In recent years, there has been an explosion of hidden defects prosecutions for buildings of all kinds. A clarification is needed from the outset on a belief too often prevalent that a hidden defect is a defect which the seller knew existed and conceals from the buyer. In fact, it is possible that this situation arises, but the term hidden defect opposes the apparent defect and the seller did not necessarily know the existence of the vice.

Definition of a hidden defect

A hidden defect is a deficiency that does not appear, which lowers the value of a building and which prevents the new owner from taking full advantage of his building. The defect must be invisible, that is, a prudent and diligent buyer could not have noticed it at the time of the sale.

The expert who is called upon to give his professional opinion, as part of a hidden defect expertise, must take into account several factors to establish his diagnosis, including the age of the building and the useful life of the building components. The specialist will therefore have to make the nuance between hidden defect and normal wear of the components.

hidden defect, water infiltration through a crack in the foundation wall

© Water infiltration through a crack in the foundation wall

Role of the engineer of Onesta Bâtiment Conseil

The expert engineer observes and analyzes the deficiencies identified by the buyer and determines the extent of these on the operation of the building, the safety of the occupants and the enjoyment of the premises.

In addition, the engineer studies the documents provided by the client to verify whether these deficiencies have been declared or not in the declaration of the owner-seller.

Also, he must check whether these deficiencies were mentioned in the pre-purchase report to make sure the vices were not apparent.

Our engineering consulting firm offers the following services:

  • Expertise to note the deficiencies raised by the new owner.
  • Analysis of the documents submitted by the buyer (declaration of the owner-seller, pre-purchase report, etc.).
  • His professional opinion concerning the deficiencies found in the building under study.
  • Writing a report including findings, observations and recommendations supported by photos and diagrams.
  • The presence in court as expert witness to support your claim.

See our achievements

Vice cache, wooden structure damaged by carpenter ants

© Wooden structure damaged by carpenter ants