If my son bought townhome 18 months ago but now defects (mold and water leakage) have become apparent that the seller should have known of, are they liable?

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If my son bought townhome 18 months ago but now defects (mold and water leakage) have become apparent that the seller should have known of, are they liable?

The contractor indicated the water/mold issue has been long term and that seller should have known this as several unsuccessful patchwork remedies were tried. Seller never disclosed these issues that could not seen by looking, only now that the walls have been opened up. The home was inspected.

Asked on January 27, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the seller knew or reasonably must have known of the defects (i.e. any homeowner in his position must logically have known) but, knowing of the defects, concealed or failed to disclose them, he may have committed fraud. (Fraud is intentionally lying about something material, or important, to get you to go through with the sale, when it was reasonable under the circumstances for you to rely on the lie.) If it was fraud, then the seller may be liable for the cost to remediate or correct the problems, and you could sue him if he won't pay voluntarily. d on what you write, it would be worthwhile for you to consult in detail about the situation with an attorney, to evaluate whether you do have a case, how strong it is, what it might be worth, and what it would cost you to bring the case--then you can make an informed decision as to what to do.


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