Do I have legal recourse on the realtor or inspector for a house I just bought?

Due to heavy rains,water is
seeping through the basement
walls,and foundation. NO REPORT of
cracked basement walls, or eroded
mortar or cracks and gaps in the
foundation was ever mentioned in
the inspector’s report, who was
recommended by the realtor.

Asked on May 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the inspector for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known of the cracked walls/eroded foundation.
Fraud is also applicable in cases of non-disclosure by the seller where the buyer could not have reasonably discovered the true facts prior to purchase.
Your damages (monetary 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 the defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.
You would file one lawsuit naming both the seller and inspector as defendants.  Fraud and negligence are separate causes of action (claims) in the lawsuit.
 


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