This just in: New York recently changed from being a caveat emptor state to a caveat venditor state. On September 22, 2023, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law Senate Bill 2023-S5400 which amends the Real Property Law to require a seller of residential real estate to disclose certain facts regarding the condition of their property.
Sellers who fail to comply with the new disclosure requirements may be exposed to liability. Whereas under the previous law sellers routinely paid a $500.00 penalty in lieu of delivering the Property Condition Disclosure statement under Section 462 of the Real Property Law, that option is no longer available to shield sellers from liability.
The Bill also states in part “New Yorkers deserve to be informed about the condition of residential property they purchase and to be aware of any flood risks they might face when buying or renting their homes, especially in an era where so-called “100-year floods” are happening much more frequently due to climate change.”
Therefore, under the new law Sellers must now disclose certain information including whether the property is located in a 100-year or 500-year floodplain according to FEMA’s flood insurance rate maps, whether the property is subject to requirements under federal law to obtain and maintain flood insurance, and the property’s flood insurance history.
Pursuant to Section 465 of the Real Property Law, “any seller who provides a property condition disclosure statement or provides or fails to provide a revised property condition disclosure statement shall be liable only for a willful failure to perform the requirements of this article. For such a willful failure, the seller shall be liable for the actual damages suffered by the buyer in addition to any other existing equitable or statutory remedy.”
Senate Bill 2023-S5400 becomes effective March 20, 2024.
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