Happy Holidays from the State of Ohio's Department of Commerce

Effective January 1, 2013, transferors of residential property will need to complete the Department’s revised Residential Property Disclosure Form. The 2013 Form replaces the one last revised in 2008.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 5302.30 and Ohio Administrative Code Section 1301:5-6-10, Ohio’s Residential Property Disclosure Form ( the "Disclosure Form") is required to be filled out and signed by sellers of "Residential Property" (defined in the Code as real property improved by a building or other structure with 1-4 dwelling units).

The Disclosure Form is neither a substitute for due diligence (aka thorough inspection of property), nor a guarantee against seller omissions/misrepresentations. In fact, the form itself provides (now in CAPS) that “THIS FORM IS NOT A WARRANTY OF ANY KIND BY THE OWNER OR BY ANY AGENT OR SUBAGENT REPRESENTING THE OWNER. THIS FORM IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR ANY INSPECTIONS. POTENTIAL PURCHASERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO OBTAIN THEIR OWN PROFESSIONAL INSOECTIONS.” Perhaps the most powerful remedy of this statute is the recession right granted to the transferee if the Disclosure Form is not provided prior to the time a purchase agreement is entered into.

The following changes are evident when comparing the 2013 Disclosure Form to the 2008 Disclosure Form:

1) The “Purpose of Discosure Form”, “Owner’s Statement” and “Instructions to Owner” sections are now more conveniently located on a new cover page;

2) If the property is vacant, the Disclosure Form now requires the transferor to divulge the period of vacancy;

3) In each category of disclosure (e.g., Sewer System, Roof, Mechanical Systems…), the Disclosure Form now clarifies that the transferor must divulge known current and previous material problems. The previous Form seemed to only require the transferor to divulge previous problem information if repairs were made;

4) The Disclosure Form now requires the transferor to divulge if there are any oil, gas or other mineral rights leases on the property (and cautions the purchaser re: the need for diligence re: same);

5) The Disclosure Form now requires the transferor to list known assessments against the property in terms of amount and duration;

6) The Disclosure Form now cautions the purchaser to exercise diligence with respect to abandoned underground mines; and

7) The Disclosure Form has changed “Owner’s “representation” to a “Certification of Owner”. The change does not appear to be substantive, but time will tell after court interpretation of same.

To see a copy of the newly revised [Effective 1/1/2013] Residential Property Disclosure Form, Click 
2013  and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

No comments :