Can I go after the previous owner for a leaking basement?

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Can I go after the previous owner for a leaking basement?

The house was purchased about 5 months ago and it had not rained in about 5 months. Also a septic tank was improperly installed.

Asked on January 23, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If the prior owner did not give you some warranty or guaranty (though if he did, you could sue to enforce it, as per its plain terms), you could only go after him if he committed fraud. He would have committed fraud if he knew of the issues you describe (which includes if he logically *must* have known of them--i.e. if there is no reasonable way an owner in his position would not have known) but lied about them, either expressly or at least implicitly, by failing to disclose them. But fraud would provide the only basis for seeking compensation, so if he did not know of the problems, he did not lie about them; and if he did not lie, he is not liable.


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