Basement is constantly flooded

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Basement is constantly flooded

I purchased a home in 2010. I live in WV, the home was purchased ‘as-is’ with a disclosure of ‘There was a problem with water in the basement, but we did X, Y Z and haven’t had a problem in over 10 years basement has remained dry’. We have been battling massive amounts of water in our basement since last May and have practically drained our bank accounts with 900 a month in fuel and electricity to run the 4 electric pumps and 2 outside gas powered pumps to keep the basement semi-dry.

It’s a far cry from what was described in the disclosure and both bank and insurance companies deemed the property as ‘not in a flood zone’. The ground water is entering the home at a rate of 50 gallons per minute, as described by the only basement company who was willing to come consult with us.

There is no infrastructure in our development and we can not get any answers or direction from our county office, other than ‘your property is not considered a flood zone’

Luckily, the home was purchased before I was married and is my name only. We have decided to cut our losses and will be purchasing a home in my husband’s name within the next month. I will try to sell this home, but feel like I should count myself lucky if I can get what I owe on the property. If I can not sell, then I will have no other choice than to let it go back to the bank.

Is there any legal course of action for me? Is there something that protects property owners in cases like this? Under normal circumstances, I should have had some equity built up on this home.

Asked on January 31, 2019 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An "as is" sale of real estate is not a license to commit fraud; however since you purchased the house nine years ago, a lawsuit for fraud against the seller/previous owner is barred by the statute of limitations, which is two years in West Virginia. Unfortunately, since the statute of limitations has expired, you have lost your rights in the matter forever.


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