Who is responsible to cover the cost to have our house connected to the city sewer line?

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Who is responsible to cover the cost to have our house connected to the city sewer line?

We have bought this house 6 years ago, and just learned last week (due to a basement flood after a severe storm) that when it was build 42 years ago it was connected to the storm main instead to the city sewer main. A mistake by the builder. Would the city not have inspected this before closing the street? Are we as the new homeowner responsible for the cost to have it fixed, or should the city be responsible for this?

Asked on September 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The mistake as to connection of your home's sewer line being connected to the city's storm main as opposed to the city's sewer line lies with the home's builder and developer. The problem is that depending upon how old your home is, you may be barred by the statute of limitations for defective latent (hidden) construction from pursuing a claim against the builder/developer.

In California, the statute of limitations for a property owner to bring an action against the builder/developer for a latent work of improvement is ten (10) years.

If you are barred by the statute of limitations from pursuing the developer/builder of the home, you should meet with the city's building department as to why it did not see that your home was not connected to city sewer when it was built assuming it is relatively new construction. If the home is relatively new construction, the building inspector should have seen that there was improper hookup before final approved completion.

 


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