Who do I take to court for non-disclosure of the fact that a property I purchased was located in a flood zone?

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Who do I take to court for non-disclosure of the fact that a property I purchased was located in a flood zone?

I purchased a house and the seller disclosed the house was not in a flood zone. I have proof that it was at the time of purchase. The sellers agent listed it as unknown flood zone. The agent no longer works for that agency. Do I take the agent or the company that she worked for at the time to court or just the seller?

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, you would almost certainly take the seller to court, since the seller seemingly (from what you write) made a material (or important) misrepresentation (or lie) to you. That would seem to provide the basis for a fraud claim, which could entitle you to compensation and/or to potentially (depending on circumstances) rescind the contract.

Second, you would probably initially name the agent personally and the company she was then employed by, to keep your options open. But the agent had been given wrong or incomplete information, then the agent or company is probably not liable--they do not necessarily have a duty to independently evaluate or prove what they are told. However, you would name them, then see what develops or comes out during discovery.


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