Real estate disputes are a significant concern in states like Hawaii, where the land is scarce. Therefore, several Hawaii real estate laws now focus on real estate disputes and litigation.
Some of the disputes include the following:
- Fraud and misrepresentation
- Contract disputes
- Zoning violations
- Land use disputes
A wide range of people may undergo real estate litigation and disputes including developers, retailers, buyers, sellers, lenders and more.
Hawaii real estate laws are unique and different from other states, largely thanks to its position as an island state. Hawaii real estate laws come under the Hawaii Revised Statutes.
This statute oversees all real estate business in Hawaii. This statute also ensures both the rights of the buyer and seller.
Home buyer’s rights under Hawaii real estate laws and what a seller should disclose to the buyer
According to Section 508D of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the home seller must disclose any property defect to a potential home buyer.
This section says that no seller can sell a home without a disclosure signed within six months before or ten days after the acceptance of the property purchase contract by the buyer. The disclosure statement must be delivered to the home buyer. The home buyer must then sign it.
According to the Hawaii Revised Statutes:
A home seller only has to disclose all material facts related to the property or home. Material Facts means the seller must disclose any facts, defects or condition either past or present.
In simple words, under Hawaii real estate laws, a home seller does not need to disclose everything like carpet stains or scratches on the wall. A seller needs to disclose only the serious problems which could be health hazards for the buyer.
Home sellers provide a standard form of disclosure issued by the Hawaii Association of Realtors.
This is a four-page form which asks the home seller to disclose different home defects.
Those defects are:
- If any appliances previously had defects or malfunctions, including ceiling fans and swimming pools
- If there is landfill presence on the property and if there are any known land easements
- Details of any renovations to any part of the property or the property in full such as any roof repairs
- If there are any insect problems
- If there are any defects in the water or gas lines
The form also gives the home seller enough space to add any additional defects and explain them in detail.
According to Chapter 508D-17 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, a home buyer has two years from the submission date on the disclosure form.
If a buyer fails to file any lawsuit, then it will prove that there are no problems with the disclosure form the home seller submitted.
However, if the seller failed to disclose property defects within the prescribed time, then a buyer can, under Hawaii real estate laws, file a lawsuit against the seller.
The buyer can file a lawsuit for breach of contract against the seller for this fraudulent activity.
If you have any other queries regarding Hawaii real estate laws, then please do contact an experienced and qualified lawyer.