*Please note: Any questions regarding Legal Hotline Spotlights should be submitted via the Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline. Our attorneys are unable to respond to questions through our comments section.Legal Hotline Spotlight

Q: I have a listing and just discovered that the property has polybutylene pipes. There are no leaks or cracks in the piping right now, but is that still considered a defect? Do I have to disclose?

A: Unfortunately this isn’t a clear-cut answer. If the pipes are not currently leaking and are in good working order, it would not be considered a defect. However, because polybutylene pipes are known to be much more prone to leaking than other pipes, the very fact that they are in a property might be a “pertinent fact relating to the transaction.” That is, it might have an impact on whether the buyer wants to purchase the property or how much they might be willing to pay.

The Code of Ethics requires all REALTORS® to disclose such issues if they are aware of them. For that reason, unless the pipes have been retrofitted in some way to make them less prone to leaking, their presence in a property is something that we would advise you to disclose to buyers.

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