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My family and I bought a hoose 2 years ago. It passed inspection how I don’t know. We’ve discovered so many health and safety issues since purchasing the house, we’ve invested over $15,000 into fixing some of the issues. We feel that there should be some recourse, some legal action that can be taken against the seller and the inspector. I have been told that it’s the buyer’s responsibility to prove the selling knew of the conditions.
Asked on December 8, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio
S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
You can sue the seller for fraud and the inspector for negligence.
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known its true condition.
Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact where the buyer could not have reasonably discovered the true fact(s) prior to purchase.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain is the difference between the value of the property as represented to the defrauded party and the actual value of the property.
Out of pocket is the difference between the actual value paid for the property and the value of the property received.
Negligence on the part of the inspector is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). Your damages for negligence would be all damages caused by the inspector's negligence such as cost of repairs and other costs you incurred.
You would file one lawsuit naming the seller and inspector as defendants with separate causes of action (claims) for fraud and negligence.
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