In New York, real estate sales are governed by specific laws that require sellers to provide potential buyers with detailed disclosures about any particular property. These requirements are designed to ensure transparency, allowing buyers to understand a property’s condition before making a purchase.
The state’s approach to these disclosures emphasizes the protection of the buyer’s interests, aiming to minimize the risk of post-sale disputes related to property defects or other issues that were not disclosed before the sale.
Sellers are obliged to complete a property condition disclosure statement, a document that formally declares the property’s state, including any known defects or problems. Failure to provide this disclosure can lead to financial penalties for the seller.
Physical condition and property defects
The heart of the disclosure requirements in New York revolves around the physical condition of the property and any known defects. Sellers must disclose information regarding the structural integrity of the building, including the condition of the foundation, roof, walls and floors. Additionally, the functioning of heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems must be addressed.
Sellers must inform buyers about the presence of lead paint, asbestos, radon gas and any other hazardous materials that may be present on the property. The property’s vulnerability to natural disasters, including flooding, earthquakes or other environmental risks, must be disclosed.
Other required disclosures
Beyond the condition of the property and environmental hazards, New York law requires sellers to disclose other pertinent information. This includes any zoning violations, restrictions, and whether the property is in a flood zone.
Sellers must also disclose if there have been any significant alterations or repairs made to the property. Information about utilities and services, such as water supply and sewage disposal systems, must also be shared with potential buyers.
Buyers who discover issues that should have been disclosed have legal rights. They should work with someone familiar with these matters to ensure they understand their rights and their options under the law.