If I purchased a home and was told that the basement does not leak by both the seller and home inspector but it does leak, what rights do I have?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I purchased a home and was told that the basement does not leak by both the seller and home inspector but it does leak, what rights do I have?

Asked on July 3, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF the seller either knew or reasonably must have known (i.e. given the nature of the leak, there is no logical way the seller, given his/her use or occupancy of the home could not have known) about the leak but misrepresented (lied about) it, then the seller may have committed fraud and you may be able to recover (e.g. in a lawsuit) compensation, such as the cost for appropriate water proofing (e.g. french drains).

The home inspector would only be liable if the leak should have been visually detected at the time of the inspection--which would most likely mean it had been raining long enough at that time for water to actually be in the process of leaking into the basement somewhere the inspector could sue it; or there was *obvious* water damage or staining which he overlooked. In that event, the inspector may have been negligent and you could in theory sue him, subject however to any limitations on liability or lawsuits contained in the service agreement or contract you signed with the inspector, since such limitations in a contract are legal and enfoceable.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption