So you purchased your dream house or vehicle in Louisiana. After signing a mountain of paperwork, most of which contains boilerplate standard sales language you don’t understand, you take possession of your property. Later, however, you discover that your property contains a defect or vice that significantly reduces its value or requires costly repairs. Knowing your rights under Louisiana law is incredibly important due to a unique warranty contained in our civil code known as redhibition.
In Louisiana, the waiver of the warranty of redhibition is a standard clause inserted into many sales/purchase contacts that states that the buyer has had the opportunity to inspect the property to his or her satisfaction and agrees to purchase it in its “as is” condition, thereby releasing the seller from liability for future defects. To be effective, the waiver of the warranty against redhibition must be done in clear and unambiguous terms brought to the buyer’s attention.
Nonetheless, a buyer may seek rescission for a redhibitory defect if the defect renders the thing absolutely worthless or so inconvenient that the buyer would not have purchased the thing had he known of the problem. However, to seek rescission of the sale or a reduction of the sales price, a redhibitory defect must not be known to the buyer at the time of the sale. La. Civ. Code art. 2521. Further, a redhibitory defect must not be apparent or otherwise discoverable by a reasonably prudent buyer of such things.
An action is available after a buyer has given the seller a reasonable opportunity to repair the defective property. Moreover, a claim for breach of the warranty against redhibition generally must be brought within one year of the discovery of the defect or, when brought against a good faith seller, no later than four years from delivery.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a sale involving redhibitory defects, learn about your legal rights from an experienced New Orleans attorney by filling out our free, no obligation case review form located on this website.