What is my recourse if the people I purchased my house from 6 months ago did not disclose that there was a pending benefit assessment tax?

We received a letter stating we owe $3,300 for a benefit assessment tax due to a new sewage line put in a year or so ago before we purchased the house. This was a tax that the previous homeowners knew about (we have copies of letters from the municipality over the past previous years telling them about the tax) and there are neighbors who the tax was disclosed to when purchasing their house but it was not disclosed to us whatsoever. Our closing company didn’t catch the mistake and our realtor isn’t sure what to do. I am sure the previous owners are liable what steps do I take?

Asked on September 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In the sale of all items in this country such as cars, boats and real estate, the seller is obligated to disclose all matters known to him or her that would affect the price that a willing buyer would be willing to pay for the item or the desirability of the item.

In your circumstances if there was a pending assessment tax to be placed on the property that you purchased that the sellers knew about before close of escrow but did not close to you before close of escrow, they should have disclosed this fact to you.

Potentially you could bring a small claims action against the sellers for the $3,300 under theories of concealment and statutory violations under the required transfer disclosure statement.

Good luck.

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