What to do if a seller deliberately hid a defect in the home that they had for sale?

UPDATED: Sep 6, 2011

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What to do if a seller deliberately hid a defect in the home that they had for sale?

I bought a home last month. Floor to ceiling crack has now shown up in basement. Obvious now that homeowner had filled in a painted over so we and inspector would not find it. What legal action do I have against seller, inspector, etc, to avoid footing the bill for the repairs?

Asked on September 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all states in this country the seller of real property is required to disclose all items known to him or her about the condition of the parcel being sold that would materially affect its desirability or the price that a willing buyer would pay for it.

You should first retain a licensed contractor to inspect the crack in the basement that has shown up to determine whether the problem is cosmetic or structural and to then make an estimate for its repair.

It is best to have the estimate by the licensed contractor in writing.

Depending upon whether the licensed contractor is of the opinion that the crack is a cosmetic or a structural issue, you can then make your demand for repairs upon the seller and see what the response is. If the crack signifies a structural problem with the home, you should consult with an attorney concerning he best way to resolve the problem.

Good luck.

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.

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