Avoid landfill cover-up in home sale

Must buyers be informed of defunct facility?

DEAR BARRY: Our home is currently for sale and is located across the street from a landfill that is not currently in operation. There is a tree buffer at the front of that property, so it is not apparent that it was a waste site. Our real estate agent wants to disclose that the landfill is there because there are plans to reopen the facility. Since it is not currently in use, do you think we should disclose this to prospective buyers? –Terri

DEAR TERRI: Disclosing a landfill across the street from your home is a legal requirement, as well as a moral obligation. Consider how you would feel if someone sold the home to you and withheld the fact that the adjacent landfill was about to resume operations. Think of the noisy trucks rumbling up and down your street day after day. Think of the odors that might become part of the neighborhood environment.

And if these circumstances don’t convince you, consider the possibility of a lawsuit from the buyers when they realize that you withheld that kind of disclosure.