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  • Judge Says Accuracy Matters In Real Estate

    June 29, 2016
  • A Glendale, Calif., home owner sued and won in a lawsuit against developer Americana at Brand for allegedly inflating the advertised square footage of the condo unit he bought.

    Buyer Paul Abramson won $4,999 in small claims court. In 2011, he purchased a condo from Americana Housing for $567,000 in all cash, documents from the Los Angeles Superior Court show. Two months later, he found that his condo was 78 square feet less than advertised. The condo was advertised at 1,338 square feet but is actually 1,260 square feet.

    Abramson never had his condo unit appraised since he paid all cash for it. But he later learned of the size discrepancy after his neighbor had a tough time at closing due to the difference between the condo’s listed and actual size.

    Abramson charged in court documents that the developer “made a material misrepresentation” about the property’s square footage.

    The developer countered in court that a disclaimer in a disclosure statement that was given to Abramson noted that the square footage listed in sales materials was “approximate.”

    However, the judge sided with Abramson.

    Abramson says he overpaid more than $30,000 for his unit based on its actual size. But by filing in small claims court, the maximum for damages was set at $10,000. He says he mistakenly thought the maximum was $5,000 and never amended his complaint to receive a higher reward.

    “It’s more of a moral victory, and at least makes this developer aware they can’t do the same thing to other consumers out there, because it’s out there now,” Abramson told the Los Angeles Times.

    Source: “Glendale Man Gets ‘Moral Victory’ in Lawsuit Against Americana Housing for Allegedly Exaggerating Condo’s Size,” Los Angeles Times (June 25, 2016)