Can i sue previous owner?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can i sue previous owner?

Myself and my sister purchased a house
12/8/2017 and twice now a pipe in the basement
bathroom has disconnected mid shower and we
discovered that the previous owner did all the
work putting it all in and didnt obtain permits
from the city bloomington, illinois so its
likely that nothing is up to code in the
bathroom. I know the city is going to fine him
but can we sue to have it all replaced

Asked on November 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if an owner is aware, or logically should be aware, of some problem which is not readily visible or discernable to the buyer but yet fails to disclose it, he or she can be liable based on "fraud" for the cost to remedy or repair that issue. One of the main examples of this is unpermitted work: since there is no way to tell by visual inspection whether work was permitted or not, the buyer is obligated to disclose unpermitted work. Based on what you write, you would seem to have a case for the repair or remediation costs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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