Seller of the condo did not disclose previous water damage.What are my options and rights?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Seller of the condo did not disclose previous water damage.What are my options and rights?

I bought a condo on June 2017 in San Ramon, CA. Nothing was disclosed about the
previous water damage happened in October 2016 from a leak in the laundry room in
the condo upstairs. I have the disclosures from the unit above me that has
mentioned the insurance claim on October 2016.
Before I buy the condo an inspection was done and nothing was found. They already
repaired the damages but did not disclose it.
Can I sue them in the small claims court? If I get a lawyer will the attorney fee
recoverable if I win the case? what is the timeframe that I can file a lawsuit? I
want to know what are my rights and options. I can provide more details on how I
discovered about the previous damage if needed.Thank you so much.

Asked on October 26, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Is there current damage? If there is, and it was not disclosed (and also not obvious when you and/or your inspector viewed the unit), you could sue for the cost to repair based on the nondisclosure. Or if there is a persistent or recurrent leak that was not disclosed, you could sue for the cost to correct. But if this was a one-time event and was fully fixed, there was no legal need to disclose it, because it is a current condition in the home: only current issue or conditions have to be disclosed. And if there is no remaining damage, there's nothing to sue for anyway, since you can only recover compensation for the cost to make repairs.

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 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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