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Real estate disclosure laws a joke

November 17, 2011
The Maui Weekly

We recently bought a condo in Kihei and had a property inspection prior to purchasing. The inspection turned out OK (with a few minor things), but when we asked about the structural integrity of the buildings, the inspector said he could not inspect the common property, so we relied on the disclosure statements from the property management company and the seller, as well as the minutes from the board. They all stated that there was nothing wrong with the buildings.

After living here for a year, we discovered there are major structural problems that were not disclosed and will eventually cost a lot of money to repair in the form of assessments. We have already seen one. When I researched the possibility of suing for non-disclosure due to the financial burden we are about to bear, I found out that we would be spending a lot of money to fight the insurance companies, not the board of directors that hid the problems from perspective purchasers. And there is no guarantee of being reimbursed.

It seems to me that the State of Hawai'i, federal government and the realtor board should require condominium complexes to be inspected every five to 10 years (within a decent time frame) to keep disclosure statements on the structure of common areas of the property current for perspective purchasers, and avoid any fraudulent or criminally negligent actions by a board of directors that does not want to see their property values decline at the cost of others.

David Simpson Kihei



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