For many, purchasing a home is the ultimate American dream. But for some, this experience can turn into a nightmare full of unexpected repairs and unforeseen headaches. Although lawmakers have made strides to protect home buyers (e.g.,enacting Illinois' Residential Real Property Disclosure Act), this dream-gone-bad dilemma continues to be a real concern in Illinois. Still today, many unsuspecting home buyers are saddled with costly defects and deteriorating conditions that were never disclosed by sellers at the time of purchase.
For example, in a case of first impression, the Illinois Third District Court, in Kalkman v. Nedved, recently held that a seller is not obligated to disclose defective windows or doors in a home, even if those defects are known to the seller. This Note examines the majority's decision and argues that the court was incorrect in holding that a seller’s duty to disclose defects in a property’s walls did not also require a seller to disclose defects in windows or doors. Specifically, the court should have focused on the functional definition of the terms in the statute to carry out its purpose, which is to ensure home buyers are protected from unknown conditions that materially affect various functions of the residence.
As a result, Kalkman court essentially creates a loophole that permits home sellers to knowingly withhold information about defects in a home—such as leaky windows or doors that do not seal properly—that could significantly affect its value.
Andrew J. Sheehan,
Looking Out for the Illinois Home Buyer: Analyzing the Court’s Narrow Approach in Kalkman v. Nedved, 2013 IL App (3d) 120800, 991 N.E.2d 889,
S. Ill. U. L.J.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/siulj/vol39/iss2/9