What is a home seller required to disclose?


(KPLC) – Submit your questions to news@kplctv.com. Civil cases only, please.

QUESTION: With all the school shootings I see in the news, I’m terrified every time I drop my kids off at school. Has our state or parish done anything to protect our children while they are in school?

TO RESPOND: Yes, the Sheriff’s Office acted on this issue some time ago by creating what is called the School Resource Officer Program.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office has twenty-eight School Resource Officers covering twenty-five schools in the parish. Officers are assigned to a school to be a direct link between the school and any issues that may require law enforcement assistance.

If you have questions about the program or want to resolve a school-specific issue, you can email mwalker@cpso.com. Your question will be forwarded to the officer assigned to the school and a response will be sent to you.

Also, you can find out more by visiting the Sheriff’s Office website here.

You can find KPLC’s story on the announcement earlier this year here.

QUESTION: I’m buying a house from a private individual in Lake Charles who doesn’t use a realtor. I have reviewed all of the specs for the house and some of the property structures and foundations look sketchy at best. I know I can’t force the seller to disclose issues, but are they required by law to do so?

TO RESPOND: Absoutely! If the property is residential and the buyer is a traditional third-party buyer (not a co-owner, heir, company, etc.), in most cases an ownership disclosure form should be available to you before purchasing. This is a form which is presented by the seller to the buyer and which reveals, at a minimum, the known defects of the residential building. Disclosure should include, but not be limited to, material ownership information (i.e. is there a homeowners association, has there ever been an illegal meth lab on the property, is there a salt dome cavity under the property, has the property been zoned commercial etc). If the property information document is delivered after the BUYER has made an offer, the BUYER may terminate any resulting real estate contract or withdraw the offer up to 72 hours after receipt of the property information document. property. This termination or withdrawal will be without penalty for the BUYER and any deposit or deposit must be returned to the BUYER without delay (despite any agreement to the contrary).

You can find a copy of the property declaration form here.

In Louisiana, Revised Law 9:3198 and its offspring are commonly known as the RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE Chapter of the Revised Laws. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them below:

(1) “Known Defect” means a condition found in the Property which was actually known to the Seller and which results in any of the following:

(a) has a material adverse effect on the value of the property.

(b) significantly impairs the health or safety of future occupants of the property.

(c) If not repaired, removed or replaced, substantially reduces the expected normal life of the premises.

(2) “Property Information Document” means a document in a form prescribed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission, or a form that contains at least the minimum language prescribed by the commission, that is submitted by Seller to the purchaser in the manner set out in RS 9:3198(B) and which discloses, at a minimum, the known defects of the residential property.

(3) “Buyer” means an assignee or potential assignee in one of the types of transactions described in RS 9:3197(A).

(4) “Real estate contract” means any written agreement, entered into prior to the completion of the contract of sale or lease or otherwise with an option to purchase, which relates to the sale, offering for sale, purchase, offer to purchase, lease with option to buy, offer to lease with option to buy, any other option to buy or any other offer including an option to buy a residential building or its improvements.

(5) “Residential Property” means property consisting of one or no more than four residential dwellings, which are buildings or structures each of which is occupied or intended to be occupied as a single family residence.

(6) “Seller” means an owner of residential property, whether an individual, partnership, corporation or trust, who sells or attempts to sell residential property in a manner described in RS 9:3197(A).

QUESTION: I recently got a ticket for texting while driving. When I was pulled over I wasn’t on the phone, someone had called me as a possible drunk driver because I was driving badly while using the phone. Why was it okay for the person to use the phone to call the police, but I couldn’t call my wife?

TO RESPOND: Louisiana has several different distracted driving laws. Some overlap, but generally the laws prohibit texting and interacting with social media for all drivers, and prohibit talking on a cell phone for some drivers and prohibit talking on the cell phone in certain locations for all drivers. Louisiana distracted driving laws prohibit all drivers from operating a vehicle while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read text communication or make a call in a school zone and during school hours. school displayed.

You can find the law here.

Exceptions: Louisiana’s distracted driving laws contain a number of exceptions. These include: use of devices by emergency services personnel in the performance of their official duties using GPS (global positioning system) and reporting of emergencies and criminal activity . Fines. For a first offence, the motorist risks a fine of up to $500. A second or subsequent offense results in a 60-day license suspension and up to $1,000 fine. And if a violation involves a collision, the fines are doubled. Restrictions on Drivers Holding Learner’s Permits and Intermediate Licenses Motorists holding Class E Learner’s Permits or Intermediate Permits are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving unless authorized to do so. motorist uses hands-free technology.

Exceptions. The learner and intermediate license restriction does not apply to calls made to report an emergency or criminal activity. Penalties. For a first offence, the motorist incurs a maximum fine of $500. A second or subsequent offense carries a fine of up to $1,000. And if a violation involves a collision, the fines are doubled. Restrictions for underage drivers For motorists under the age of 18, it is illegal to text or talk on a cell phone while driving a vehicle. Exceptions. The ban on cell phones and texting for minors does not apply to reporting emergencies and criminal activity. Penalties. For a first offence, the motorist incurs a maximum fine of $250. A second or subsequent offense results in a 60-day license suspension and up to $500 fine. For offenses involving accidents, the fines are doubled.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this answer is general and may not apply to certain situations. All legal situations are unique. No one should rely on these answers to their detriment. Anyone with a potential legal problem should seek the advice of a licensed attorney before taking any action or inaction. The answers provided are not intended to be specific legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created between the SWLA Law Center and KPLC-TV viewers.

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