent defects.
These kinds of defects can be a huge financial burden on buyers, so it is important to take them into account before making a decision to purchase a property. A buyer can then use these findings to negotiate with the seller and get a better price.
In most situations, patent defects are not a reason to cancel a purchase agreement or seek damages from the seller. Instead, a buyer can usually choose to fix the defect themselves at their own expense. They should also make sure that their purchase agreement includes protection against latent defects.
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.