What recourse do i have against the former owner if they lied on the disclosure statement?

I purchased a home along a river and it has flooded 2 years in a row now. The previous owner filled out disclosures and said it has never flooded. However, I just received proof from neighbor in pictures of the house being flooded while owned by the seller.

Asked on February 15, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue, but try filing the suit NOW, before more time goes by. A failure to disclose a known material (important) condition in a home sale is fraud; fraud would provide a basis to seek compensation (such as the cost to do whatever anti-floor work needs to be done). But the statute of limitations, or time to file a lawsuit, for fraud is only 2 years, which may have passed, based on what you write (we can't tell the exact timeine from your question). However, if it reasonably took you some time to discover the fraud (i.e. no chance to know about it right away), you may be able, if necessary, to extend the statute of limitations to 2 years from when you did, or reasonably were first able to, discover the flooding and deceit, but you still don't want to wait any longer than necessary. Consult with an attorney right after the weekend.


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