Do I have any recourseif I wasn’t notified before buying my house that the roof was bad?

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Do I have any recourseif I wasn’t notified before buying my house that the roof was bad?

Bought my house 16 months ago. I ask about the roof at the time I viewed the property. The owner said the roof was about 5 years old. Well, it is leaking badly in many places. When a roofer patched several places, he said that it wouldn’t do much good because the roof was put on wrong. I recently spoke to the past owner and he admitted that he knew about the roofing problem. He is carrying the loan, if that makes any difference.

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  Here, seller misrepresented the condition of the roof in order to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment in purchasing the house.  Fraud also applies to a seller's nondisclosure of a material fact which the buyer could not have reasonably discovered as in this case in which you could not have reasonably discovered that the roof was installed improperly.

Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit for fraud) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.

Benefit of the bargain means that a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.

Out of pocket rule for fraudulent misrepresentations permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.


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