Sellers of Residential Real Property must disclose material defects concerning the property. The use of an "as-is" provision in a contract for sale and purchase does not circumvent the duty to disclose material defects.
Johnson v. Davis is a well known legal case in Florida which set the president concerning material defects. The Davis's entered into a contract to purchase a home from the Johnsons. Prior to closing Mr. Davis asked about peeling plaster and ceiling stains around a window and was told by the Johnsons (the sellers) that it was lwft over damage from a repaired issue with the window a long time ago. Prior to closing the Davis' entered the now vacant home after a rain storm and found water gushing down from around the window frame and the ceiling. They ordered a roof inspection and were told the roof was defective and needed to be replaced.
The Davis' sued to recind the contract and have their deposit refunded. The Florida Supreme Court forund in favor of the Davises and stated that: "We hold that where the selle of a home knows of facts materially affecting the value of the property which are not readily observable and are not known to the buyer, the seller is under duty to disclose them to the buyer"
A later case Rayner v. Wise Realty Co. of Tallahassee extended the duty of the sellers to disclose material defects to Real Estate Licensees.
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