Latent Defects: Water in the Basement, Mould in the Walls, or Cracks in the Foundation?

Alain Mongeau Avocats - Latent Defects


Latent Defects : Water in the Basement, Mould in the Walls, or Cracks in the Foundation?

Pruchasers :

A latent defect issue has surfaced, and you have not the slightest idea of what to do.
A latent defect is a serious problem affecting a property which you did not know of at the time of purchase. Did you know that, according to the law, the vendor may be held responsible for the costs involved in repairing this problem?

However, you must beware, as certain rules apply, and it is imperative to execute the following steps :

  • Obtain an independent expert report: you must retain the services of a recognized specialist who does not have any personal interest in the property.
  • Advise the sellers immediately: the law requires that you notify your sellers of the situation, by clearly exposing the problem that you have discovered, as well as what you expect from them.
  • Allow the sellers to visit the property in order to see the defect, within a reasonable delay, as the law requires that the sellers or their expert inspect the problem.
  • Do not make any corrective works before the sellers or their expert have the chance to inspect the defect, or else you may lose your recourse.

Have you discovered a latent defect, and are not sure about the next steps?

Did you advise your vendors by inviting them to inspect the vice, but have not received a response since?

We are equipped with reputable experts, who are experienced in testifying in court, and who will adequately advise you concerning your problem.

Consult a specialized attorney in latent defects to assist you in this very stressful and nail-biting situation, by answering all your questions. Let us appease your stress by consulting us so that we may allow you to see a clear picture.

Sellers :

Have you received a demand letter from your purchasers alleging that the property that you sold them has a latent defect and that they are holding you responsible?

You are shaken. You did not see any problem at the moment of the sale, and you never had any problems with the property while you were the owner. You have nothing to hide and have even provided the purchasers with the coordinates of your maintenance and repair person in order to correct the alleged defect!

Do not feel guilty, you are not a criminal. Do not give into the anxiety and panic that this type of situation can cause. You have rights to defend!

How? You must not ignore the problem and consult our specialized firm. We have had hundreds of latent defect cases and are very familiar with the steps and procedures that such files entail.

First,do not inform the purchasers of your position the first time they contact you. You must first be able to completely understand the nature of the alleged defect. Is it water infiltration? A problem with the roof? A cracked foundation? Soil contamination?

If your purchasers call you, ask them to transmit everything related to their problem, in writing.

” I can not believe what I am seeing! ”

You are familiar with this saying, and unfortunately, it can apply to your latent defect file. Even if you believe to have known your former property inside out, you can not assess the problem on your own, and must call an expert. This expert will have to visit the property to thoroughly inspect the alleged defect and provide his recommendations.

Not an attorney, not a real estate broker, and not even your purchasers or their pre-purchase inspector can determine whether the defect in question is hidden (latent). Only an impartial expert may assist a judge in determining the nature of the defect.

The role of this expert is crucial and must never be neglected in this type of file.

How can our team help you? We can refer you to the appropriate experts and assist you through your file.

Do you already have your expert’s report on hand, but not know what to do with it? Your purchasers are surely pestering you for answers.

It is important to answer in writing, but without harming your position. At Alain Mongeau Avocats, we will guide you and clarify the entire process, and consult you so that you may adopt a clear strategy.