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Our practical sheets

Our practical sheets

The warranty of the defects of the good

The buyer's rights

After taking possession of the property, the buyer may be unpleasantly surprised to find defects.

As these are apparent defects, the seller is not obliged to guarantee them. A defect is considered to be apparent when a buyer without any special knowledge could have noticed it.

Regarding hidden defects:

  • - if the seller is a professional, he owes the guarantee of hidden defects to the private individual who bought the good.
  • - If the seller is a private individual, it is customary to include a clause in the deed of sale whereby the seller does not owe the buyer the warranty for hidden defects. However, if the seller was aware of the defect before the sale, and did not reveal it to the buyer, he is liable.

A latent defect can be defined as a very serious defect of the good, undetectable at the time of the sale, and which prevents the buyer from using it as he had agreed with the seller.

For example:

  • - the absence of a connection to running water for a house with taps and pipes,
  • - polluted soil, constituting a significant risk for people occupying the land or wanting to build.

When the seller is bound by the guarantee of hidden defects towards the buyer, the latter can, at his choice :

  • - either ask that the sale be reversed and that the sale price be returned to him,
  • - or ask for a reduction of the price according to the defect in question. Also, if the seller was aware of the defect and did not reveal it to the buyer, the latter can, in addition, ask for damages.