When buying a home on contract ‘asis’ and the plumming is bad, and he knew it, but did not reveal the problem who is responsible for the cost of fixing it.

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When buying a home on contract ‘asis’ and the plumming is bad, and he knew it, but did not reveal the problem who is responsible for the cost of fixing it.

My daughter bought a house on contract as is from the seller. When you flush the toilet or run the washer or empty tub after bathing…the sewer water comes up and soaks the ground outside her dining room window. It smells bad and sometimes even comes up through the bathtub. She has paid for plumbers and they can’t fix it…says its out at the main. The city says it’s the landlords problem.
I feel bad for her…she has infants and small toddlers in the house and I think it is a health hazard for them. One 2 yr old just had brain surgery.
Please tell me any advice you can give. Who is liable to pay to fix thie.

Asked on June 10, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are correct in that the seller knew of the problem but, despite knowing of it, failed to disclose or even actively concealed the problem, then the seller is liable. The seller is obligated to disclose material (or important) issues of which he/she is aware, if such issues are not readily apparent to a buyer (i.e. they are what are called "latent" issues). The failure to disclose such known issues is fraud, and fraud provides a basis for recovering compensation (e.g. for seeking the cost to remediate or correct the problem). Based on what you write, there is evidence that the seller did know. 
If the seller will not voluntarily provide compensation to your daughter, she could sue him, based on fraud. She would have to provide evidence (e.g. have the the people who lived there previously testify in court) as to the seller' knowledge.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are correct in that the seller knew of the problem but, despite knowing of it, failed to disclose or even actively concealed the problem, then the seller is liable. The seller is obligated to disclose material (or important) issues of which he/she is aware, if such issues are not readily apparent to a buyer (i.e. they are what are called "latent" issues). The failure to disclose such known issues is fraud, and fraud provides a basis for recovering compensation (e.g. for seeking the cost to remediate or correct the problem). Based on what you write, there is evidence that the seller did know. 
If the seller will not voluntarily provide compensation to your daughter, she could sue him, based on fraud. She would have to provide evidence (e.g. have the the people who lived there previously testify in court) as to the seller' knowledge.


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