Homebuyers afforded protections under Oklahoma’s Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act

Q&A with Todd Court

published in The Oklahoman | June 29, 2010

McAfee & Taft attorney Todd Court was featured in The Oklahoman discussing Oklahoma’s Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act and what kind of protections the Act provides to home buyers.

Under the Act, a seller is required to disclose their “actual knowledge of defects” that could have an adverse effect on the value of the property or the health and safety of the occupants. This information is disclosed by the seller in the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Statement. Court told The Oklahoman, “A seller is required to complete this Disclosure Statement and deliver it to the buyer prior to the acceptance of a purchase offer.”

When discussing the role of the real estate agent in the disclosure process, Court explained that an agent has a duty to obtain the statement and make it available to the buyer. The real estate agent also has a similar duty to disclose to the buyer any know defects not in the Disclosure Statement.

Failure to disclose information does not allow the buyer to rescind the purchase contract. However, Court explained, “The buyer can recover ‘actual damages,’ or the cost to repair the defect, caused by the seller’s or real estate agent’s failure to disclose their knowledge of defects.” A buyer has two years from the sale date to file a lawsuit.