If we have a land contract on our house and the fuse box blew and had to be replaced, who is responsible to pay for it?

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If we have a land contract on our house and the fuse box blew and had to be replaced, who is responsible to pay for it?

We have a land contract and the fuse box blew and had to be replaced, we had to pay to replace it because the property owner said it was our problem. The electrician said that it was a bad box and would have never passed inspection. When all this happened we were waiting to sign the papers to transfer the land contract to a lease. Who should be responsible for this, us or the property owner?

Asked on May 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The owners should be responsible, if you have not yet closed on the house. Once a closing occurs, of course, the house, and all its risks, repairs, etc., are  the buyers'. However, subsequent to the contract being signed but before closing, the owner or seller must maintain the home in the same condition (absent the natural and incremental "wear and tear" that occurs over the weeks between signing and closing; e.g. the roof is few weeks older) that it existed in when the contract was signed. So the party actually owning the home is responsible; or alternately, if you already own the home, but allowed the seller to hold over and stay in your home for some time (e.g. the move out date was after the closing date), and *if* something the seller did caused the fuse to blow, then the seller would be responsible for the results of his actions.


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