What do I do about mold discovered in the basement of a home I just purchased?

We just moved into a home we purchased and discovered mold in the basement carpet and wall that the previous owners had hidden and the inspector obviously missed. Can the previous owners be held responsible for the clean up?

Asked on May 24, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Wyoming

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first thing you should do is get in touch with the lawyer who represented you in the purchase;  if you didn't have a lawyer, you need one now.  One place to find a qualified attorney in your area is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Obviously, you'll want to get this cleaned up as soon as possible, because otherwise it will get worse;  the law requires you to avoid letting things get worse, even if the original problem is someone else's fault.  But you will also want to make sure you are able to prove just how bad the problem was, before the cleanup destroys the evidence.  Your lawyer will give you the details on this.

Without all the facts of your case, I can't say for sure that you will be able to prove that the previous owner actually knew about the mold and hid it from you, but if so, that might end up being fraud on their part.  You might also be able to hold the inspector to blame, again depending on more information than you can put in a question like this.


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