Understanding Caveat Emptor

 Alabama is Different than most other States…. I can’t say for sure but based on my research, the only states that are still caveat emptor states are Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama. When a person buys real estate in these three states, they need to fully understand it is their responsibility to make sure they know what they’re getting, that it’s in good condition and works properly. When the buyer does his due diligence to have the property inspected, their legal rights remain in place after closing should some latent structural defect appear. If a buyer elects not to have the proper inspection done, closes on the transaction and then a latent structural defect appears and the buyer sues for damages; numerous Supreme Court cases have ruled in favor of the seller and stated caveat emptor; the buyer is responsibility to inspect the property prior to purchase.

BUYER BEWARE

This is a topic I try to talk about in every class I teach because it is the most important and the least understood law. I intentionally try to scare real estate agents to get them to understand the importance of the law and the effects it has on people buying real estate in Alabama. Today I will tell you how to see the law as it is written, disclose the other states that have the same law, and explain the dangers and remedies associated with caveat emptor.

Caveat Emptor is the law in Alabama…..

The Alabama Supreme Court has held caveat emptor to be the law in a consistent line of cases. Everyone should be on notice that there is no warranty which comes with the sale of a used home.

Real estate agents were taught when completing their educational requirements to get their license that caveat emptor is a Latin [Read more…]

Material Misrepresentation—A Legal Issue

Alabama License Law Protects Consumers

Alabama License Law Section §34-27-36 (a) (3).  Making a material misrepresentation, or failing to disclose to a potential purchase or lessee any latent structural defect or any other defect known to the licensee. Latent structural defects and other defects do not refer to trivial or insignificant defects but refer to those defects that would be a significant factor to a reasonable and prudent person in making a decision to purchase or lease.

Let’s examine material misrepresentation in first part of that law. First let’s look at the word material. Many people think material refers to the physical elements that make up a house such as sheet rock, flooring, roofing, wood, windows and etc. [Read more…]