Can you take action against the seller for problems found with the house after closing if it’s been a couple of years?

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Can you take action against the seller for problems found with the house after closing if it’s been a couple of years?

The house was bought in Nevada in
October 2016. Two months after
closing the roof leaked which was in
the contract to be replaced. The
seller only replaced a portion and
did not disclose that the other part
was done by the seller roofer
replaced roof leak area at no
charge but there was water damage
to flooring. The buying realtor told
us we were out of luck because we
had already closed and there was
nothing we could do. A month later
the sewer line clogged and we had 10
feet of tree root pulled out. Later
found multiple draino bottles in the
shed in the backyard. In November
2018, the electric in the living
room went out. Electrician came said
there was bad wiring in the wall.
Went into the attic crawlspace and
below the house. Found wiring issues
in both areas. The home inspector
when the house was bought said there
was no access point to get into the
attick. So he did not inspect it.
Note selling agent was also the
sellers daughter

Asked on February 20, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Roof leak: if the seller violated the contract by only replacing part of the roof when he contracted to replace it all, you can sue him for "breach of contract" for the cost of repairs. Closing does NOT let the seller of of his contractual responsibilities, and you can sue him for violating them post-closing.
2) Sewer line: it is fraud to not disclose some problem or condition known, or which the seller logically should have known about based on the facts, if the problem or condition is not one that would have been readily obvious to a buyer. A sewer line problem is not readily obvious, and the bottles of Drano suggest the seller know of the issues but nonetheless failed to disclose it. Based on what you write, you may be able to sue him based on fraud for costs related to the line.
3) Electrical: the issue is whether there is evidence the seller knew of, but concealed/failed to disclose, the bad wiring. If so, this, too, may be fraud. But if it would be reasonable that the seller would not have known, then he would not be liable. Liability for fraud depends on knowledge. If there is no or limited access to where the wiring was, the seller might not have known; and at least, it may be difficult to prove that he did.
You should still be within the relevant "statutes of limitation," or time periods within which you must start or fiole a lawsuit, in your state, which is 3 years for fraud and 6 years for breach of contract. You appear to be within time to sue, if you choose to.


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