As a buyer what are my rights regarding non-disclosure of a basement water problem?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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As a buyer what are my rights regarding non-disclosure of a basement water problem?

I purchased a home in about 6 months ago. After a couple of hard rains my basement has flooded,

I had a French drain installed outside of the house to try to prevent water from coming into my home. That fix did not work and I continue to get water in my basement. I recently found out that before I purchased my home, there was another buyer of the same home who actually backed out of the deal because he found out the home has been flooding for a number of years. The selling agent and the owners who sold me the house did not disclose that the house has been fighting a water problem for years. What are my options?

Asked on November 6, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If a home seller does not disclose a material (significant--like flooding) problem known to him and which would not be readily discernable or obvious to a buyer when they look at the home (again, like flooding--since you'll only be aware of it if you happen to view the home after several hours of heavy rain), the seller committed fraud. Fraud provides a basis for seeking compensation, such as the cost of more extensive anti-flooding meaures. Based on what you write, you seem to have grounds to sue the seller based on fraud. 

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