Can we sue over a bad roof job?

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Can we sue over a bad roof job?

A home inspection prior to us buying our house turned up some issues with the
roof. We brought up these issues to the seller and he agreed not only to fix those
but also to replace the entire roof. Less than a year after the work was done we
had a pretty decent leak due to the flashing around the chimney being faulty one
of the issues that was supposed to be fixed. The company would not honor their
5 year workmanship warranty because they said it transferred hands from the
seller to us, making the warranty void. We had a different roofer come out and it
turns out the entire roof job has many issues. Can we take the original roofer to
small claims court to get either A. the cost of the job returned to us or B. the cost
for repairs that need to be done to the roof to fix errors cause by this roofer?
Thanks

Asked on April 30, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, unfortunately, you cannot sue the original roofer in this case--unless the warrant *was* transferreable to you (see below). The problem you have is that you have no connection or relationship to him, and he has no obligations to you. You did not hire him; you did not pay him; you did not contract with him; etc. You cannot sue someone who had no connection or relationship with you and who had no duty to you. 
Here are your options:
1) Don't take their word about the warranty: bring it to a lawyer to review with you. It may be that it *was* transferrable to you; if it is, you can sue them based on the warranty, since it was legally transferred to you, that would provide the necessary connection and obligation.
2) You may be able to sue the *seller* for not properly fulling his agreement to have to the roof replaced--that agreement implicity required that the roof be replaced with a commercially acceptable one. This is something else to discuss with a lawyer, whether the failure to put on a properly done roof makes the seller liable to you.


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