Previous owner’s responsibility to replace carpet padding

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Previous owner’s responsibility to replace carpet padding

We purchased a 2nd-floor condo about a year ago. Our downstairs neighbor has been complaining about noise from our unit. Our HOA is going to schedule an inspection to see if the issue is related to faulty floor joists or possibly the padding in our carpet. There is a record that the previous owners replaced the carpet in our unit without getting HOA approval, which means a chance that the padding thickness is not sufficient for a second story. If that is the case, what are the chances of our having the previous owner pay to replace the carpet and padding? We do not feel that we should be responsible for paying to replace carpet that was wrongly installed before we purchased the unit.

Asked on March 2, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You would be unlikely to get the money for this from the former owner. To win, you'd have to show that he committed fraud: that he knew the carpetting was inadequate or defective or that he had to--but failed to get--HOA approval and despite knowing that, he intentionlly hid that fact from you. It can be very difficult to make this showing; and since if he won't voluntarily pay you, you'd have to sue him, you could spend more time and/or money on the lawsuit than a difficult-to-prove case for the cost of carpeting justifies.


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