Water in the Basement


What about water in a basement of a 100 year old plus rural property?

The foundation is actually made of rocks. The floor originally dirt was covered with concrete about 40 years ago. The basement is just used for storage and everything is raised up off the floors by reason of the “Spring” rivers which run through the basement every April

Does this have to be disclosed?


There is no legal obligation to disclose. It doesn’t meet the legal standard. Old buildings were never constructed to be waterproof. That wasn’t the intention. The porous rock foundation was to provide support. No one expected anyone to move into the basement and live there.

As real estate agents, either buying or selling you are expected to know this ahead of time. If you want to buy a character, stone,150 year old farmhouse, then, you should just know that the basement will leak. If the property were in south Florida, there would be no basement at all. It would just be constructed on studs, because the water table is so high.

As a listing agent, whatever you do, don’t advertise the basement as “liveable” or an “in-law suite” or anything like that. If the Seller says “don’t tell”, then “don’t tell”. You have to follow their instructions. This won’t change under TRESA.

If you are acting for a Buyer, then, they will want to know. If they are from the City, you will likely need to give them the heads up, but if they are serious Buyers in search of a 150 year old stone farmhouse, they already know this.

You can get yourself in a lot of trouble following the mantra “disclose, disclose, disclose”.

Also, you don’t have to take the Listing if it makes you feel uncomfortable, you can just walk away.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


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