Does the seller have a responsibility to disclose certain information?

I recently purchased a house. Yesterday we had a nasty drain backup in the
basement and called a plumber. He snaked the cleanout line and found tree roots
were the cause. I will now have to fork over thousands of dollars to repair the
line. I believe the previous owner had experienced this issue and chose not to
disclose it since it would seriously affect the selling price of the home. Do i
have any legal recourse in this matter?

Thank you

Asked on October 9, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure 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 drain issue and/or that it had not been repaired.
Your damages (monetary compensation) in a 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 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 determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.


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