Disclosure of home issues
UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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Disclosure of home issues
My wife and I purchased a home in Punta Gorda May 2015, we just recently had our septic tank drained. Was informed by the owner of the septic company that he had failed the septic tank during an inspection with the previous perspective buyer. Nothing about the previous inspection was disclosed to us when we were buying our home It has become obvious to us that the owner knew of the failure before we bought. Do we have a legal case?
Asked on January 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Alaska
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
Failure to dislose a known material (important) condition affecting the value of the property or the costs associated with it (such as the cost to remediate the condition) can be fraud, so if the seller did know (as he likely did) of the failure, he may well have committed fraud. You could therefore sue him for any costs (like the cost to fix/correct whatever the issues are) on that basis. (Remember: you an only sue for your actual, provable costs or losses.) Fortunately for you, your state has one of the longer statutes of limitation, or time period within which you must file a lawsuit, for fraud: 10 years. Therefore, you would still be in time to take legal action.
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