Q: Do Wisconsin home sellers have to disclose dead trees that pose a major safety concern?
We just purchased a home in February (Wisconsin) on a wooded lot. As spring and summer has brought the outdoors back to life, we have come to the disheartening realization that two giant oak trees are dead. These trees are set in to our patio and are located about 15 feet from our house. These trees are DEAD. They have been dead for obviously quite some time. Every storm they are losing large branches. We have already sustained property damaged because of falling branches/limbs. They a posing a major safety concern at this point. We have had several arborists come in and confirm that the trees have been dead for quite some time. The estimates for removal are astronomical. The seller did not disclose these dead trees in the sale. Given the season, we could not see that these trees were dead for ourselves during property inspections. Do we have any options legally to get the seller to pay for these trees now after the sale has been closed for 5 months?
A: The seller was required to complete a Real Estate Condition Report, which covers many areas of the structure and property conditions. However, the health of trees and vegetation on the property are not included in the representations. Therefore, the sellers likely had no obligation to disclose the health of any trees on the property.
Thomas B. Burton agrees with this answer
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A: I agree with Attorney Ruffi that the Seller would be required to complete a Real Estate Condition report and that the Real Estate Condition Report in Wisconsin does not currently include a specific question about trees on the property. Unfortunately in some situations, the old adage of "buyer beware" still applies to certain conditions on the property and dead trees is likely one of them. I am sorry you are encountering this unfortunate situation.
1 user found this answer helpful
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