What is a Property Disclosure Statement?

Homeowners listing a property for sale may be asked by their REALTOR® to complete a detailed Property Disclosure Statement (PDS). The PDS itemizes potential problems such as asbestos insulation, unauthorized rental suites, renovations done without a permit, and covers a wide range of questions. When completing a PDS, the seller typically must answer ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘do not know’ or ‘does not apply’ to questions and is responsible for the accuracy of the information. It’s a report explaining what the seller knows about the property, including known defects. In certain situations, such as an estate sale or tenanted property, the seller may not have enough information to complete the PDS, and the buyer will need to rely on other sources of information.

The PDS isn’t a warranty of the property’s condition but needs to be answered truthfully as in most instances it is attached to and forms part of the Contract of Purchase and Sale. Buyers should consider the PDS as a starting point and should always do their own due diligence when purchasing.