Recently purchased a home in the winter and come to now find that the grading the yard is terrible.

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Recently purchased a home in the winter and come to now find that the grading the yard is terrible.

We purchased out first home for about $315,000 this past winter. In the spring and summer we’ve noticed the grading was terribly done this wasn’t disclosed. At even the lightest rain we have pools of water throughout the backyard for days on end. Our neighbor behind us is on a hill and all their spouts and sump pump point downhill towards our yard which adds to the issue. Is there something we can do for being unaware and undisclosed about this information? Regrade and sod will cost a fortune on our almost acre lot.

Asked on October 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure 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 of the flooding of the property.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your 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 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 actual value of the property acquired.
You can sue the neighbor for nuisance which is an unreasonable interference with your use and enjoyment of the property.
Damages are an inadequate remedy for nuisance because the continuing problem with water from the neighbor's property would result in a multiplicity of lawsuits.  Damages are also inadequate because land is unique.
When damages are inadequate, your remedy is an injunction against your neighbor to stop the flow of water from his/her property.
You would file one lawsuit naming both the seller and neighbor as defendants.
 


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