Buyer Sues Seller For Not Disclosing Deadly Plants Eaten By Pet Rott. Disclosure Nightmare?

Reblogger Jon Quist
Real Estate Agent with REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE DRE# SA113961000

Oleanders can kill. And do!

Thanks, Greg, for the post.

We have oleanders all over Tucson. I make it a point to tell my buyers about this toxic plant. I sure wouldn't count on sellers disclosing that fact.

I tell them the story about one idiot assistant zoo keeper here, who fed oleanders to two of our giraffes. Now we have one less giraffe.

Tough to know everything, and we're not supposed to, but if we DO know something, it's our job to disclose.

Original content by Greg Nino 0524642

Your average home seller isn't a Botanist. And your average seller plants and cares for many plants and shrubs they know very little about. Throughout the Houston area we have an abundance of Oleanders. These shrubs are widely popular because of their extreme durability, price and overall appearance.


When consumed by mammals, especially dogs, oleanders can kill. But so can many other types of plants. A friend of mine who owns a landscaping company told me that many of the plants in your average garden are considered toxic. One lady reportedly died from attempting to make oleander tea as a last ditch effort to cure her cancer. Another man died from eating mass quantities of it because he read that it was a natural plant that could cure his stomach cancer.

Should a seller disclose anything they know about the dangers of their plants?

If I were an attorney, and I'm not, I'd say yes. You should disclose anything relevant to the property that might expose you for claim. Best to over disclose and get a signature...then be forced to explain later.

Or maybe that's being extreme. It's not like homeowners disclose that the batteries in the upstairs smoke detector are old, cheap and likely to stop working. I suspect there will be comments from readers on this post that will suggest a buyer with pets should have the responsibility to decided if plants are harmful to their pet or not. A seller shouldn't be responsible to understand, learn or know the danger levels of every plant or chemical used in their lawn. Lets not even talk about the oranisms in the pool or type of fertilizer tossed out back. Damn those electromagnetic fields from the power lines! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!  

Today you're the Jury!

The Plaintiff (buyer) is suing the homeowner for 10 trillion dollars because the buyers salivating Rott ate some oleander as a side salad with the neighbors pussy cat & died. Hey don't laugh, this is America.  





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Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

As a pet owner, I make it a point to know what plants will be dangerous to them. I know of Oleander, elephant ears. In Orlando, some kids died after making tea out of Angels' Trumpet (thought to give a toxic "high").

But I think it is overdoing it to provide a disclosure on plants. Should I disclose that rose bushes have thorns that will prick?

Jan 08, 2012 06:06 AM #1
Bill Reddington
Re/max Southern Realty - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Now I am supposed to be a horticulturist. It just never stops. I am surprised the real estate agent is being sued also. I am sorry about the pet but suing the seller after a transaction closes because the animal ate a plant I think is frivolous.

Jan 08, 2012 06:16 AM #2
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Well I am all about disclosure - disclosure but I have never thought of disclosing what types of yard plants and the dangers they might bring.  Right when you think you've heard it all........well you haven't.

Jan 15, 2012 01:22 AM #3
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

This got me thinking. My family pet drowned inthe pool in the back yard and I failed to disclose it. I am the quen of disclosures and tell sellers to disclose EVERYTHING. But when pets are involved it is so emotional that I think there is some mental block that works against you.

Jan 17, 2012 01:28 PM #4
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Jon Quist

Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996
Moving to Tucson? Call me.
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