A small claims court decision released last year underscores the importance of careful wording of seller promises in agreements of purchase and sale.
Back in March, 2014, Tracey Lynn Robinson bought a house in Milton, Ont., from Caroline Anne Hobbs-Lingard. In the purchase agreement, the seller promised that the fixtures and movable items (chattels) being purchased would be in good working order on completion.
In a second warranty in the agreement, the seller also promised that the swimming pool and equipment would be in good working order on completion of the deal.
Robinson hired a home inspector to examine the house before the purchase agreement became binding.
The closing took place on May 30, 2014 Robinson took possession on June 6 and two days later a Union Gas representative showed up to inspect the furnace — required as a condition of turning on gas service to the home. He “red-tagged” the furnace, and issued an order requiring replacement of the rusted and corroded venting liner and sleeve. A heating contractor later advised the new owner that the heat exchanger in the furnace was defective and had to be replaced.
Photographs taken the following month when a new furnace was installed showed rot and rust inside the old one.
Ten days after closing, a pool contractor came to the house and advised that the pool pump and solar auto controller were not working and required replacement at a cost of $1,778.
Robinson sued Hobbs-Lingard in small claims court for a total of $6,016 for the cost of a new furnace and pool repairs.