Legal Minutes: Mold Disclosure

Betsy Urbance and Jon Broadbooks

In the newest episode of Legal Minutes, Betsy Urbance, Director of Legal Services at Illinois REALTORS®, sits down with VP of Communications Jon Broadbooks to discuss what the legal requirements are regarding mold disclosure, and why Illinois REALTORS® no longer offers a mold disclosure form on its website.

 

Members can watch the video here.

 

Illinois REALTORS® format change to seller disclosure report will help sellers

Urbance

A format change to the Illinois REALTORS® version of the Residential Real Property Disclosure Report will help seller clients and their REALTORS® better document when disclosures are presented to buyers.

The change follows the regular forms review process by the Illinois REALTORS®’ Legal Team. Members can sign in and see the report here.

“We gave serious consideration to the format change that might change or add another step to the completion process,” says Betsy Urbance, Illinois REALTORS® Director of Legal Services. “Please note the Illinois Residential Real Property Act has not been amended and brokerages may opt to not use the REALTORS®’ version of the form. Only the format for our form, which is available for our members’ use, has changed.”

Urbance explains the change:

“We purposely changed page 4 to give sellers proof they met their obligation to give the disclosure report and show relevant portions of the statute to the buyers prior to the buyers becoming bound by the contract. We acknowledge this might change the process a bit. However, based on real life experience in seller disclosure litigation, the inability of sellers to prove disclosures were given is problematic. Although the statute does not require buyers to sign disclosures, sellers are required to give the disclosures and statute in a timely manner. So, the change gives sellers a better way to prove their duties were met.

“Sellers should sign and date the form on the date it is provided to the buyers (or the buyers’ agents),” she says. “Sellers are required to provide this form/portion of the statute before buyers become obligated on the purchase contract. In other words, sellers should sign and date reports some time before contracts are agreed to by the parties.

“As a result, if buyers initially download forms from the MLS some time prior to making offers, once buyers make offers, sellers should ‘circle back’ and sign and date the forms on or at the time contracts are entered. Also, this provides sellers a chance to review initial disclosure reports for any needed changes. This is always recommended when properties have been on the market for some time. After all, what if between the time the buyer’s agent downloaded the report and the time of contract, the seller’s basement flooded after the second ‘100-year-rain’ in the last year?

“This change is our model, and we believe it puts our members (and their seller-clients) in the best position to reduce their risk … and help sellers prove they met their statutory obligations. Whether or not associations and/or brokerages take up this model is a matter of their business discretion.”

Video series provides surveillance and multiple offer resources for REALTORS®


When time is short but you want to remain productive, the Illinois REALTORS® Legal Minutes Videos may be the perfect solution.

Three member-only videos have been developed to help educate REALTORS® and each lasts less than 11 minutes (login required):

If you would like to see the Legal Minutes Video Series as well as recordings of previous legal webinars, visit www.illinoisrealtor.org/legal/webinars.

 

Case studies include Fair Housing Act ruling for transgender plaintiff in July DR Legal News

Illinois REALTORS® get an analysis of seven separate case studies in the July issue of DR Legal News, including a violation of the Fair Housing Act by a Colorado landlord.

In the case Smith v. Avanti, a transgender woman and her wife sued a landlord who refused to rent a Colorado townhouse to the couple and their two children. The couple sued the landlord under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

For more details about this case and six others reviewed by Lisa Harms Hartzler, Sorling Northrup Attorneys, read the July DR Legal News. Other items covered in this issue include:

  • Changes to the Illinois Real Estate License Act,
  • Real estate disciplines,
  • Testimony by director of legislative and political affairs for a property tax freeze,
  • A story about the importance of copyright law awareness and compliance and
  • A video about surveillance equipment and eavesdropping.

Read the DR Legal News.

DR Legal News explains License Act changes, case studies and more

Get a summary of numerous changes to the Real Estate License Act negotiated by the Illinois REALTORS® advocacy team during the spring legislative session.

In the July edition of Designated REALTOR® Legal News, Jeffrey T. Baker, of Sorling Northrup Attorneys explains the enhancements in:

  • continuing education,
  • leasing agent rules,
  • investigation disclosures and
  • elimination of the advisory council.

Also included in the DR Legal News are stories about copyright issues, seven legal case studies, real estate disciplines and testimony by Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan before the Committee of the Whole in the Illinois House.

Read the July DR Legal News.