Fraudulent Nondisclosure Claims in Boca Raton
Palm Beach Real Estate Attorney Prosecutes and Defends Claims for Individuals Involved in Failure to Disclose Cases
In a Florida residential real estate transaction, where the seller of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under a duty to disclose them to the buyer. This duty is equally applicable to all forms of real property, new and used. The precedent imposing a duty of disclosure on the seller was established in 1985 by the Florida Supreme Court Johnson v. Davis, 480 So.2d 625 (Fla. 1985). In
Johnson, the evidence showed that the Johnsons knew of and failed to disclose that there had been problems with the roof of the house. According to Ms. Davis, Mr. Johnson told Mrs. Davis at that there had never been any problems with the roof or ceilings. The Davises contracted to purchase the home for $310,000 and had delivered deposits totaling $31,000. Before closing on the purchase of the home, Mrs. Davis entered the home after a heavy rainstorm and discovered water "gushing" in from around the window frame, the ceiling of the family room, the light fixtures, the glass doors, and the stove in the kitchen.
The Davises sued the Johnsons alleging breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation, and sought rescission of the contract and return of their deposit. The Florida Supreme Court determined that the Davises were entitled to the return of their deposits, plus interest, costs and attorney's fees based on the Johnsons' fraudulent nondisclosure.
Under Johnson, fraudulent foreclosure claims have four elements:
- The seller of a home must have knowledge of a defect in the property;
- The defect must materially affect the value of the property;
- The defect must be not readily observable and must be unknown to the buyer; and
- The buyer must establish that the seller failed to disclose the defect to the buyer.
Johnson does not convert a seller of a house into a guarantor of the condition of the house. To prove a cause of action under Johnson, a buyer of a house must prove the seller's knowledge of a defect which materially affected the value of the house. In the absence of proof of the seller's actual knowledge of the defect, the buyer will not be able to establish a claim against the seller.
Contact Gregg H. Glickstein, P.A. - Serving Boca Raton & Palm Beach County
Are you the victim of or being victimized by a claim for fraudulent nondisclosure in connection with the purchase and sale of residential real estate? Obtain trusted representation for real estate disputes from my firm, Gregg H. Glickstein, P.A. I have the knowledge and experience to offer both buyers and sellers assistance when a dispute arises or a claim is made concerning the nondisclosure of defects and other problematic conditions discovered before or after a residential real estate closing. With nearly three decades of experience, I will effectively protect the rights of buyers and sellers under Florida real estate law. Contact my firm to work with a Boca Raton real estate litigation lawyer who will enforce and preserve your rights and protect your interests.