If a hearing-impaired buyer is not willing to waive his rights on the seller’s disclosure to have hearing-impaired smoke detectors installed by the seller but is willing to acknowledge receipt of the seller’s disclosure, how is this accomplished? Can the buyer strike through the waiver wording and sign?

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  • If a hearing-impaired buyer is not willing to waive his rights on the seller’s disclosure to have hearing-impaired smoke detectors installed by the seller but is willing to acknowledge receipt of the seller’s disclosure, how is this accomplished? Can the buyer strike through the waiver wording and sign?

Nothing in the statute prohibits the buyer from striking the waiver language. The statute is silent about whether he can strike the language or not. Therefore, he could strike the language and acknowledge receipt. As a side comment, please note that Section 5.008 of the Property Code requires the seller to deliver the Seller’s Disclosure Notice. Once it is delivered and signed by the seller, the seller has accomplished his statutory requirements. The seller may need to document delivery by other means if a buyer refuses to sign the notice. The more likely course of events is that the buyer will ask what his rights are under Chapter 766 before deciding to sign or before deciding to strike any language. In that case, the buyer will need to read Chapter 766 of the Health and Safety Code. The buyer’s rights are to request hearing-impaired smoke detectors to be installed. Although the statue provides that the seller is required to install the hearing-impaired smoke detectors (under the conditions that trigger that requirement), the statute also provides that the parties can agree as to who will pay for the installation. Even if he signs the notice and does not strike the waiver language, the buyer’s offer or any amendment of the offer can request the installation of smoke detectors or any other repairs. The buyer has not waived any contractual rights by signing the notice. As a side comment, one has to ask whether the statute is creating any new rights because the buyer and seller always had the contractual rights to negotiate the installation of such items. Of course, the statute brings the issue up close for consideration. It also requires the seller to agree to install hearing-impaired smoke detectors under certain conditions provided that the parties agree who will pay for the installation.

Source: TAR

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