Aug 08, 2019

"I spent $900,000 for a new home and my kids are enrolled in Depressed School District No. 13!"

In a given transaction, whether it is the purchase of a brick bungalow or the purchase of a multi-million dollar business, matters of critical importance to a client are not always apparent or otherwise identified by a client, much like in the situation below.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones have two school-aged children and want only the best for their children, including enrollment in “Premier School District 101.” They search for a new home in the area which they believe is located within the corporate boundaries of Premier School District 101. They discover a beautiful home listed on the multiple listing service for $900,000, which is described as being located in Premier School District 101. Ecstatic, they sign a purchase contract. Before the closing, Mr. Jones calls a representative of Premier School District 101 to confirm that their dream home is located in Premier School District 101. He is informed by a representative of the School District that, yes, the home is located within the District.

After purchasing the home, Mr. and Mrs. Jones attempt to enroll their two children into Premier Junior High School but are informed that they cannot enroll their children in Premier Junior High School because their home is located in Depressed School District No. 13.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones sue the seller of the home and the real estate broker alleging various causes of action including fraud, deceptive business practices and a violation of the Illinois Real Estate License Act. The real estate contract signed by Mr. and Mrs. Jones included no representation of the seller that the home was located in any given school district and, accordingly, the seller was dismissed as a party defendant. Although Mr. and Mrs. Jones recovered certain damages from the broker, their children remained in Depressed Junior High School.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones could have avoided this fiasco had they informed their attorney that the home’s location within Premier School District 101 was a critical component of the transaction or if Mr. and Mrs. Jones or their attorney had conducted due diligence.

If you would like to avoid fatal problems rather than attempting to find a remedy to cure those problems, the experienced attorneys at Chuhak & Tecson are available to assist you.

This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.

Client alert authored by: Arnold E. Karolewski, Principal