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Residential Real Estate Property Disclosure Act: What is it?

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When you sell a piece of residential real estate, you are required to make certain disclosures and offer certain warranties to the buyer. These requirements vary by state. In Illinois, the Residential Real Estate Property Disclosure Act governs many of the disclosures required prior to sale. Read on for an explanation of the Illinois Residential Real Estate Property Disclosure Act, and reach out to a knowledgeable Illinois residential and commercial real estate attorney with any questions.

What is the Illinois Residential Real Estate Property Disclosure Act?

The Illinois Residential Real Estate Property Disclosure Act (the Act) is an Illinois state law that mandates property sellers to make certain disclosures concerning material defects of the property at issue. The Act was enacted in 1998 to protect home buyers from sellers who might hide or misrepresent the condition of a piece of property, to the buyer’s detriment. The Act requires sellers to complete a form answering 23 questions about a wide range of conditions concerning the property.

What Property Does the Act Cover?

The Act applies to sales of single-family homes, multi-family homes (up to four units), town-houses, co-ops, and condominiums. The Act also covers lease options and certain land contracts. Certain types of property sales are specifically not covered, including new construction that has not been occupied, commercial condos and other commercial properties, foreclosure sales, and certain other types of transfers.

What Does the Act Require?

Sellers of property covered by the Act must fully disclose certain conditions of the property. The Act requires sellers to fill out a “disclosure document,” which includes a list of 23 questions. The seller must answer “yes,” “no,” or “N/A” to each question.

The questions, identified in 765 ILCS 77/35, cover a range of topics including, but not limited to, the following: flooding; foundational defects; defects in the walls, windows, ceiling, or floor; defects in the heating or air conditioning; defects in the septic system; chemical contamination such as asbestos and radon; termite infestation; underground fuel storage tanks; disputes over the property boundaries; regulatory or zoning problems; and whether the property has been used to manufacture methamphetamine.

If you have legal questions concerning Illinois real estate matters, get considered and effective legal help by contacting the Chicago residential and commercial real estate lawyers at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025 and in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030.

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