When What You Got Isn’t What You Bought: Legal issues with seller nondisclosure or misrepresentation – Part 4 of 4

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, August 9, 2017. We have been discussing the complexity of real estate purchases. This is part four of the four-part series. Buyers in Idaho need to accomplish their own due diligence. Only in one-to four unit residential transactions do Idaho statutes alter the common law that requires that buyers beware. Even in transactions where there is no fraud or mistake, or if the statutes do not apply because the purchase does not involve a one-to-four unit residential purchase, the buyer may still be able to bring a claim.

PART 4: Other Causes of Action

The discussions in this four-part series are by no means exhaustive. Depending on the facts of a matter, other laws might apply. For instance, if someone selling investment property misrepresents or fails to disclose a defect of the property, the buyer may have a claim under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act (Idaho Code title 48, chapter 6).

Under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, the term goods includes, “any property, tangible or intangible, real, personal or mixed, . . ..” I.C. § 48-602(6). That definition conflicts with another part of the same statute that gives exceptions: “Nothing in this act shall apply to . . . [a]ctions or transactions permitted under laws administered by the state public utility commission or other regulatory body . . . acting under statutory authority of this state or the United States.” I.C. § 48-605(1). The reason it is contradictory is because the definition of “goods” would include bills of sale for personal property conveyed in a real property transaction, and the real property itself, the latter of which is regulated in one-to-four unit residential transactions by Idaho’s Property Condition Disclosure Act (“PCDA”). I.C. § 55-2501, et seq.

The particular circumstances of each transaction must be analyzed to determine precisely which law applies to the whole transaction, or two parts of the transaction.

Further, if a buyer believes a realtor misrepresented or failed to disclose a property defect, there may be claims under the Idaho Real Estate Brokerage Representation Act (Idaho Code sections 54-2082 through 54-2097). It’s

Buying a house or other real property is a major decision with long-term consequences for a buyers’ finances and life goals. Buyers are advised to get their own inspections of both the physical attributes of the property and the documents in the public record that affect the buyer’s use of the property before the close of escrow. Further, obtaining legal advice prior to purchase can be critical to avoiding bad investments. That way, they can minimize the risk of having to spend money on lawsuits instead of landscaping.

Note: This post is not legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Different sets of facts will likely lead to different legal conclusions. If you need assistance with real property matters, call Bristol George, PLLC for a forty-five minute, no charge consultation to see if we can help.

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