When selling a used apartment, the buyer must follow the procedure laid down in the Housing Transactions Act in order to be able to claim a defect. The buyer must report the defect and any claims based on it to the seller within a reasonable time from the time the defect was discovered or should have been discovered. When assessing when the defect was discovered or should have been discovered, the decisive time is the time when the buyer became aware or should have become aware of the significance of the defect.
The Housing Transactions Act sets a two-year limit on the seller’s liability. The buyer must report the defect and any claims based on it to the seller within two years of the transfer of possession of the apartment to the buyer. However, for example, if the apartment is sold to a tenant living there, the two-year period starts to run from the date of the sale.
Even if a reasonable time has passed since the defect was discovered or more than two years have elapsed since the transfer of possession of the apartment, the buyer can still claim a defect in certain situations. This is possible when the seller has acted with gross negligence or contrary to the rule of good faith.