Get Legal Help Today
Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
we received water damage in the basement 2 weeks after we moved in. we are buying the house. we need to know how to go about making the people that owned the house before us pay is for the damages. also we need to know how long we have to do something about it legally.
Asked on June 17, 2009 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 13 years ago | Contributor
Do you already own the home? If so, and if the water damage was not caused by some condition that the previous owners (1) knew about, (2) deliberately hid from you, and (3) which was not readily discernable or findable during the home inspection, then you can't collect from them. It's your home and you've taken possession of it; the home inspection was your chance to find problems and either back out of the deal or get the seller to repair it (or credit you for repair costs). That's why, if you already own the home, you'd have have be able to show fraud on the seller's part--again, that they deliberately hid a problem from you, and you had no opportunity (including through the inspection) to find it--in order to sue them.
If you don't already own the home--if the deal hasn't closed--then it's the seller's responsibilty now, though if they refuse to fix it, your remedy may be to void the deal and walk away.
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.