Seller and real estate agent made false claims about septic tank

We bought our house 3.5 years ago. The seller said on their seller’s disclosure that a new septic tank AND lines were put in 2009. The agent even made this claim in the real estate listing. We have had constant issues with our septic since buying the house. Our septic lines are now in

Asked on August 23, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


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

Answered 4 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 the true facts about the septic lines.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your 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 determination for damages for fraudulent misrepresentations permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.
You would file one lawsuit naming both the seller and real estate agent as defendants.  Your cause of action (claim) against the seller would be fraud.
It may be difficult to prove fraud against the real estate agent.  Therefore, you should sue the real estate agent for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable real estate agent would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  Your damages (monetary compensation) for negligence would be all expenses, costs, and other items caused by the real estate agent's negligence.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.