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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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