What is to do about a seller’s non-disclosure?

I bought a house 6 months ago and the sellers never disclosed that they had water problem in the basement. During a hurricane my basement flooded and now I brought basement waterproofing specialists to see what is to be done. They need to install more sump pumps and do a french drain, cost around $12,000. My daughter found out from the neighbor’s that the basement was flooded before few years ago. On top of that, their realtor lives in the estates (she lives in one of the first houses build in this estates) and she knows all the properties in here as she is the one who have them.

Asked on October 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The law in every state in this country, the seller of a piece of property is required to disclose all matters known about the property that would materially affect the property's desirability or the price paid before close of escrow. Failure to do so by the seller is concealment.

If the costs of repairing the undisclosed water intrusion problem to you before close of escrow is $12,000, I would send the seller a demand letter with costs of repair seeking payment by a set date. If there is no response to the demand, or that the response is unacceptable to you, consulting with a real estate attorney would be a wise situation at this point.

Good luck.


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