Seller's Property Condition Disclosure Bill Signed into Law

From the NYSAR newsletter:  "On November 13, 2001 New York Gov. George E. Pataki signed the seller's property condition disclosure bill into law. The program goes into effect on March 1, 2002. The new law will require sellers of one-to-four unit residential housing to answer forty-eight questions that are intended to disclose environmental, structural, mechanical and other information that would be useful to consumers when selecting a new home. The proposal applies to brokered and for-sale-by-owner transactions. Failure to provide the disclosure form will result in a $500 credit to the buyer."

Our comments:  Interesting penalty. Does it pay, then for the unscrupulous seller to conceal a $10,000. defect, but not a $300. one? Why didn't they cast the bill simply to make a seller liable for defects if they weren't disclosed? Well, it's better than nothing, and I guess the buyer could still sue if the seller concealed problems, whether they provided the form or not.

Here is a link to the new form