Alabama real estate laws are the set of laws surrounding diverse aspects like the homeowner and tenant-related issues, security deposits and more.
Alabama real estate laws include:
- Adverse possession law
This law applies when an individual lives on property belonging to another person until they acquire the title of the property.
- Homestead exemption law:
An amount of about $5,000 can be used to register for homestead property.
- Laws surrounding the real estate lease:
The law states that the security amount deposited by an individual depends on the length of the property lease.
Alabama is a caveat emptor state. However, a home seller must provide buyers with details about the physical condition of the property or house.
Alabama has a rule known as caveat emptor for the sale of any used residential property.
Caveat emptor is a Latin term which means “Let the buyer beware”. This rule describes the duty of a seller during the sale.
There is no actual duty to make suggestions to the buyer when selling the property.
In many US states, the seller must formally disclose such issues by filling out a standard form. In Alabama, the buyer must take responsibility for discovering any defects with the property.
There are some exceptions to the Caveat Emptor Rule in Alabama Real Estate Laws
There are three exceptions to caveat emptor in Alabama, where the seller must legally disclose defects to the buyer.
These exceptions apply when:
- There is an existing fiduciary relationship between buyer and seller.
- The seller knows that the home may cause a health or security risk to the buyer.
- The buyer directly questions the seller about specific property defects.
The seller has to disclose those defects with which he/she is concerned personally.
Now we can briefly describe the fiduciary duty as well as health and safety guidelines.
Fiduciary duty is the legal responsibility toward another party’s best interest.
For example, imagine if the seller was the buyer’s medical doctor. If your doctor is the seller and he knows about your cedar allergy, he cannot hide that the house contains cedar closets.
It will be treated as a breach of fiduciary duty to the buyer.
Health and Safety Guidelines:
If the house has any health or safety problems with lead paint or asbestos, then the seller must notify the potential buyer.
Lastly, if the buyer asks about property defects, then the seller is obliged to answer truthfully.
For example, if the buyer asks about pest infestations and the seller knowingly withholds information, then it would violate the law.
The seller should not hide any defects of the property and should therefore not lie to the buyer.
For the reasons mentioned above, a buyer can file a suit against the seller for misrepresentation, negligence, or suppression of material fact.
Alabama Real Estate Laws state that the failure to disclose a known fact may not be sufficient to hold a seller liable for damages.
The buyer has to prove that the seller knew about the defects which directly impact his or her health or safety.
If you have any questions regarding Alabama Real Estate laws, then please visit our page and find out more from a qualified lawyer.