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Did You Know: Disclosure Requirements in Ontario

November 30, 20231 min read

Did You Know?: Disclosure Requirements in Ontario

What property issues do Sellers need to disclose to potential Buyers? From visible to hidden defects, psychological stigmas, and “as is” clauses – what are your responsibilities regarding disclosure and how do you protect yourself and your clients? Read RECO’s response below, and here are five lessons to remember in this article written by real estate lawyer Mark Weisleder.

Exterior of a two story home

From the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO):

“What are disclosure requirements? Ontario law makes a distinction between patent defects – problems with a home that are easily observable by the untrained eye during a property inspection – and latent defects, problems that are not easily observable or even detectable, even by an expert.

A patent defect could be a large, visible crack in a foundation wall, a broken staircase, or missing bathroom fixtures, to give a few examples. Patent defects are visually obvious, so you aren’t required to disclose them to potential buyers. It is their responsibility to inspect the property.

Latent defects are a different story. As a seller, you are required by law to disclose any known latent defects that could make your home dangerous or unfit for habitation. Examples of latent defects could include a basement that floods during heavy rainfalls, a structural problem with a wall or a chronic mould outbreak. If a seller knows about a latent defect that makes the home dangerous or unfit for habitation and fails to disclose it, they put themselves at risk of being sued by the buyer.”

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