Are we, the seller, liable for tile flooring issues after the closing on our house?

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Are we, the seller, liable for tile flooring issues after the closing on our house?

We recently closed on our house. The house was inspected, and the inspectornoted a couple tiles on the floor were cracked/loose. The buyer never requested any repairs be done by us, the seller. The buyer did a walk-through with their real estate agent a day or two before closing, nothing was

said about the floor at that point. After closing, 1 week later, the buyer complained that there were more tiles loose and that they wanted the floor fixed. We offered to buy some

replacement tile and caulking, but then the buyer is now claiming they will sue us for the cost to have the tile floors

professionally fixed. Are we liable for this? If they do take us to court, do you think they have a case?

Asked on June 23, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

After closing, you would only be liable for "latent," or hidden or not reasonably perceivable, defects which you knew (or under the circumstances, reasonably must have known) about, but, knowing of the condition, failed to disclose. Bases on what you write, this was not a latent defect: the buyer and his inspector could have found the loose tiles, and did in fact find loose tiles. So you would not appear to be liable on that basis; and also would not be liable if you did not and reasonably should not have known of the other loose tiles. All that said, since it's impossible to stop someone from filing a lawsuit even on a bad case and forcimg you to respond, you may wish to try to settle to avoid litigation.


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