If a town official gives false information to a buyer, is it illegal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a town official gives false information to a buyer, is it illegal?

I am selling a property that has two dwellings, one house and one single wide
trailer. The land is 0.29 acres 4 lots each house sits on two lots. Each has
its own taps and address. They are being sold together as one property. The town
manager has told two maybe more potential buyers that the trailer would have to
be removed from the property. Costing me missed sales. Is this legal for him to
do? I have never received any legal notice from the town on this matter, just had
buyers inform me what they were told.

Asked on February 20, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on the manager's motivation and knowledge. The law protects town or government officials from liability (from being sued for) mistakes made in good faith. So if the manager, even incorrectly, believed this and thought he was doing his job by advising people of the local ordinances, etc., he is not liable. There is no legal obligation to provide notice to you, and they can just answer potential buyer questions without making you aware of the issue, though a lack of notice to you about some alleged problem the town claims to be aware of may be evidence of a bad motive (see below), since if there is anything that you should be doing vis-a-vis the trailer, the town should logically be making you aware of that.
But if the manager knew this was not the case and is giving misinformation to buyers for some improper reason (e.g. he has some grudge against you or your family; or he hopes to scare off buyers, then have some friend or family member or associate of his make a low-ball offer to you), that would be illegal and you could sue.

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