Working with consumers and businesses to ensure a fair marketplace for all Manitobans.

Buying a house or condo
Home buying condition disclosure

Get the Facts Before You Make the Offer

A Property Disclosure Statement Helps Protect You when Purchasing a Home.

Let's say you buy a home. It's forty years old, but appears to be in good condition, so you make the purchase. Two weeks after you move in, there is a heavy rainstorm and you come home to a foot of water in your basement. There's more than $30,000 damage and when you tear the damaged drywall out, you see a major crack in the foundation that was obviously there for a long time and which you suspect the seller knew about.

Buying a House or Condo | Home Buying Condition Disclosure - Consumer Protection Office

So you go after the seller for compensation. But if you didn't have the home professionally inspected, you didn't receive a property disclosure statement and you have no way of proving the seller knew of the problem, you are probably on the hook for the entire repair bill, plus significant legal fees.

A home is likely the most expensive thing you will ever buy, so it makes good sense to get professional advice. Use the services of a professional home inspector, a realtor and a lawyer and protect yourself from expensive surprises. A good realtor will recommend you exercise the option to request a property disclosure statement.

A property condition disclosure is an indication of the condition of the property made by the seller to the best of his or her knowledge, at the date the form was completed. Typically, the form would answer questions about structural deficiencies and other defects, such as a crack in the foundation. Had this form been requested, the seller would have been obligated to tell you about any known defect in the foundation.

While under no legal obligation to provide a disclosure statement, if the seller refuses, you may want to rethink your offer. It could be an indication there are problems with the home that the seller is reluctant to divulge.

Get more help with your real estate purchase by visiting the Manitoba Consumer Protection website on housing.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact:

The Manitoba Securities Commission – Real Estate Division
500-400 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 4K5
Telephone: 204 945-2562 in Winnipeg; Toll Free: 1-800 655-5244