Do we have any leverage

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Do we have any leverage

My husband and I went under contract on a house last month and went through the usual inspections, repair requests, etc. we got to the appraisal for our VA loan and the appraiser discovered the air conditioning was out. The seller’s agent said he discovered it the day before and was working on it. They replaced the unit with a 5 year older, different brand than the inside furnace unit said we were good to go. We had an HVAC inspection for piece of mind and was found that the new unit was not a match, not functioning at its potential capacity, rusting and had paint chips and the inside unit had fungus, leaks, and rust as well. We are 16 days from closing and when we presented the report to the sellers agent and asked for a replacement of the system they shot back that they were within contract by having a functioning unit and weren’t going to replace the unit and if that’s what we wanted then cancel the sale and they would sue us for breach of contract. I don’t know if we have any leverage. Our agent says its a lot of gray areas but I feel like it would be more against them than us.

Asked on October 19, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

While the situation is not as clear as if they failed entirely to replace it, the facts do favor you. The seller is required to sell the home in the same condition as it was in when you contracted to buy it. While it apparently does have a "working" HVAC, based on what you right, the system is not functioning as well as it should be, has potential health hazards (e.g. the fungus), has already known problems that may impair its functioning (leaks), and presumably has a shorter life expectancy (being older). Therefore, a strong argument can be made that they have not complied with their obligation to keep the home and sell it to you i the same condition it was when you contracted, and so they, no you, are in breach of the contract.

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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