What are my legal rights as the buyer?

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What are my legal rights as the buyer?

I purchased a home about 2 1.2 years ago. On the SPUDS the seller checked the home was on septic system, they did have it inspected and all paperwork was done correctly. Last week I find out the guest house/casita had sewage back up in shower the home has a second septic system for the guest house/casita that was never pumped or inspected. I contacted my realtor and she in turn contacted the sellers agent and informed them of the situation. The sellers agent replied that the previous owner did not know there was a second septic and they will not pay to have inspected or pumped out. I have researched and find that the state Department of Enviromental Quality rules are that as of 12 years ago, the new ADEQ rules require any person transferring a property served by an on-site wastewater treatment facility to have an inspection of the facility performed before the transfer of ownership changes. Also, it says

Asked on January 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You cannot sue the realtors or brokers: they have no legal duty or obligation to inspect the property, discover undisclosed issues, or verify the information provided by the seller; rather they are permitted to rely on the seller's disclosures. Since they had no duty to do anything, they cannot be liable.
The seller may be liable, but it depends on whether there is evidence that they did know, or logically under the circumstances must have known, of the second system and failed to disclose it. That is because any liability of theirs would be based on fraud: the failure to disclose (and thereby effectively misrepresent) something they had a duty to disclose. If they did not know, however, of the issue or feature, they could not disclose it and are not liable for a failure to disclose: fraud liability requires knowledge.
If they lived there a long time, or if they built or renovated the guest house, you may be able to show that they reasonably or logically must have known of the second system. But if they lived there a shorter period of time and did not build or renovate the guest house, it is entirely reasonable that they would not have known of the system--after all, it apparently took you over 2 years to discover its exisene, and then only because it backed up.


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