If you plan to sell residential real estate in Illinois, there are certain legal requirements of which you should be aware. One such requirement is your obligation to inform potential buyers of any material defects via the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report. This is per 765 ILCS 77 – Residential Real Property Disclosure Act.
As defined by the act, a material defect include cracks or bulges in the basement; reoccurring leaking problems; leaks or defects in the roof, ceilings or chimney; issues with any aspect of the plumbing system; unsafe conditions with the drinking water; defects with the well or well system; unsafe levels of asbestos, lead or other hazardous materials on the premises; insect infestations; and boundary lot line disputes, among other problems. You can find the full list of defects within Section 35 of the act.
While you have an obligation to report certain defects to potential buyers, the law does offer you and other sellers protection from liability. For instance, in accordance with Section 25 of the act, you are not liable for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions if you had no knowledge of the inaccuracy, error or omission; made the inaccuracy, error or omission based on the belief that someone had corrected the defect; or the inaccuracy, error or omission was based on information that a public agency, engineer, surveyor or other professional had provided to you. In short, the only defects which you are required to disclose are those of which you have actual knowledge. Furthermore, you are not required to make specific inquiries or to perform an investigation to uncover possible defects. Such a responsibility rests with potential buyers.
The information in this post is for purely educational purposes. You should not construe it as legal advice.