ARTICLES & NEWS

NONDISCLOSURE ARTICLES

Can Professional Negligence Be Waived In Advance?

By Christopher Combs | August 29, 2021

Question: Three months after we closed escrow on our Peoria home, we discovered major leaks in the bathroom plumbing. One of our neighbors said that two prior buyers of our home had cancelled the purchase contracts when they discovered these water leaks. When we contacted the real estate agent who represented both the seller and us in this transaction, she said that she had no liability because we agreed in the purchase contract to release her from any liability. Is she correct that she has no liability because of this release? Answer: Probably not. Lines 428-434 of the standard Arizona…

Read More >>

Should Barking Dogs Be Disclosed To New Owners?

By Christopher Combs | August 22, 2021

Question: We lived in our Glendale home for more than four years until we moved to our Sun City home. During the time that we lived in our Glendale home, we both worked during the day, as did our next-door neighbors, who had three dogs that were outside and barked constantly during the day. At night and during the weekends, however, the dogs were generally inside our next-door neighbors’ home. Three months ago, we sold our Glendale home. During escrow, the buyers came by our home several times during the day for inspections, and saw and heard the barking. The…

Read More >>

No Title Insurance Coverage Generally If Home Is In Floodplain

By Christopher Combs | April 18, 2021

Question: We purchased a home on a five-acre lot near Payson. Two months after we moved into the home there was an overflow of the nearby creek which flooded our entire backyard. Apparently 25% of our five-acre lot is in the Town of Payson’s flood plain. We immediately reviewed our title insurance policy to see if there was flood coverage, or if there was an exception to title insurance for flooding. There was no reference in our title insurance policy relating to coverage for flooding, one way or the other. The seller of the home was an elderly lady who…

Read More >>
disclose

What To Disclose When Selling A Home

By Christopher Combs | April 11, 2021

Question: We own a home on the side of Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley. If there are heavy rains, there will occasionally be minor rockslides into our swimming pool in the backyard. We are now selling our home. Do we have to disclose these occasional minor rock slides? Answer: Probably. In determining what a seller should disclose to a buyer, two rules should be followed: 1. If it is material it must be disclosed; if it is not material, why not disclose it? 2. If you were the buyer, would you want to know? If these two rules are followed,…

Read More >>
HOA debt not disclosed

Who is responsible for undisclosed HOA debt?

By Christopher Combs | March 14, 2021

Question: After we bought our home in Chandler, we attended the homeowners’ association (“HOA”) annual meeting. At this HOA annual meeting we learned that our HOA was in debt for $62,000.00 for attorney’s fees incurred because of a prior lawsuit with our landscaping company. The result is that a portion of our monthly HOA dues goes to pay back this $62,000.00 debt which is of no benefit to us. There is nothing in the HOA Addendum or in our purchase contract regarding this $62,000.00 debt. The seller has denied knowing anything about this $62,000.00 debt. Why should we have to…

Read More >>
Fraud

Statute of Limitations Regarding Liability of Sellers and Brokers

By Christopher Combs | November 29, 2020

Question: Your column recently discussed the liability of the seller for failure to disclose to the buyer that the City of Chandler had not approved the completion of the garage. In another column you discussed the liability of the seller and the real estate broker for failing to disclose to the buyer a leaky roof, or a high concentration of radon gas or land fissures in the neighborhood. If there is liability to the buyer in these scenarios, how long does a buyer have under the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit against the seller or the real estate…

Read More >>
Garage

Confirm Not Only Permit Issued But Construction Completed

By Christopher Combs | June 21, 2020

Question: When we purchased our East Valley home, the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (“SPDS”), line 150, said that there was a permit from the City of Chandler for the construction of the 2,000-square-foot detached garage. The SPDS, line 155, said that the detached garage had been “completed.” We want to use this detached garage for our collector cars and for an art studio. We recently learned, however, that although a permit from the City of Chandler was granted to build the detached garage, there was never a certificate of completion for the detached garage from the City of Chandler. For…

Read More >>
Agent giving house key

Real Estate Brokers Have Obligation to Disclose

By Christopher Combs | April 26, 2020

Question: In a recent column you said that, under A.R.S. §32-2156 sellers and real estate brokers don’t have to disclose murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the home. You also said that sellers and real estate brokers could have to disclose to buyers an abnormally high number of murders, burglaries, and other felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood. My question as a real estate broker is, what is the obligation of real estate brokers to determine if there is an abnormally high number of felonies that have occurred in the surrounding neighborhood? Do we as…

Read More >>