Buyer’s Remedy if Size of Bedroom Falls Short of Advertised

Question:

It turns out that one of the bedrooms in a 2,500 sf house is short by 40 sf. It is 4 ft less in width over 10 feet. What does this mean for the Buyer?

Answer:

The issue of size needs to be considered from the perspective of importance, materiality, differential, significance and value.

Traditionally, Courts will stick with the “what you see is what you get” approach. Sometimes an inch short on a property measurement is extremely significant.

If you have one 60 ft lot, you might be able to divide it into two 30 ft lots, because 30 ft is the minimum lot size in the area. In this case, 59 ft 11 inches could easily be worth hundreds of thousands less.

A bedroom short by 4 feet would not appear to have the same significance. A 15% differential is often what is needed. Buying from plans offered by a Builder would be different than buying a resale home. The 4 ft could be significant if the building no longer complies with the building code or applicable restrictive covenants.

The difficulty here is arguing that 4 ft really make a difference in some way. Courts are open to the argument, but, just why is the actual measurement so important when the room didn’t change in size?

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstatSource.com

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