Oil Spills and Fires: Disclosure (Ontario)

How to put out a grease fire

Question:

What kind of disclosure would you provide if listing a property that had a small vs large scale issue? For example… oil tank leaked. Does seller disclose minor leak vs major cleanup? What about a fire in home? Does a kitchen fire constitute a real fire or does the home have to sustain actual damage?

Answer:

There are cases dealing with oil leaks and fire damage, including the ones where disclosure is required and the ones where no disclosure whatsoever is required. You really just need to know the law and the principles to be applied in the various circumstances.

The first issue is relevancy. Courts will look to the legal test of “materiality”. Essentially, this means relevancy and importance. That leaves a scale in terms of decision-making. Each case would be resolved on its own facts.

While both of these matters initially seem to be important, upon further investigation, if it turns out that they are simply innocuous, then, no disclosure would be required. It’s the seriousness of the matter, not the category which is important here.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

www.OntarioRealEstateSource.com

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