Disclosure of Nearby Landfill Negates Future Liability Issues
Q. Our home is currently for sale and is located across the street from a landfill that is not currently in operation. There is a tree buffer at the front of that property, so it is not apparent that it once was a waste site. Our real estate agent wants to disclose that the landfill is there because there are plans to reopen the facility. Since it is not currently in use, do you think we should disclose this to prospective buyers?
A. Disclosing a landfill across the street from your home is a legal requirement, as well as a moral obligation. Consider how you would feel if someone sold the home to you and withheld the fact that the adjacent landfill was about to resume operations. Think of the noisy trucks rumbling up and down your street day after day. Think of the odors that might become part of the neighborhood environment. And if these circumstances dont convince you, consider the possibility of a lawsuit from the buyers when they realize that you withheld that kind of disclosure.
There is a simple answer to every question that involves whether or not to disclose. That answer is, "Disclose!" We live in a very litigious society. A primary purpose of disclosure is to avoid liability. Remember this when you fill out your disclosure statement. Tell the buyers everything a person could possibly want to know about the property. Tell them what you would want to know if you were buying the property. Not only will you avoid the cost and stress of courtroom trauma, you will sleep with a clear conscience after the close of escrow. …