Can we hold previous owner liable for work that is not up to code if he failed to get any permits for extensive work and did not disclose that to us?

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Can we hold previous owner liable for work that is not up to code if he failed to get any permits for extensive work and did not disclose that to us?

Previous owner was a contractor who did all of the work, he never lived in the house so we agreed to the waiver on the “seller’s disclosure alternatives”. We recently discovered work that was clearly not up to code and that’s why we checked the permitting. The work involved major duct and plumbing work – including moving the furnace and water heater. All items which require permits in our city.

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

Ian Kravitz / Malka & Kravitz, P.A.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if the selelr intentionally withheld material facts in an effort to defraud you under circustances where you may not have otherwise purchased the home, you should be entitled to some relief.  A lot will depend on whether you could have discovered these issues upon a reasonable inspection, and what in fact the seller knew.  With the seller being a contractor, that second analysis should be rather easy to prove.


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