Statute of limitation on violation on sold houses.

I sold a house almost twenty years ago, now a layer is writing me to call his
office. They probably have a violation on the house can I be held liable for code
violation after selling the house for so long ago ? Thanks.
House seller.

Asked on July 14, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you should not be liable after all this time. There is a thing called a statute of limitations, or time within which any lawsuit or legal action must be brought; once the statutory period has expired, no legal action may be taken. The main possible statutes of limiations against a home seller for violations (e.g. code violations) are typically breach of contract (violating an agreement in regards to what you were selling--e.g. a house without code infringement) or fraud (lying about the condition of the home). The statutes of limitation for those acts are 6 years only, which far less than 29 years; it would be too late to take legal action. In fact, there do not appear to be any possibly applicable statutes of limitations in your state which are at least 29 years long, so it is difficult to see how there could be any possible grounds to hold you liable, even if--for the sake of argument--you did in fact do something wrong 29 years ago.

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