TDS/AVID Disclosure Prior Repairs/Maintenance

Type Matter:  TDS/AVID Disclosure of Prior Repairs/Maintenance
Issue:  Should a listing Broker disclose prior repairs and maintenance invoices and records kept by sellers?
Answer:  Almost always yes

Facts:  Listing Broker sat with Sellers to go through the TDS and AVID disclosures. At that time, Sellers presented Broker with a packet of invoices corresponding to past repairs, past and ongoing maintenance and other records describing work done on the home. Listing Broker asked Sellers whether any of the documents described or could be associated with current, material defects or items of concern. Sellers answered, “No.” As a result, listing Broker recommended against disclosing the packet of information. Buyers closed escrow, had several issues with the property, found out about the documents reflecting prior repairs and maintenance, and sued.

Results:  After a long, hotly contested litigation, including multiple depositions, court motions and several mediations, the case finally settled. Plaintiff’s initial and ongoing settlement demand exceeded one million dollars (it was a very high end property). Plaintiffs finally agreed to accept a low, six figure contribution in order to resolve the matter.

Lesson:  While the TDS or AVID is not supposed to equate to an entire history of the property, if Sellers want to disclose certain information or documents, they should be encouraged, not discouraged, from doing so. The fact a defect was corrected does not make it any less important to disclose. A Buyer may want to know if the repair was adequate or if the property has a propensity for a certain type of problem. When the question of whether or not to disclose arises, the fact the question is asked is enough of a reason to assume it is appropriate to disclose the issue. This is particularly true when the Sellers ask if the issue should be disclosed.


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