Can I take legal action against a home inspector?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I take legal action against a home inspector?

I purchased my home in 2009. The home inspector said that there wasn’t anything
wrong with the house and that he would send the report to the bank and my real
estate agent. I am now finding out that he omitted very big issues that are
costing tens of thousands of dollars, and that also he never sent the report to
the bank or my agent. Are there any legal repercussions?

Asked on September 12, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You have two main hurdles: first is finding the inspector, since if you can't find him, you can't sue him.
But second, even if you can find him, you might not be able to sue: lawsuits need to be brought within certain defined time limits or periods, called "statutes of limitation"; once the statutory period expires or runs out, you can't sue, no matter how otherwise good your case. A case like this would be based on "contract"--that is, it would grow out of the contractual relationship (the agreement, even if oral) between you and the inspector, pursuant to which he agreed to inspect in exchange for being paid. The statute of limitations in your state for any case growing out of a contract is six (6) years, but your write that you bought the home seven (7) years ago--it may therefore be too late to bring a lawsuit, even if you could find the right person to sue.

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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