What are our rights when buying a house with undisclosed plumbing problems?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are our rights when buying a house with undisclosed plumbing problems?

We bought our first home almost 2 years ago, had the owners sign a document stating that there were no pre-existing problems with it, including the plumbing. Within months we had to call a plumber for our whole house being backed up. He turned out to be the same plumber they had called several times for same issues. They lied and we have spent hundreds on this problem. What are our rights and what can we do?

Asked on April 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  In other words, you would not have purchased the house if you had known about the plumbing problems.  Fraud also applies in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact by the seller where buyer could not have reasonably discovered the true facts.  You could not have reasonably discovered the undisclosed plumbing problems prior to your purchase of the house.  Again, seller's nondisclosure resulted in you justifiably relying on seller's false statement about the plumbing to your detriment.

Your damages (the amount of compensation) you are seeking in a lawsuit for fraud would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss. 

Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser can recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that your actual loss may have been less.

Out of pocket means damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits the recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.

You will need to file your lawsuit for fraud prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption