If the previous owner of my house improperly installed my AC units and had no permits, what can I do since I spent 1K on repairs?

Our AC finally works without the line freezing up. Do you think I have a case?

Asked on August 1, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, you cannot do anything, unfortunately.

First, if you had the opportunity to inspect the house, a court would likely find that you had the opportunity to examine, inquire into, etc. the air conditioning, and given that opportunity, a court would most likely not let you seek compensation now, after having bought the house. As a general matter, once you buy the house, you give up the right to sue for problems with it unless those problems would have been undetectible during inspection.

Second, you could have asked for permits for all work done prior to closing. Again, since you could have looked into the permitting issue earlier, a court would likely not let you seek compensation for it now.

Third, given the amount of money at stake, you could not economically hire a lawyer: you would spend more on the lawyer (since you have to pay your legal fees) then you'd get back. You could  try suing in small claims court as your own attorney, but your chance of success would be lower.

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