House With Undisclosed Property Defects?

Undisclosed property defects can be an extremely stressful thing to spot in a new home given that moving house is already a very taxing process. It can leave you feeling somewhat helpless given that you have already agreed to rent the property and you might be led to believe that there is nothing you can do to rectify the problem without being left out-of-pocket.

What Actions Can You Take If Your House Has Undisclosed Property Defects?

In reality, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are not mistreated when it comes to renting a house with undisclosed property defects. A lot of this will depend on various factors such as the length of time between the contract signing and the discovery of the defect itself, as well as the severity of the problem or problems.

In the event of discovering the defect prior to completing the handover of the property and signing the contracts then the tenant is entitled to the following:

  • To refuse to complete the deal
  • Claim damages
  • Reduction in price

More commonly however, the discovery of the problems may occur after the property takeover has been completed, meaning it can be difficult to figure out what your rights are. Some of your options in this scenario include:

  • Terminate the contract
  • Claim damages
  • Claim on the grounds of a contract breach or misrepresentation

How Are Misrepresentation Claims Handled?

It is expected within a contractual agreement for a property that the appearance of the property must match the description or the tenant will be entitled to make some form of claim against the housing association, and this can be any of the above depending on each individual situation.

It is also important to note that there are three separate types of misrepresentation; fraudulent, negligent and innocent. Establishing which of these categories your situation falls into can impact the way in which you will be compensated for your defect issues. If the misrepresentation was fraudulent then it is likely that you will be able to claim damages as well as being able to terminate the contract, and the same goes for negligent misrepresentation. Innocent misrepresentation is slightly different in the sense that either of these can be awarded depending on the court’s volition, but in this case it must be one or the other.

If you feel that you have been affected by the issues raised within this post then you can find out more by emailing us at info@consumer-rights.org to help get a better understanding of the options at your disposal.

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