Defect Disclosure · Real Estate

Better Homes and Garden, Coldwell Banker, Alleged to Misrepresent Livable Space

OAKLAND, CA – The buyer of an Oakland home is suing her real estate broker and agent, and the seller’s real estate broker and agent, alleging that they collectively failed to tell her that the basement in her home was unpermitted and legally uninhabitable space. Buyer Elaine Shaw hired a Lafayette firm, Belzer & Murray, to prosecute the action against these Oakland real estate professionals. The complaint indicates that they have forgone going after the seller for now.

Buyers are well protected in residential purchases. Everyone owes duties to them. The buyer’s broker and agent (known in the industrying as the selling agent, which should tell you something) owes fiduciary duties to the buyer and must, in a sense, go out of their way to protect the buyer. Plaintiff will be arguing that did not happen here.

The listing broker and agent (representing the seller) must disclose everything they know, but they can also get tagged for false advertising. If they advertised this property as being a certain square feet of livable space and/or with permits, without the appropriate disclaimers, they could be looking at liability.

This blog reports on cases filed in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The statements made are based on the allegations in court-filed documents. Allegations are just accusations, and may or may not be true.
The authors of the blog are attorneys at the San Francisco litigation firm, Wood Robbins, LLP. If you have a legal issue, send them an email. If they cannot help you, they will try and point you in the right direction.