What can I do if I just bought a house and less than a week after move-in have water in my basement after a big storm?

Cleaned it up and a couple nights later twice as much water. The seller said he had no knowledge of water issues in the basement on the disclosure form. The seller purchased home off foreclosure in 3 years ago, fixed it up, sold it on a land contract. The buyers defaulted tis year. The seller sold to us this month. We found a mop and brand new sump pump basin yet to be installed in the basement upon move in. Do I have a case to force the seller to pay for repairs to fix seepage?

Asked on September 22, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

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 about the basement flooding.
Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact 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 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 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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