If the seller neglected some functional issues in the home, is he responsible for these problems after closing?

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If the seller neglected some functional issues in the home, is he responsible for these problems after closing?

The oven and gas line to it were red tagged. We bought a new range and a new line. 539 for the range before taxes. The furnace wasn’t working. Mind you we’ve had an inspection. The fridge leaks in the front, the dryer outlet has no power whatsoever. Also, the heater exhaust was rigged with PVC pipe. It should be metal combustion exhaust. The inspectors have been coming by to fix things if it’s small. Still no dryer 10 days after closing. I keep seeing water stains on the tile. I’m getting more and more upset. What if my family of 3 don’t wake up in the morning?

Asked on October 13, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, you would not have bought the house had you known its true condition.
Fraud is also applicable in cases of nondisclosure of material facts by the seller where the buyer could not have reasonably discovered the true facts prior to purchase.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in a lawsuit for fraud against the seller) would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means that a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.


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