the sellers didn’t disclose a gas leak and covered it up with black electrical tape and buried it.

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the sellers didn’t disclose a gas leak and covered it up with black electrical tape and buried it.

We purchased our house 3 months ago, we had an inspection and was told everything checked out. This weekend we put in new windows and found out we had a gas leak. The gas company came and shut off the gas the plumber came and we had to dig the pipe up in which we found that the pipe it self was paper thin and they had wrapped black electrical tape around the pipe and buried it. They also didn’t

disclose that the boiler had a block in the line so that side of the house doesn’t heat and the old owners shut that pipe off because of the blockage. We have had the plumber come out 4 different times now same company and find something new that the old owners hid for the purchase

Asked on January 23, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you can prove that the sellers knew of the problems (or logically must have known of them; i.e. based on the facts and circumstances, it is not reasonable that they did not in fact know) but still failed to disclose them, then they likely committed fraud, and fraud would provide a basis to sue them for your losses or costs, such as the cost to repair or remediate the conditions. The key issue will be what they knew, and what you can prove they knew or must have known: if they did not know (e.g. if the pipe was shoddily repaired and buried by the person who owned the home before them, and the ones you bought from never discovered it), then they did not lie or misrepresent, did not commit fraud, and would not be liable.


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