The common law of contracts makes a distinction, between patent and latent defects.
What is a patent or latent defect ?
Patent defects are discoverable/observable by inspection and ordinary vigilance on the part of a buyer.
Latent defects are not revealed by any ordinary inquiry which a buyer is in a position to make before entering into a contract to purchase.
In a court decision [ Gesner v. Ernst , May 2007, Supreme Crt N.S. ] patent defects; the seller is not required to call attention to them: the rule here seem to be CAVEAT EMPTOR applies . The buyer should inspect and inquiry – about what he is buying.
Alternatively – latent defects are those not readily apparent to the buyer. If latent defects are actively concealed by the seller, the rule of CAVEAT EMPTOR does not apply and the buyer can at his option ask for rescission of the contract and /or compensation for damages resulting from it.
CAVEAT EMPTOR , the maxim of BUYER BEWARE !
In Ontario , Canada – under The Real Estate and Business Brokers Act (2002 ) [REBBA], this is the Act which licenses all realtors in the province.
It does NOT make the above Distinction.
REBBA(2002) Code ” requires the registrant ( broker and sales person ) to disclose all material facts to both clients and customers that are known or ought to be known by the registrant. While common law makes a distinction between latent and patent defects, the REBBA Code does not. ”
You as a realtor licensed and practicing in your jurisdiction must know how this may affect you and your practice of real estate. Know how your province or state interprets various significant aspects of contract law, common law and the ACT-Code that authorizes you to be a realtor .
Be the professional you want to be and your clients expect.
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Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., brokerage Toronto / Canada
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Norair Yeretsian , broker of record
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Nor Yeretsian [ Facebook ] November 2, 2010