What can I do after we signed closing papers but owner didn’t give us the keys and then we found a soaked basement upon our entry ?

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What can I do after we signed closing papers but owner didn’t give us the keys and then we found a soaked basement upon our entry ?

The owners didn’t give us keys day of closing and then the following afternoon turned over the code for a lock box. Upon arrival to our new home we discovered bathroom fixtures were removed, back screen door gone and the carpet throughout the basement was saturated throughout including the padding. No disclosure on problems with water in the basement in fact specially asked about and stated none.

Asked on June 15, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can sue the owner on one or both of the following basis:
1) If they failed to disclose water problems of which they were aware (or logically, given the facts, must have been aware), they committed fraud. Fraud provides a legal basis to seek compensation, such as the cost to remediate or repair.
2) When you sign the contract of sale, it is to buy the home as it existed (e.g. in that physical condition, with all doors and fixtures) at the moment you signed. If the owner took things out, he breached the contract, and breach of contract would allow you to sue for the cost to repair or replace what he took. He also had to repair any damage occuring post-signing the contract but pre-closing, to keep the home in the same condition, so it would also be a breach to not repair basement flooding.


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