Can i sue previous owner?

Myself and my sister purchased a house
12/8/2017 and twice now a pipe in the basement
bathroom has disconnected mid shower and we
discovered that the previous owner did all the
work putting it all in and didnt obtain permits
from the city bloomington, illinois so its
likely that nothing is up to code in the
bathroom. I know the city is going to fine him
but can we sue to have it all replaced

Asked on November 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if an owner is aware, or logically should be aware, of some problem which is not readily visible or discernable to the buyer but yet fails to disclose it, he or she can be liable based on "fraud" for the cost to remedy or repair that issue. One of the main examples of this is unpermitted work: since there is no way to tell by visual inspection whether work was permitted or not, the buyer is obligated to disclose unpermitted work. Based on what you write, you would seem to have a case for the repair or remediation costs.

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