Bought home with many underlying issues, do I have any recourse?

Live in Alabama, bought home 2 1/2 years ago.
After close many issues have arisen. Septic
need replacing, roof also. The slab was poured
improperly. House was built in mobile county
in 1974. Passed inspection before we bought

Asked on January 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Alabama


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You *may* have recourse against the seller IF both of the following are true:
1) The condition was not one that could or should have been caught during inspection: if it was not "hidden" or "latent" (to use the legal term), then in buying the house, you effectively agreed to buy it with the issue. So, take the roof: if the damage or wear is external, so that you or an inspector should have seen it, you would have not recourse; but if it was hidden (e.g. to the underroofing, which is not visible), you may have a claim.
2) The seller knew or reasonably *must* have known (logically, under the circumstances and given any evidence, a seller in his position would know) of the problems but intentionally failed to disclose them to you. If he did know/must have known but failed to disclose, that would likely be fraud and you could recover compensation from the seller. But if he himself did not know, he is not liable; liability, or an obligation to pay, in this case is based on intentionally lying or failing to disclose some material, or important fact. Without knowledge of an issue, there  could be no intent to hide it and no liability.

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