On January 1st 2022, several significant changes were made to the act governing the selling and purchasing of properties in Norway, known as The Alienation Act (or The Disposal Act).
Previously, Norwegian properties could be sold “as they were”, referring to the state of the property at the time of the viewing, in turn potentially relieving sellers of responsibility for hidden defects or damages not disclosed in the property documents and undiscovered by the buyer (and/or seller) prior to the purchase. The 2022 changes to the country’s property legislation has led to a ban on this general proviso, instead adding a detailed list of requirements for the creation and contents of property survey reports and the process of property appraising. This to ensure safer conditions for property buyers and to reduce the number of conflicts between buyers and sellers.
As of January 2022, Norwegian survey reports are subject to much stricter regulations, detailing the inspections appraisers will need to conduct in order to uncover hidden issues within the property. If the seller, in turn, is able to procure a survey report in accordance with the new requirements, they should be sufficiently “protected”, and there should be no need for a “sold as it is” proviso. All that being said, producing an approved survey report is not mandatory or legally required; it is, however, highly recommended.
The new survey reports will need to be structured and worded in such a way as to make them easily accessible. “Property appraisers should communicate their findings and observations in a clear, concise way which may be understood by all”, according to the new regulations. This way, prospective buyers should have all the information they need about the condition of the property prior to placing an offer. However, the buyers are also expected to familiarise themselves with the full contents of the survey report and all documents pertaining to the purchase; as a result, the buyer may not seek compensation for issues and defects that were sufficiently disclosed in the report.
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