Who is liable and do I have a case?

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Who is liable and do I have a case?

Our home had extensive damages 18 months ago and had to be almost
completely rebuilt. We did so through an insurance claim. The renovation
company that was contracted by the insurance company informed us that the
work was completed and the house was put on the market to be sold.
The potential buyer had a home inspection done and we learned that much of
the renovation work was never completed. The renovation company agreed
to return and finish the job. A second inspection was scheduled and again
failed due to incomplete work by the renovation company.
Now the potential buyer wants to walk away.
What can we do?

Asked on July 25, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there was an inspection contingency in the contract, then the buer can walk away if there are significant issues. You can potentially sue the renovation company based on some or all of --
* Fraud, or misrepresenting (lying about) what they could or would do;
* Breach of contract (violating their agreement as to what they would do)--though if the contract was directly with the insurer, not you, you will not be able to sue on this ground, since you were not a party to the contract;
* Professional negligence (turning in unprofessionally careless work)
--in order to recover your losses, such as the money spent on the failed sale, the extra carrying costs for having to maintain and pay for the property for extra months until the next sale, and the cost to have someone properly redo the work. 


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