Can you sue the seller for unforeseen property damagesregarding thepurchase of a home?

One unforeseen damage was that when we had a rainstorm my house had about 6 leaks in the home and the home was freshly painted and inspected. Now I have a roof to replace and wood damages inside my new purchase home. Can I sue the seller for selling me a home that that needed much more repairs then a paint job?

Asked on February 25, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of it falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  Seller induced your reliance by not disclosing the leaky roof and had you known of it, you would not have justifiably relied to your detriment by purchasing the house.  Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure where the seller did not disclose a material fact which the buyer could not have reasonably discovered. 

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.

Benefit of the bargain means that a defrauded purchaser can recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered may have been less.

Out of pocket loss for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.


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