Madison, WI asked in Small Claims and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin

Q: Am I liable for the repair that I didn't know after close?

I sold a condo a month ago. We remodeled the condo. It is disclosed in the Disclosure. Buyer contacted us and stated that the dryer's vent doesn't vent and cause retention of moisture that cause ceiling damage. When the contractor installed the dryer, the building property manager was in our condo. The property manager did recommend us to install a condenser style to avoid possible damage to paint or ceiling. However, he didn't make it very firm. There was also no written policy or document to tell us what units are required or preferred. We thought it was just advice and didn't know anything more. We never heard anyone had problem. Now, the property manager said he informed us "that it would be advisable to go with a condenser style unit to prevent moisture and possible damage to new paint and ceiling." Seller filled and we received notice. I am very surprised. The seller had inspection. We didn't hide anything. Am I liable for it? Thanks.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Anthony Greller
Jason Anthony Greller
  • Madison, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: I'm surprised that the buyer's inspector did not note that the dryer was not vented. If the dryer is not vented then it should be a condenser dryer.

The issue here is whether or not you had knowledge of a condition affecting the property and failed to disclose that condition in your condition report. You can argue that this is not a condition that affects the property but the buyer will argue the opposite. The concern here for you is that the property manager seems likely to testify that this issue was identified to you on the front end - which may lead the court commissioner to conclude that you knew about the condition. If the commissioner also concludes that this is a condition affecting the property, then the commissioner may conclude that you should have disclosed the issue and that may create liability.

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