What options do I have in regards to non-disclosure of issues when I bought a house?

I bought a house in 2014. In October 2016 I put house up for sale. In January
of 2017, DOT came and placed stakes in my front yard. From these same persons I
found out they were planning a highway widening. These same persons stated 2
letters had been sent to previous owners. I obtained copies of letters. Am I
able to sue previous owners for non-disclosure?

Thank you,

Asked on April 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If, as you indicate, the prior owners had notice or knowledge of this, a material--or important or significant--condition affecting the value of the property, then the prior owners likely committed fraud by failing to disclose it. (Fraud is misrepresenting--including by omission, when there is a duty to disclose, as there in a real estate sale--something important, which misrepresentation was made to induce, or cause, you to do something, like buying a house.) Based on what you write, you could potentially sue and recover an amount equal to the difference in value between what you paid for the home and what it would be worth with less land, next to a widened highway. You will need a realtor or property appraiser to offer a professional opinion (and be available to testify in court, if necessary) as to the diminution in value, and probably should retain an attorney to help you.


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