Latent vs. Patent Defects and Property Inspections

by Maggie Chandler on May 21, 2008

in Buyers, Buyers Tips

  • SumoMe

The BC Supreme Court case of Cardwell v. Perlien provides an interesting overview of the current state of the doctrine of caveat emptor (“let the buyer beware”)

The distinction between latent and patent defects is important, because sellers are obligated to disclose material latent defects that they are aware of, but buyers are expected to discover patent defects on their own. Patent defects are described as those that can be discovered by conducting a reasonable inspection and making pertinent inquiries about the property.

Significantly, however, the judge goes on to say that a “defect which might not be observable on a casual inspection may nonetheless be patent if it would have been discoverable by a qualified person…In some cases, it necessitates a purchaser retaining the appropriate experts to inspect the property…”

This highlights the importance of buyers having inspections done, and where a generic home inspection would be inadequate, retaining the person with the specific expertise to do the job (i.e. building envelope expert or well inspector).

In a hot market, offers subject to conditions may be be practical. In addition, a common obstacle to having inspections done is the unwillingness of the buyer to pay for them. Unfortunately, it is precisely the frugal buyer who will be looking for someone else to pay if defects are subsequently discovered.

In either case, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver advises all licensees acting for a buyer, as standard practice, to discuss making the offer subject to the appropriate inspections and the risks of not doing so. In a hot market you can do the inspection prior to making the offer.

What is your experience? Have you made an offer without a builiding inspection and if so, were there any major consequences? Alternatively, have you discovered items during a building inspection that convinced you it was a prudent ‘due diligence’ on your part? Have a superb building inspector you’d recommend and if so, what made him stand out from the crowd?

Leave A Reply With Facebook


Vancouver Home Search Vancouver Home Values

Post by

WELCOME! And thanks for checking out my site, and wanting to know a little bit about me. I LOVE what I do, and that’s helping home buyers and home sellers in the waterfront condo neighbourhoods of Vancouver and I’ve been doing just that for nearly 30 years, so I’ve really gotten to know this market like the back of my hand. In fact I’ve seen Vancouver’s neighbourhoods of Coal Harbour, Downtown, Kitsilano, False Creek North, the West End and now the Olympic Village being built and I have an in depth knowledge of these neighbourhoods. My interest in Vancouver’s history combines with my interest in the changes and growth of its waterfront neighbourhoods. If you see me walking on the seawall, playing tennis or boating, say hello! The city of Vancouver and its neighbourhoods of Coal Harbour, Downtown, Kitsilano, False Creek North, the Olympic Village and the West End have been put on the world map with its dynamic growth, international immigration, hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, amazing world class restaurants, geographical beauty and quality of life. Consistently voted the Best City in the World to live, you can find great shopping, sports and entertainment in Vancouver. I assist first time and trade up home buyers, investors and vacation home buyers, as well as first time and trade up home sellers, investors and vacation home sellers with the purchase and sale of houses, townhouses and condominiums. I come armed with stats and graphs and an extensive knowledge of market activity, with attention to detail that will give you piece of mind that I’m working in your best interest, I am a hard working, detail oriented, diligent individual with strong interpersonal skills, patience and a high level of integrity . My goal is to make the home buying and the home selling a fun trip with low stress and I use today’s technology to make every real estate transaction as smooth as possible by clearly answering your questions, providing expertise and offering a savvy opinion. Providing trustworthy real estate services in the Vancouver area for over 30 years

has written 2608 articles.

Leave A Reply With Facebook


Previous post:

Next post: