Legalese 2009 (Week 49)


warranty against hidden defects – in a sale transaction, the warranty made by the seller to the buyer that the thing sold has no hidden defects


Art. 1561. The vendor shall be responsible for warranty against the hidden defects which the thing sold may have, should they render it unfit for the use for which it is intended, or should they diminish its fitness for such use to such an extent that, had the vendee been aware thereof, he would not have acquired it or would have given a lower price for it; but said vendor shall not be answerable for patent defects or those which may be visible, or for those which are not visible if the vendee is an expert who, by reason of his trade or profession, should have known them.


The following requisites must concur for the existence of the warranty against hidden defects:

(a)     the defect must be important or serious;

(b)     it must be hidden;

(c)     it must exist at the time of the sale;

(d)     there must be no waiver of the warranty on the part of the buyer.

There is no warranty if the defect is patent or visible.


S sold a house to B, a civil engineer. After the sale, B discovered that the main posts of the house are infested by termites and as a result, many parts of the house were in danger of collapsing. I S liable to B? (see Comments and Cases on Sales and Lease, p. 320 [2005])