What is the statute of limitations to sue a seller for non-disclosure of a mold issue?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the statute of limitations to sue a seller for non-disclosure of a mold issue?

I purchased a rental property 8 years ago “as is”. The seller provided a termite inspection that showed some minor mold issues around the bathroom door (ventilation problem). Since that’s all that was reported, I decided against a mold inspection. However, 2 years later mold started to appear inside the bedroom walls. Thinking it was due to an old leak, I rebuilt both bathrooms. But it came back again and again. I now have confirmation the seller knew about it but hid it with new flooring and paint. My tenant happens to work with the seller’s family who lived there and they were advised to move out ASAP. Do I have recourse since they knew of the condition but did not disclose it to me?

Asked on March 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is probably too late to bring a lawsuit. The statute of limitations, or time to sue, for breach of a contract (like the contract of sale for the property) in CA is only four years. The statute of limitations for fraud (e.g. knowing misrepresentation of a material, or critical, fact) is only three years. Therefore, it would appear that you are beyond the relevant statutory periods, which means that it is too late to sue.

That said, sometimes the statutue can be "tolled," or extended, if there was no reasonable way to know of the breach or cause of action earlier. You may wish to consult in detail about the situation with an attorney, to see if the facts give you any grounds for taking action after so many years.


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