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NONDISCLOSURE ARTICLES

Exceptions to Real Estate Disclosure Requirements

By Christopher Combs | July 25, 2016

Exceptions to Real Estate Disclosure Requirements    Question: In your columns you are always talking about the obligation to disclose a “nasty neighbor.” Our next door neighbor’s 17-year-old son was recently arrested for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. He is back home after posting bail. We have a daughter and are immediately listing our Glendale home for sale. Our real estate agent said, however, that we do not have to disclose to a buyer this sexual assault by our next door neighbor’s 17-year-old son. Wouldn’t any buyer with small children want to know about this sexual assault by our next door…

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Neighborhood Nuisance Disclosure

By Christopher Combs | June 28, 2016

Neighborhood Nuisance Disclosure   Question: In a recent column you said that a seller of a home had to disclose a “nasty neighbor” next door. Why? Some neighbors are nice, and some are not; and some neighbors are nice now and nasty later, and vice versa.   Answer: You minimize the importance of neighbors. There was major litigation a few years ago in the Show Low area between a cattle rancher and part-time residents from Phoenix. These part-time residents from Phoenix were very nasty, and they yelled obscenities and threw trash in the front yard of the cattle rancher’s home. In…

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Nondisclosure of Termites is a Fraudulent Misrepresentation

By Christopher Combs | May 12, 2016

       Nondisclosure of Termites is a Fraudulent Misrepresentation   Question: At the time that we purchased our home in Tempe we received the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS) from the seller stating “no” in response to the question “have there ever been termites?”  After one month in our home the pest control company that we hired said that we had a bad termite problem.  Our pest control company said that we should contact the Structural Pest Control Board (the state agency that regulates termite companies).  The Structural Pest Control Board said that their records showed that, while the seller…

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Relocation Company's Failure to Disclose

By Christopher Combs | April 29, 2016

Nondisclosure not Always Limited to Single Transfer   Question: Under the relocation program of the seller’s employer, the relocation company purchased the home in North Scottsdale when the seller was being transferred to Virginia.  The seller did not disclose to the relocation company severe flooding problems in his backyard.  Several months later when the relocation company sold the home to us the relocation company did not disclose to us these severe flooding problems.  After close of escrow, however, we learned from neighbors that the seller was always complaining about the severe flooding problems.  The cost to correct these severe flooding problems…

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Sellers Need not Disclose Past Deaths, Crimes

By Christopher Combs | April 11, 2016

  Arizona Stigmatized Property Law     Question: In the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement we disclosed that my mother died of a stroke in the living room of our Wickenburg home.  The buyer is an investor who “flips” homes to other buyers.  The buyer said that I did not have to disclose to him my mother’s death in the home, and that he will not have to disclose her death either.  Is the buyer right?   Answer: Yes. Under the Arizona stigmatized property law a seller, a landlord, and any real estate agent are not required to disclose that a…

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Problem with Neighbors Should be Disclosed

By Christopher Combs | August 30, 2015

  Question: We have lived in a quiet neighborhood in Buckeye for over 20 years. We have never had a problem with any of our neighbors. Last year, however, our Pit Bull escaped through a break in the common wooden fence into our neighbor’s backyard. Although our Pit Bull did not bite our neighbor’s six-year-old son, our neighbors had to take their six-year-old son to the hospital because he was so frightened. Since this incident we have replaced the common wooden fence with a concrete wall, and we have apologized profusely to our neighbors, but our neighbors have been constantly…

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Disclosure of Fissures Required in Some Cases

By Christopher Combs | July 12, 2015

  Question: We recently bought a ten-acre ranchette in Mesa as a horse property.  Shortly after we closed, my wife was riding one of her horses in the rear portion of our corral, and her horse stumbled and fell.  After we investigated, we discovered that there was a large fissure under the soil that had only been partially filled in before being covered up with dirt.  We then hired an engineer who determined that there was not only this large fissure, but also two smaller fissures under the dirt in our corral.  We wished that we had been warned by…

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If Sale is “as is,” Seller Must Reveal Known Problems

By Christopher Combs | May 3, 2015

  Question: We purchased a home “as is.” We failed to discover until after close of escrow that tree roots had partially obstructed our sewer line. The cost to repair the sewer line will be at least $2,500. The contractor that we are hiring to do the repairs said that the seller had to know of this problem. Did we waive any claim against the seller by purchasing the property “as is”?   Answer: If the seller knew of the problem and failed to disclose this, you would have a claim against the seller for the cost of repairs. Selling…

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