What to do about extensive bat damage not disclosed on seller’s disclosure for a an “as is” foreclosure and the but seller/agent knew?

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What to do about extensive bat damage not disclosed on seller’s disclosure for a an “as is” foreclosure and the but seller/agent knew?

Our home insurance doesn’t cover bat damage nor does warranty policy cover bat damage. We bought the home last month and found out almost immediately about the damage. The pest control report said it was mice not bats. Our neighbors advised the seller’s agent told them it was bats but it was never disclosed to us. The seller is the bank so I am not sure if we have any course of action.

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Whether the seller was a bank or anyone else, it may not commit fraud, which means it cannot knowingly misrepresent the condition of the house, or fail to disclose significant damage of which it was aware. If the bank were in fact aware of the bat damage and did not disclose it, you *may* have a legal claim against them based in fraud--the fact that you bought the home as is works against you, but even in as is sales, there are certain obligations on the seller. You should consult with a real estate attorney about the situation to see if, under the specific circumstances of this situation, you have a claim. (If the amount or cost of the damage is not sufficient to justify the cost of an attorney, then it's probably best to not take action, but to simply remediate it yourself.)

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this coutnry the seller of real property is required to disclose all matters actually known about a given property that materially affects is value or desirability to a potential buyer. If you were not disclosed the damage before the sale and the seller and/or its agent knew of such before the sale (per neighbor's statements to the listing agent) then under the laws of all states in this country such knowledge is imputed to the seller from the listing agent.

I would get an estimate for the costs of repair and submit such to the seller as a claim. You might consider consulting with a real estate attorney further concerning your matter.


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