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Rhode Island Real estate laws

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Like many other states in America, Rhode Island real estate laws are governed by its own state statutes.

Buying a Rhode Island home or property may take a long time. Plus, it could be a difficult process. However, we are here to make it easy because this article will provide you with all you need to know about Rhode Island real estate laws.

Before buying a home or property, a buyer should first check the condition of the property. They should then ask for disclosure from the seller as well. This is mandatory under Rhode Island real estate laws.

What do Rhode Island real estate laws say about disclosure?

TITLE 5-Businesses and Professions CHAPTER 5-20.8 Real Estate Sales Disclosures SECTION 5-20.8-2 of the Rhode Island Statutes broadly covers the disclosure statement. This section of the Rhode Island real estate laws states that before signing an agreement to sell or transfer residential real property, the seller shall make a written disclosure to the prospective buyer. Above all, the disclosure must also include all material facts of which the seller is aware that could adversely and significantly affect the property. The Rhode Island real estate laws list the following:

  • Seller Occupancy (Length of Occupancy)
  • Year Built
  • Basement (Seepage, Leaks, Cracks, etc. Defects)
  • Sump Pump (Operational, Location, and Defects)
  • Roof (Layers, Age and Defects)
  • Fireplaces (Number, Working and Maintenance, Defects), Chimney (Maintenance History, Defects), Wood burning Stove (Installation Date, Permit Received, Defects)
  • Structural Conditions (Defects)
  • Insulation (Wall, Ceiling, Floor, UFFI)
  • Termites or other Pests (Treatment Company)
  • Radon (Test, Company) “Radon has been determined to exist in the State of Rhode Island. Testing for the presence of radon in residential real estate prior to purchase is advisable.”
  • Electrical Service (Imp. & Repairs, Electrical Service, Amps, Defects)
  • Heating System (Type, Imp. & Repairs, Underground Tanks, Zones, Supplemental Heating, Defects)
  • Air Conditioning, Plumbing (Imp. & Repairs, Type, Defects)
  • Sewage System (Assessment, Annual Fees, Type, Cesspool/Septic Location, Last Pumped, Maintenance History, Defects)
  • Water System (Imp. & Repairs, Type, Defects)
  • Domestic Hot Water (Imp. & Repairs, Type, Defects, Capacity of Tank)
  • Property Tax, Easements and Encroachments, Zoning, Building Permits
  • Deed (Type, Number of Parcels)
  • Restrictions (Plat or Other)
  • Minimum Housing (Violations)
  • Flood Plain (Flood Insurance) & Wetlands
  • Multi-family or other Rental Property (Rental Income)
  • Pools & Equipment (Type, Defects)
  • Lead Paint or Hazardous Waste (Asbestos and Other Contaminants)
  • Fire
  • Farms

What must the seller do next?

First of all, the seller must fill in the disclosure form with the above-mentioned conditions of the home or property. Then, they must provide the form to the potential buyer. As a result, the buyer will get an overview of the home or property. Furthermore, Rhode Island real estate laws allow the seller to add more information regarding the condition of the home or property if they choose.

From the above, it is certainly clear that the home seller is bound by Rhode Island real estate laws to disclose any defects the property has to the potential home buyer. Above all, they must do so before signing the purchase agreement. However, if the home seller fails to disclose the defects of the property, the buyer may then file a lawsuit against the seller to gain remedies for his losses.

If you have any further queries about Rhode Island real estate laws, please do contact our learned lawyer.

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