Is there a statute of limitations for property disclosures?

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Is there a statute of limitations for property disclosures?

I bought my house almost 5 years ago and up until now the basement has leaked 4-5 times due to rain. At first I thought maybe it was poor drainaige outside but that did not seem to be the case. After the first leak I noticed some previous water damage and realized that this has happened before. I am currently trying to fix the problem and when I took the wall down I noticed a crack that has been caulked over. This was obviously a previous problem that was not disclosed. Could the seller be held responsible? Is there certain documentaion that needs to be taken?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, there is a statute of limitations: it would be the SOL for written contracts (e.g. the contract of sale). You do not indicate which state you are in, so you need to either repost your question with the state or else look up the statute for your state.

2) Even if you are within the statute, bear in mind that the seller would only potentially be liable if he or she knew of the problem and failed to disclose it; thus, if, for example, the repair had been done by someone prior to them, there is no chance of liability.

3) You'd need to prove, if there could be liability, that this was a material, or significant condition, which the seller was aware of and did not disclose.


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