do I have legal recourse for things not properly built

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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