The California Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting decision in the case of Hall v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC (2013) 215 Cal.App 4th 1134. In that case, the plaintiff was a buyer’s real estate agent who was injured while showing a house to prospective buyers. She suffered injuries when she fell from an attic staircase based on what she contended was a concealed dangerous condition known or constructively known by the owners of the property (Aurora Loan Services, LLC) and the listing agent (Rockliff Realty). The condition had been disclosed to the listing agent and the owner through a general property inspection report.
The Court of Appeals noted that under Civil Code section 1714, all people, including property owners, are required to use ordinary care to prevent injuries to others. The court concluded that a real estate agent has a duty to notify visitors of marketed property of concealed dangerous conditions of which the agent has actual or constructive knowledge. And, the agent’s actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition is imputed to his or her principal, the property owner, who shares with the agent liability for damages proximately caused by a breach of this duty.
What this means is if you are a real estate agent who is listing a property for sale and you have knowledge (or should have knowledge) of a dangerous condition on the property your are obligated to notify visitors, prospective purchasers and their agents, of the dangerous condition or you can be liable for any injuries they may sustain as a result of the dangerous condition.
For help with your real estate matter, or a free 30 minute consultation, contact the real estate attorneys at Schorr Law, APC, 310-954-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.schorr-law.com.