Who is responsible for repairs needed to a home that was purchased?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who is responsible for repairs needed to a home that was purchased?

The sellers never disclosed issues with HVAC unit. The home inspector passed the unit. I had experts come in and try to diagnose the problem. The problem is lack of airflow to supply lines. HVAC return lines, supply lines were installed improperly. Supply lines in the master bedroom from the 2nd HVAC unit are not connected. Supply lines are run through the concrete slab that the house sits on and the floors need to be pulled up in order to access them.

Asked on April 13, 2019 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether the sellers knew about the HVAC issues--which in turn, as a practical matter means whether or not you can prove that they logically must have known (any homeowner in their position would have known) of the problem. If they knew or must have known but failed to disclose the problem, they committed fraud and you could sue them for the repair costs. If they did not know, they are not, however, liable--there is no obligation to disclose that of which you are not aware, and therefore no wrongdoing in failing to disclose something unknown.

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