Effective January 1, 2015 the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Report underwent a change to add defects in windows and doors to the list of disclosures required by Sellers of a residential property. Prior to the change, The Residential Real Property Disclosure Act required Sellers to disclose material defects in walls or floors but did not specially call for Sellers to disclose problems with windows and doors.
The change to the Act was prompted by an Illinois Appellate Court decision wherein it was determined that “material defects in the walls or floors” did not include windows or doors. The lawsuit originated when the Buyers of a property filed an action alleging that the Sellers failed to properly disclose active leaks in the windows and doors of the property which resulted in extensive water damage to the home. The lower court found for the Buyers but on appeal the higher court determined that the Sellers were not required under the Act as written to disclose defects in doors and windows.
Based on the Appellate Court judge’s recommendation, the Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Report was amended to specifically include a representation about material defects in windows and doors.
Who is required to Disclose?
The new form should be used by all Sellers entering into new residential contracts on or after January 1, 2015. Sellers that had pending contracts prior to the first of the year and filled out the proper disclosures at the time the property went under Contract are not required to complete the amended disclosure provided they are not aware of any new defects related to the windows and doors.
What needs to be disclosed?
Illinois law requires that a Seller disclose material defects that they are aware of. Material defects are defined by the Act as “a condition that would have a substantial adverse effect on the value of the residential real property or that would significantly impair the health or safety of future occupants of the residential real property unless the seller reasonably believes that the condition has been corrected.” Awareness is defined as “actual notice or actual knowledge without any specific investigation or inquiry.” In an effort to more clearly define the Seller’s disclosure requirements, The Illinois Residential Real Property Disclosure Report now more specifically asks questions that a Seller must answer.
If you have questions regarding new or existing disclosure requirements or need assistance with your home sale or purchase, please call Morreale & Brady and ask to speak to one of our attorneys.
Morreale & Brady (630) 790-6300.