“Caveat Realtor?” Do I Need to Disclose that there’s a Pedophile Next Door?

“Caveat Realtor?”

Do vendors and real estate agents have a duty to alert potential buyers to the pedophile next door?”

This is the heading of a lead article in this month’s Canadian Bar Association NATIONAL magazine. It is this type of article that lawyers across the country read, think about, and then use for their next lawsuit on a real estate deal.

This article is about an Ontario lawsuit. The buyers purchased a home in June of 2010. They had no idea that a man who had been convicted of possession of child pornography was living across the street. The buyers only found out after the sale was completed, and as parents of two young children, they did not believe it was safe to move in. The buyers sued the vendors and their realtors, arguing that they should have been disclosed this information which was common knowledge in the neighborhood.

The buyers’ lawyer argued that the presence of that neighbor was a latent defect.

The vendors applied to the Court to have the action dismissed but the Court ruled that the case could be potentially successful and would have to proceed to trial.

So unless it is settled, you can expect to hear more about this case in the future.

Bill Fric

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