What is the seller’s liability for latent defects?

The seller’s liability for latent defects is a legal liability that can apply when a property is sold and it turns out that the property has defects that the buyer did not know or should have known about, but that the seller knew or should have known about. Consequently, the buyer may be entitled to claim compensation or indemnity from the seller. Here are some important points regarding the seller’s liability for latent defects:

What is a hidden disadvantage?

A latent defect is a defect or problem in the property that was not known to the buyer at the time of the transaction and that the buyer should not have discovered during normal investigation. These defects can be, for example, structural problems, water leaks, electrical system failures, etc.

Seller’s awareness or duty to know

The seller has a duty to inform the buyer of hidden defects in the property that the seller knows or should know about. This means that if the seller has knowledge of problems with the property and fails to notify the buyer, the seller may be liable for those defects.

Legal rights

If the buyer discovers a hidden defect, he has the right to make a claim against the seller, which may include:


The buyer may be entitled to claim compensation equal to the costs associated with the defect, such as repair costs.

Real estate price reduction

Alternatively, the buyer may request a reduction in the sale price according to the severity of the defect.

Cancellation of the sales contract

In some cases, the buyer may wish to cancel the transaction and return the property to the seller and receive a refund of the purchase price.

Expiration period

Most countries have a specific statute of limitations within which the buyer must file a claim for latent defects.

In conclusion, both the seller and the buyer should be aware of the existence of latent defects and their rights during the sale transaction. In case of doubts or disputes, it is recommended to consult a broker who can provide appropriate legal advice and guidance according to local laws and specific circumstances.

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