UncategorizedDo I have to Sign A Property Condition Disclosure Statement in New York?

October 7, 2021by Gregory Byrnes

In New York, the seller of residential property must provide a property condition disclosure statement to the buyer before signing the contract (RPL § 462). The seller disclosure applies to all sales of residential real property except the following(RPL § 463):

  • A sale pursuant to court order;
  • A transfer to a mortgagee by deed in lieu of foreclosure or in satisfaction of the mortgage;
  • A transfer to a beneficiary of a deed of trust;
  • A transfer between co-owners;
  • A transfer by a fiduciary in the course of administration of decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or a trust;
  • A transfer to a spouse, former spouses as a result of divorce, dissolution of marriage, annulment, legal separation, or person in lineal consanguinity;
  • A transfer pursuant to a foreclosure sale power of sale after the default in satisfaction of an obligation that is secured by a mortgage;
  • A transfer involving a governmental entity;
  • A transfer involving newly constructed property that has not been inhabited;
  • A transfer by a sheriff; or
  • A transfer pursuant to a partition action.

If a seller does not provide a seller’s condition disclosure statement, they must pay $500 to the purchaser at closing (RPL § 464). Few sellers ever sign a property condition disclosure statement and the $500 is normally deducted from the purchase price at closing. By signing a property condition disclosure statement the seller may be putting themselves at risk of lawsuit.

If a seller does sign a property disclosure form and later discovers its information is inaccurate, the seller must correct the form immediately until the day the property transfers. Even if a seller does not sign a property disclosure statement, the seller will still be liable if they actively concealed property defects.

Property Condition Disclosure Form:

Property Condition Disclosure Statement

Name of Seller or Sellers:

Property Address: 

The Property Condition Disclosure Act requires the seller of residential real property to cause this disclosure statement or a copy thereof to be delivered to a buyer or buyer’s agent prior to the signing by the buyer of a binding contract of sale.

Purpose of Statement: This is a statement of certain conditions and information concerning the property known to the seller. This disclosure statement is not a warranty of any kind by the seller or by any agent representing the seller in this transaction. It is not a substitute for any inspections or tests and the buyer is encouraged to obtain [his/her] own independent professional inspections and environmental tests and also is encouraged to check public records pertaining to the property.

A knowingly false or incomplete statement by the seller on this form may subject the seller to claims by the buyer prior to or after the transfer of title. In the event that a seller fails to perform the duty prescribed in this article to deliver a disclosure statement prior to the signing by the buyer of a binding contract of sale, the buyer shall receive upon the transfer of title a credit of five hundred dollars ($500) against the agreed upon purchase price of the residential real property.

“Residential real property” means real property improved by a one- to four-family dwelling used or occupied, or intended to be occupied, wholly or partly, as the home or residence of one or more persons, but shall not refer to: (a) unimproved real property upon which such dwellings are to be constructed; (b) condominium units or cooperative apartments; or (c) property on a homeowners’ association that is not owned in fee simple by the seller.

Instructions to the Seller:

(a) Answer all questions based upon your actual knowledge.

(b) Attach additional pages with your signature if additional space is required.

(c) Complete this form yourself.

(d) If some items do not apply to your property, check “NA” (nonapplicable). If you do not know the answer, check “Unkn” (unknown).

Seller’s Statement: The seller makes the following representations to the buyer based upon the seller’s actual knowledge at the time of signing this document. The seller authorizes their agent, if any, to provide a copy of this statement to a prospective buyer of the residential real property. The following are representations made by the seller and are not the representations of the seller’s agent.

General information:

  1. How long have you owned the property? 
  2. How long have you occupied the property? 
  3. What is the age of the structures? 

Note to Buyer—If the structure was built before 1978, you are encouraged to investigate for the presence of lead-based paint.

  1. Does anybody other than yourself have a lease, easement, or any other right to use or occupy any part of your property other than those stated in the documents available in the public record, such as rights to use a road or path or cut trees or crops? Yes No Unkn  NA
  2. Does anybody else claim to own any part of your property? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Has anyone denied you access to the property or made a formal legal claim challenging your title to the property? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Are there any features of the property shared in common with adjoining landowners or a homeowners association, such as walls, fences or driveways? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below:

  1. Are there any electric or gas utility surcharges for line extensions, special assessments, or homeowner or other association fees that apply to the property? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Are there certificates of occupancy related to the property? Yes No Unkn NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

Environmental:

Note to Seller—In this section, you will be asked questions regarding petroleum products and hazardous or toxic substances that you know to have been spilled, leaked, or otherwise been released on the property or from the property onto any other property. Petroleum products may include but are not limited to gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating fuel, and lubricants. Hazardous or toxic substances are products that could pose short- or long-term danger to personal health or the environment if they are not properly disposed of, applied, or stored. These include but are not limited to fertilizers; pesticides and insecticides; paint, including paint thinner, varnish remover, and wood preservatives; treated wood; construction materials, such as asphalt and roofing materials; antifreeze and other automotive products; batteries; cleaning solvents, including septic tank cleaners, household cleaners, and pool chemicals and products containing mercury and lead.

