Attn Real Estate Practitioners. A recent decision by the Illinois Third District Appellate Court scores a victory for plain language reading of the Illinois Residential Real Estate Disclosure Report that must be prepared for all residential real estate transactions. Under the Illinois Residential Real Estate Disclosure Act, this mandatory disclosure report asks a series of questions as to known defects or adverse conditions in the real estate that is for sale. The questions are fairly specific and deal with a focused set of defects (anyone who practices in the real estate field cannot help but have seen and read this form). In Kalkman v. Nedved (IL App. 3d (120 800)), the appellate court was asked to determine whether the disclosure requirement is universal for all known defects or if the disclosure statute requires answers to the specific parts of the real estate elaborated in the list of questions. In Kalkman,  the issue revolved upon the existence of defects to windows and doors in the residence (apparently they leaked like a sieve in heavier rainfall) and whether the sellers’ (the Nedveds) response in the disclosure to the question dealing with walls in the negative was a violation of the statute. The appellate court, applying a “plain meaning” standard of review of the language of the statute and the disclosure, found that the response in the disclosure was not a violation of the statute since windows and doors were determined to be separate and apart from walls. The court determined that since the statute articulated a specific list of components of residential real estate the omission of doors and windows in the list of items to be addressed in the disclosure constituted and omission  and should be understood as an exclusion from the disclosure requirement.