In the case of a seller concerned about future liability issues that could arise from improper or unsatisfactory installation of hearing-impaired smoke detectors, does he have the right to refuse to negotiate an offer from a hearing-impaired buyer who will not waive his rights on the seller’s disclosure, or would this fall under fair-housing policy?

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  • In the case of a seller concerned about future liability issues that could arise from improper or unsatisfactory installation of hearing-impaired smoke detectors, does he have the right to refuse to negotiate an offer from a hearing-impaired buyer who will not waive his rights on the seller’s disclosure, or would this fall under fair-housing policy?

No. A seller may not refuse to negotiate an offer simply because a buyer is hearing-impaired, as that conduct discriminates against the buyer based on his disability. There are alternatives that can provide direct privity between the buyer and the installer, which should be able to address any liability concerns raised in this question. The statute also provides that the parties can agree who will install the detectors and can agree on the brand of the detectors. The seller may want to use the buyer’s preferences as to the brand and installer.

Source: TAR

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