Legal Remedies If a Home Seller Lies or Conceals a Defect in Oklahoma

Making a case against an Oklahoma home seller who failed to disclose home defects before the sale.

In Oklahoma, the traditional rule was that when you purchased a home, you purchased it at your own risk. The Latin phrase "caveat emptor" or "let the buyer beware" limited a homebuyer's claims against the seller for defects in the home, because buyers were expected to take responsibility for doing their own research before making the purchase.

Of course, this left home buyers at a disadvantage, given all the defects that a home might hide: structural, electrical, and plumbing defects; weather damage; water and sewer problems; infestation; and more. "Caveat emptor" allowed the seller to effectively hide any such defects from the buyer in order to get the highest price for the property.

However, Oklahoma law has changed, and a homebuyer may now sue the seller for home defects in certain circumstances. If you have purchased a home and discovered a problem that likely existed before the closing, but that the seller told you nothing about or perhaps even took active steps to conceal from you, keep reading to find out your possible remedies.

How Oklahoma’s Property Laws Protect Home Buyers

The rule of caveat emptor has been replaced in Oklahoma by the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act ("RPCDA"). (See 60 Okla. Stat. § 831 et seq. (2013). This law establishes requirements for the seller that, if not complied with, can make the seller liable to the buyer for damages caused by defects discovered in the home after the purchase.

Prior to accepting your purchase offer, the seller should have given you, the buyer, a written statement either disclosing or disclaiming known defects in the home. The written statement should have been on a form created by the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission and not on a form created by the seller. (See 60 Okla. Stat.

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