if I moved in 2 weeks ago to my first home and now the entire basement is flooded with 3 inches of water due to roots in the pipes, do the previous owners have any responsibility?

My insurance and home warranty don’t cover this.

Asked on February 5, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The owners *may* have responsibility IF they knew of the problem or condition--i.e. that the pipes were infested with roots and were prone to severe flooding--and, despite knowing of the condition, hid it from you. In that case, they may have committed fraud, which could make them liable for your losses and repair costs. But it must be that they knew and lied (and you therefore would have to have evidence of this); if they did not know, they are not liable.

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