Silver and Gold Magazine Spring 2015 - Page 27

(905) 407-2550 Decks, fencing, carpentry, furniture restoration and repair, plumbing, electrical, tiling, flooring and more. sellers of property and their agents. For instance, should it be mandatory to disclose whether a property has been subject to flooding or other natural hazards in the past? Similarly, should there be disclosure requirements concerning whether a property is at risk of experiencing hazards in the future? In Ontario the concept of “buyer beware” generally applies to real estate transactions. That is, absent fraud, mistake or misrepresentation, a buyer takes an existing property as he or she found it. However, there is a growing trend toward greater disclosure by home sellers to prospective buyers – both in Ontario and in other jurisdictions. For instance, buyers are increasingly asking sellers to complete SPISs in Ontario real estate transactions. The SPIS asks questions such as: …No job too small! Hello! I would like to say a big thank you to all Silver & Gold readers for selecting Paul’s Home Repairs for all of your home repair needs since 2012. I look forward to serving both new and existing customers in 2015! • Is the property subject to flooding? • Are you aware of any moisture and/or water problems? • Are you aware of any damage due to wind, fire, water, insects, termites, rodents, pets or wood rot? • Are you aware of any problems with the plumbing system? If a seller elects to fill out a SPIS he or she must complete it accurately and honestly, or face potential legal liability for misrepresentation. Other jurisdictions have made disclosure of certain property risks mandatory. For instance, under California’s Natural Hazards Disclosure Act, sellers of real property and their agents are required to disclose when property being sold is located within flood hazard zones, fire hazard zones and earthquake fault zones, among others. This information is provided in a “Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement”. A study conducted by the California Policy Research Center suggests that the disclosure requirements under this Act have been well adhered to and, at least in some cases, have had a