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

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2011

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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


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

Answered 11 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.

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 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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