do I have legal recourse for things not properly built

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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do I have legal recourse for things not properly built

I recently had a dryrot/termite inspection for my house3rd opinion and the
inspector told me he believes the driveway bridge was built with the wrong
materials, ones which shouldn’t be exposed to weather, also concerns about if
it was up to code, things that I was not informed of when I bought the house
in 2014, I’m curious do I have any recourse?

Asked on January 16, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Did you buy the home from the builder? If so, you may have a claim for recourse. You could try to bring a claim based on one or more of negligence (negligent construction), breach of contract (not providing you a fully habitable premises, as you paid for), and/or fraud or consumer fraud (lying or misrepresenting the status or condition of the home, or their expertise or ability to build it, etc.). The statutes of limitation (or time within which you must start a lawsuit) for those things is generally either 2 or 4 years in your state, so you in principal are too late to sue: too much time has passed since construction. However, sometimes those statutory periods may be "tolled," or their start time delayed, until you would reasonably become aware of the defect or breach. In this case, you can make an argument that the statute of limitaitons has not expired, because you only recently became aware of the defect.
If you did not buy from the builder but from a prior homeowner, you would most likely not have a viable claim, because the former homeowner would only be liable if he was aware of the defect but, despite being aware of it, did not disclose it. Proving his awareness may be very difficult or impossible.

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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