Can I sue a real estate agent who sold me a home without building permits?

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Can I sue a real estate agent who sold me a home without building permits?

I bought a home last may unknowingly without building permits for many renovations, remodels and additions. The real estate never disclosed the lack of these permits. If I sue her for this do I have to incur the cost of having the additions approved before I sue?

Asked on February 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the real estate agent involved in the transaction concerning the home you bought that did not have proper building permits. However, my experience is that the seller of the property would be the main target for the simple fact that real estate agents generally do not have the legal duty to go offsite the property and search through permit records for a home unless asked to do so.

The measure of damages in your situation is the lesser of the current costs of repairs or the diminution in value at close of escrow. I recommend that you consult with a real estate attorney about your situation further.


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