Latent Defects: Material and Minor Distinguished

Ontario

Question:

What is the difference between a material latent defect and a latent defect? 

I understand a material latent defect must be disclosed, but I don’t understand why a latent defect does not. 

Are they not the exact same thing?

Answer:

Yes, they are both latent defects.

“Material” means important, significant enough, relevant.

In the context of real estate, the Ontario Courts have defined material to be:

1) a defect which renders the principal building structurally unsound, or

2) a defect which renders the property unfit for human habitation.

You might imagine, that there are some small, unimportant, and minor matters which need not be disclosed.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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