This is a case of how NOT to flip a house. Defendants bought a house, repaired damage caused by expansive soils, and then sold it to Plaintiffs. In the standardized Seller Property Disclosure form, Defendants claimed no knowledge of expansive soils. Plaintiffs brought a nondisclosure tort claim after the soils damaged the home. Defendants asserted the Economic Loss Rule as a defense, which was rejected by the trial court. As a matter of first impression, the court of appeals held the economic loss rule does not bar nondisclosure tort claims arising from a house built on expansive soils. First, home sellers owe home buyers an independent duty to disclose latent defects of which they are aware. Second, common law duties remain with standardized form contracts that do not set out a standard of care, limit rights to specific disclosures, or provide express remedies for nondisclosure.
Tag Archives: Residential Land
In re the Estate of Carol S. Gattis, deceased. Scott M. Gattis, Linda L. Spreitzer, and Amy G. Goeden, as Personal Representatives, v. John E. McNutt; Timothy A. McNutt; and Christopher L. Boortz, 2013COA145 (Nov. 7, 2013)
James and Betsy Fifield v. Pitkin County Board of Commissioners and Board of Assessment Appeals, 2012COA197 (November 8, 2012)
Property taxes—a dry topic, but important to those who pay them. In this case, property owners subdivided one parcel of property into two. Only one parcel had a house. The second parcel, which was vacant except for a road that provided access to the house, was classified as vacant land. The property owners challenged that classification and claimed it was “Residential Land” under Colorado statutes. The court of appeals agreed with the property owners. “Residential Land” includes two commonly owned parcels, contiguous with one another, where one parcel has a residential dwelling, and the other parcel is used in conjunction with the residential dwelling. The court remanded the case for a determination of how much of both parcels were used as a unit in conjunction with a residential improvement.