What recourse do i have if the house I just bought is prone to flooding during rainstorms?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What recourse do i have if the house I just bought is prone to flooding during rainstorms?

I closed on a home on a Thursday. ON Friday during move in we had 5 inches of rain. the bottom portion of the home is partially underground. The home is on sloping lot. The garage flooded and the bedroom which is underground flooded. The baseboards are soaked and have detached from the wall. I had a man come out and look and he said there is evidence that this was a problem previously due to poor drainage. The garage area has caulking in it where they have obviously tried to prevent the water from getting in. When we looked at the home before closing, the bedroom that flooded had boxes stacked everywhere so we were not able to see the baseboards, which probably showed evidence of prior water damage. Should this have been disclosed? Should the home inspector have checked this? I am now concerned with black mold. The repair costs will be in the thousands to fix the drainage issues. We have a home warranty but it just covers inside issues. What can I do?

Kim

Asked on April 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller for fraud and the home inspector for negligence.
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure 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 had you known of the flooding.
Damages (monetary compensation  you are seeking in a lawsuit) for fraud would be either benefit of the bargain or out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property regardless of the fact that actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.
Negligence by the home inspector is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Damages for negligence would be what was reasonably foreseeable such as cost of repairs.
You would file one lawsuit naming the seller and inspector as defendants.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, flooding known to the seller must be disclosed: a failure to disclose a known material or significant problem, if the problem is not readily discernable to the buyer (and generally flooding is not, since you only know for sure if the space floods if you happen to be looking at the home during or right after a bad rain storm) is fraud, and fraud provides a basis to sue. You can sue the seller, based on the evidence you cite, for the cost to remediate/correct the situationa and repair the damage done.


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