For clients of Dale, Streiman Law LLP, in our Real Estate Department, we are faced with issues involving purchases with houses that had been in the past insulated with Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI). This product installation in houses for insulation purposes was considered dangerous to the homeowner’s health but the installation ended in the early l970’s and most experts have now opined that the dissipation of the material from this type of insulation to this date does not impact on the homeowner’s health. Unfortunately, in most Real Estate forms of Offers, there is a warranty that the home has never been insulated with this UFFI insulation and of course if the home was purchased later than the l970’s, normally the homeowner would not have personal knowledge if such home ever was so insulated with UFFI.
More importantly in today’s purchase and refinance climate, a necessity is to have the home inspected by a qualified home inspector and/or engineer and existence of two of the current products or conditions in the home are mould and asbestos or verticuite as being perilous to the home occupant’s health. These items should be addressed and if necessary, removed by the Seller or the Buyer may not satisfy or waive the condition for inspection, thereby ending the purchase transaction. Such offers would be conditional upon a home inspection with terms satisfactory to the Buyer.
In summary, if you are a seller, do not sign any Seller’s disclosure statement since many representations made by sellers if not know or if such representations turn out to be not true can be the subject of a lawsuit. Secondly, if you are a buyer, then insist on completing inspections, get warranties on all items in the house, the equipment, chattels and fixtures and condition of the home and if swimming pool etc. warranties as to that these pieces of equipment are in good working order.
Elliott Dale, senior partner at Dale, Streiman Law LLP would be pleased to act and meet with any clients that have concerns in these type and any other real estate transactions.