ARTICLES & NEWS

NONDISCLOSURE ARTICLES

Seller Didn’t Disclose the Short-Term Rental Next Door

By Christopher Combs | June 26, 2022

Question: In the purchase contract for the sale of our Chandler home, there is a provision giving the right for a 10-day inspection. The purchase contract also said that the sale was “as is,” and “no repairs.” After the 10-day inspection period, the buyer deposited $35,000 earnest money with the escrow company. The 10-day inspection period expired, and the buyer said nothing about cancellation. A week later the buyer wants to cancel the contract and get their $35,000 earnest money back because the buyer learned that there is a short-term rental (“STR”) home next door. The buyer says that we…

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Mediation Required Before Litigation

By Christopher Combs | January 16, 2022

Question: Before we bought our $800,000 Peoria home last summer, we only looked at the home during the day. We were never told by the seller that next door to our Peoria home was a short-term rental home and that there would be loud parties almost every night. When we complained to the owner of this short-term rental home, he just laughed at us and hung up the phone.  We now want to sell our Peoria home and buy a home in Glendale that is in an HOA community that prohibits short-term rentals.  Our real estate agent says, however, that…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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