What can we do if the seller lied to us about no known problems but we found out that they hid the fact that basement flooded?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can we do if the seller lied to us about no known problems but we found out that they hid the fact that basement flooded?

We bought a 2300 sq.ft home with 3 bedrooms on the main level and basement with a 4th bedroom and extra room. The basement has a kitchenette and bathroom. The owner said he knew of no problems with home. However, 4 neighbors told us that the basement flooded more than once and owner tried to repair problem. I spoke to the realtor who worked for us and she said that he should have told us but he didn’t. Other than that, she would not help. What do we do know?

Asked on May 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Failing to disclose a known defect is illegal. It constitutes actionable fraud which provides the basis for the recovery of money damages. If fraud is proven, you would be entitled to be reimbursement for the cost to remediate the condition. In your case, the cost of additional sump pumps, drains and waterproofing. To prove your claim, you may submit as evidence statements from the neighbors to show that the seller knew of the problem and yet failed to disclose it to you. At this point, get estimates for the cost to correct the problem and then consult directly with a local real estate attorney who can review the details of your case and then best advise you further.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Failing to disclose a known problem is fraud. Fraud provides a basis to recover monetary compensation, such as the cost to correct or remediate the flooding (e.g. install French drains, more sump pumps, other waterproofing measures, etc.). You may therefore have recourse since, based on what you have heard from the neighbors (who could be subpoenaed to testify, if necessary), it appears that you could prove that the seller knew of the problem and lied about it. You should get an estimate for what needs to be done and the cost thereof to correct the problem, then take that to an attorney, to discuss whether, based on the cost, a lawsuit is worthwhile--and if it is, to initiate it.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption