We consider disclosure statements useful only if they are complete. In the future, more items should be added to the disclosure. A thorough buyers’ review of Property Disclosure Statements should be considered a mandatory “best practice”.
Incomplete Disclosure Statements
In my opinion, it is entirely unacceptable to have such lax requirements for one of the biggest financial commitments anyone can make. It seems to me that the majority of agents and sellers operate under the principal “don’t ask, don’t know”. This may be fine for a tear-down but in today’s high priced market, buyers deserve to know more, a lot more.
More Disclosure Proposed, Not Less
From our perspective, disclosure statements should cover a lot more issues including a mandatory, yet impartial, home inspection report paid for by the seller.
As a minimum, the following information should be made available to a buyer:
- construction or renovation permits issued
- municipal violation notices
- police reports
- insurance claims
- utility bills
- neighbourhood crime rate
- neighbourhood schools rating
- standardized house energy rating
Until such time as real estate boards improve their disclosure requirements, it is up to the buyer to request this information, and we would encourage buyers to do so.