Central Vacuum System in Disrepair (Remedies)
An Agreement of Purchase and Sale contains the following warranty:
"all chattels shall be in good working order of the closing date"
A Professional Home Inspector delivers a written report indicating that in his opinion the central vacuum requires replacement as it is at the end of its life cycle. The Buyer signs a Notice of Fulfillment of Condition.
On closing day, the Seller’s Agent gets a call that the central vacuum doesn't work. Who is liable, and why?
The central vacuum system is a “fixture”. The warranty ONLY related to chattels.
There was no warranty for the central vacuum system, none whatsoever. Caveat emptor applies. There was a home inspection conducted. It doesn’t matter whether there were defects or not. The Buyer only has the right to proceed “as is”.
The Seller never warranted or agreed in any way to improve or fix the central vacuum. The basic rule of real property transactions has been “caveat emptor”. That hasn’t changed in several hundred years. No one is liable for anything.
The Buyer elected, as was his right, to proceed, and that includes an out of date, worn out central vacuum system that is in need of replacement.
All property is sold “as is”, even without those words being included. If you want something fixed, then you would have to put it in the contract.
Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker