Does a private seller have any responsiblity after selling anitem “as is”?

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Does a private seller have any responsiblity after selling anitem “as is”?

I purchased an RV from a private seller, when I check the unit over did not find any major problems with the unit, but a few minutes of getting the unit to my home found there to be mold growing in the unit. I called the seller asked to return it but he refused based on the “as is” agreement. Do I have any legal right to go after him?

Asked on August 15, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, an "as is" sale is what it sounds like: it's "as is." Once the buyer purchases the item, the risk of loss from problems is his. The main exception is if there was fraud in the sale: if the seller affirmatively lied to the buyer about something important, or possibly if the seller knew of some important fact which any reasonable buyer would want to know about and deliberately omitted to tell the buyer, then the buyer may be able to either seek monetary damages or rescind the transaction (return the RV and get your money back). However, with no knowledge there would be no fraud, so if the seller did not know about the mold and also reasonably would not have known (e.g. it was in an inobvious place; if, on the other hand, it was somewhere relatively accessible, it may be that the seller should have known and may be "charged" with having knowledge), he would not be liable.


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