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What happens when a Real Estate seller does not disclose bills for utility connections?

The duty of a property seller to disclose bills for sewer and water hookups can vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific laws in place. However, in general, property sellers have a duty to provide accurate and complete disclosures about the property's condition and any material facts that could affect the buyer's decision-making process.

Here are some key points to consider regarding the disclosure of bills for sewer and water hookups:

  1. Material Facts: Bills for sewer and water hookups are considered material facts because they can have a significant impact on a buyer's ongoing expenses and financial obligations related to the property.

  2. State and Local Laws: Some states or local jurisdictions may have specific laws that require sellers to disclose certain utility bills, including those for sewer and water services. These laws may dictate when and how the disclosure should be made.

  3. Seller's Property Disclosure Form: Many states have a standard seller's property disclosure form that the seller is required to complete and provide to the buyer. This form typically includes questions about utility bills, including sewer and water expenses. Sellers must answer these questions honestly and to the best of their knowledge.

  4. Full Disclosure: Even if there is no specific legal requirement to disclose utility bills, it is generally considered good practice for sellers to be transparent and provide all relevant information about the property's utility costs. Failing to disclose such expenses could lead to issues of misrepresentation or nondisclosure.

  5. Buyer's Due Diligence: While sellers should provide accurate information, buyers also have a responsibility to conduct their due diligence when purchasing a property. Buyers should inquire about utility bills, review past bills, and consider potential future costs before finalizing the purchase.

  6. Seller's Agent Responsibility: If the property is listed with a real estate agent, the agent also has a duty to ensure that all material facts, including utility bills, are properly disclosed to potential buyers.

Ultimately, the duty to disclose bills for sewer and water hookups is part of the broader obligation of honesty and transparency in real estate transactions. If a seller intentionally withholds or misrepresents this information, it could lead to legal consequences, including potential legal action by the buyer.

If you are a buyer and have concerns about the disclosure of utility bills or any other material facts, it's advisable to work with a real estate agent and consult with a real estate attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that you have a clear understanding of the property's costs and obligations before completing the purchase.

As a licensed attorney and Real Estate broker, Douglas Phillips is prepared to help you if a seller fails to disclose!


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