What are my rights if I just discovered that my house has no septic system?

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What are my rights if I just discovered that my house has no septic system?

I purchased my house from the initial owner/builder through a real estate sales group. Now, 10 years later, I find that there is no septic system; the tube just ends at a point on the property. Do I have any recourse with anyone on this. It’s hard to believe this passed county inspections, both for when it

was built and when it was sold to me.

Asked on May 2, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you discovered the lack of septic within the last two years, you might be able to sue the former owner/seller. The legal recourse you might have is for fraud: for the seller lying about (whether affirmatively or by omission) an important or material fact--this assumes the seller him/herself know the true state of affairs, since you can only lie and commit fraud if you know the truth but do not tell it. The statute of limitations (SOL), or time within which you must file a lawsuit, in your state for fraud is two (2) years from the discovery of the fraud. Therefore, if you discovered the misrepresentation about the septic system within the past two years, you should still be in time to sue. In the lawsuit, you would need to prove that the seller knew, or logically must have known (that under the circumstances, any reasonable seller would have known) of the lack of a septic system; if you can do that, you should be able to recover the cost to install a system now.


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