Who is at fault in regards to my septic system being undersized?

We purchased a home almost 12 years ago. The septic leach field was replaced since it had failed. About 3 weeks ago, I noticed my side yard leach field was smelly and had collected a huge puddle that was not going away. I contacted a septic company and had my tank pumped. They noticed that the tank quickly got pumped out and stated it was a 500 gallon tank. The plans for the septic field stated it was a $1,000 gallon tank. Today a gentleman from the septic company came by and measured the tank and in fact it is a 500 gallon tank. What legal recourse do I have

here? We were told it was a 1,000 gallon tank when we purchased the home.

In order to abide by town codes for 4 bedrooms a 1,000 gallon tank is a requirement. Bringing the tank up to code is a large cost and should have been addressed when we purchased the house.

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

At this point, you can't do anything: you purchased the home too long ago. The ground to have possibly sued the seller for compensation was for fraud: for lying about an important or material fact to induce or cause you to buy the home. But the statute of limitations, or time within which you must sue, for fraud in your state is only six (6) years; once 6 years have passed, you cannot sue, not matter how good your case might otherwise have been.


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