Note to Buyer—If contamination of this property from petroleum products and/or hazardous or toxic substances is a concern to you, you are urged to consider soil and groundwater testing of this property.

  1. Is any or all of the property located in a designated floodplain? Yes No Unkn NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is any or all of the property located in a designated wetland?

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is the property located in an agricultural district? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Was the property ever the site of a landfill? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Are there or have there ever been fuel storage tanks above or below the ground on the property? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, are they currently in use? Yes  No  Unkn  NA

Are they leaking or have they ever leaked? Yes  No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is there asbestos in the structure? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is lead plumbing present? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Has a radon test been done? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, attach a copy of the report.

  1. Has motor fuel, motor oil, home heating fuel, lubricating oil, or any other petroleum product, methane gas, or any hazardous or toxic substance spilled, leaked or otherwise been released on the property or from the property onto any other property? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Has the property been tested for the presence of motor fuel, motor oil, home heating fuel, lubricating oil, or any other petroleum product, methane gas, or any hazardous or toxic substance? Yes No Unkn  NA

If yes, attach reports.

Structural:

  1. Is there any rot or water damage to the structure or structures? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is there any fire or smoke damage to the structure or structures? Yes No Unkn NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Is there any termite, insect, rodent, or pest infestation or damage? Yes No Unkn NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Has the property been tested for termite, insect, rodent, or pest infestation or damage?

Yes No Unkn NA

If yes, please attach reports.

  1. What is the type of roof/roof covering? Any known material defects?

How old is the roof? [age of roof] Is there a transferable warrantee on the roof in effect now?

Yes  No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Are there any known material defects in any of the following structural systems: footings, beams, girders, lintels, columns, or partitions? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below:

Mechanical Systems and Services:

  1. What is the water source? (circle all that apply) well private municipal other

If municipal, is it metered?  Yes  No  Unkn  NA

  1. Has the water quality and/or flow rate been tested? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. What is the type of sewage system? (circle all that apply) public sewer private sewer septic cesspool

If septic or cesspool, age?  Date last pumped?  Frequency of pumping?  Any known material defects? Yes  No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below:

  1. Who is your electric service provider?  What is the amperage?  Does it have circuit breakers or fuses?  Private or public poles?  Any known material defects? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Are there any flooding, drainage, or grading problems that resulted in standing water on any portion of the property? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

  1. Does the basement have seepage that results in standing water? Yes No  Unkn  NA

If yes, explain or describe below: 

Are there any known material defects in any of the following? (if yes, explain below. Use additional sheets if necessary):

32. Plumbing system?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

33. Security system?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

34. Carbon monoxide detector?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

35. Smoke detector?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

36. Fire sprinkler system?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

37. Sump pump?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

38. Foundation/slab?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

39. Interior walls/ceilings?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

40. Exterior walls or siding?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

41. Floors?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

42. Chimney/fireplace or stove?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

43. Patio/deck?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

44. Driveway?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

45. Air-conditioner?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

46. Heating system?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

47. Hot water heater?

Yes

No

Unkn

NA

         

Explanation of defects:

       
             
  1. The property is located in the following school district:

Note: Buyer is encouraged to check public records concerning the property (e.g. tax records and wetland and flood plain maps). The seller should use this area to further explain any item above. If necessary, attach additional pages and indicate here the number of additional pages attached.

Seller’s Certification: Seller certifies that the information in this property disclosure statement is true and complete to the seller’s actual knowledge as of the date signed by the seller. 

If a seller of residential real property acquires knowledge which renders materially inaccurate a property condition disclosure statement provided previously, the seller shall deliver a revised property condition disclosure statement to the buyer as soon as practicable. In no event, however, shall a seller be required to provide a revised property condition disclosure statement after the transfer of title from the seller to the buyer or occupancy by the buyer, whichever is earlier.

Dated: 

Seller Name:

Buyer’s Acknowledgment: Buyer acknowledges receipt of a copy of this statement and buyer understands that this information is a statement of certain conditions and information concerning the property known to the seller. It is not a warranty of any kind by the seller or seller’s agent and is not a substitute for any home, pest, radon, or other inspections or testing of the property or inspection of the public records.

Dated: 

Buyer Name

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