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Must you make disclosures about alligators as a Florida homeowner?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Real Estate |

Florida is well known for its alligators. At least 10 alligators attacked humans in the state in both 2018 and 2019. The chances of an unprovoked attack occurring is one in 3.1 million. Even still, transplants and locals all fear being bitten by an alligator. Parents particularly worry about an alligator biting their kids.

As a homeowner, your realtor likely informed you of your requirement to make certain disclosures when drafting the terms of your purchase agreement. State law requires you to disclose hidden defects. Does the alligator threat warrant such a disclosure?

Alligators and seller disclosure requirements

Environmental issues, such as the presence of wildlife like alligators, do not warrant you making any disclosures. You don’t have to because the presence of alligators is seen as a manageable or easily remedied situation. You can hire a wildlife control specialist to address it.

If you live in a planned community, then your homeowners’ association (HOA) will likely put up signs around common areas like ponds or lakes warning of the dangers of swimming in water that is potentially alligator-infested. While cities generally don’t have to make such disclosures, they might do the same. This might matter if your home is on a public waterway. In both cases, each party may install these signs to minimize their legal liability.

While you might not want to hang up signs warning of the presence of alligators or make such disclosures, you may want to compile a list of potential wildlife control companies. You never know if your realtor shows your home and an alligator comes walking up on your property. The only saving grace on the deal may be to have someone to call to tackle the issue.

There are certain disclosures that all sellers must make. Your failure to do so could result in your facing costly, avoidable and time-consuming litigation. You’ll certainly want to familiarize yourself with the disclosures that you’re required to make to ensure that you don’t make an expensive mistake.