What are my rights if Ipurchased a rehabbed home 18 months ago and there are structural defects?

The contractor who worked on and sold me the home did not put the support beam in the right location but it was inspected and passed. Now my ceiling is falling down –  all the drywall is breaking and cracking. When I said something to the contractor he told me there was nothing I could do because of the statue of limitations. Is there anything I can do about this to get it fixed?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an attorney. While the contractor is right that the statute of limitations--the time to bring a lawsuit--would bar you from suing IF it has passed, don't simply take the contractors word for it. (He clearly has an incentive to make you think you can't sue.) First, depending on the exact grounds you choose to sue, the statute of limitions can be longer or shorter. Second, there are circumstances under which the statute is tolled, or temporarily held in abeyance; one such is when the would-be-plaintiff could not have discovered the problem immediately. Consult with a lawyer who can evaluate your circumsances and advise you as to whether or not you have any recourse or could bring a lawsuit. Good luck.


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