Home Defects: When Do You Have a Case to Sue?


When you purchased your home, there's a good chance that you had a professional home inspection done as a means of uncovering potentially costly problems. However, if you've recently encountered a costly home defect that wasn't caught by an inspector, you might be wondering whether or not the burden of the repair should be yours alone. After all, it may be possible that the problem was known to the sellers and that they should be responsible for the repair costs instead. If you're wondering whether or not you have a case, this criteria should help give you a better idea.

The Defect Was Present Before You Purchased the House

In order to even have a chance at a case against the home's sellers, you'll need to be able to prove that the defect in the home was actually present before you purchased it. Often times, this is the biggest challenge, because determining when a problem first arose in a home isn't easy and will require a professional opinion. Even then, it simply may not be possible to prove. Still, if there is a way to prove that the damage was present before you bought the home, you may have a case against the sellers.

The Sellers Knew About the Home Defect

The next step is to be able to prove that the sellers of the home knew about the defect. Again, not an easy task. However, if you suspect the previous owners knew about the issue, you might speak to neighbors to see if they knew anything about it. For example, if you're facing a problem with your basement leaking and suspect the sellers knew about this issue, you might ask neighbors if they ever saw a water restoration truck at the home. If you can prove that they sellers knew about the defect and purposely lied to you about it (either by not disclosing it or by explicitly telling you that there was never a problem with flooding), you may also have a case.

You've Incurred Monetary Loss as a Result

Finally, you need to prove that you've incurred a financial loss as a result of the defect. Therefore, if your homeowner's insurance policy will cover the costs of the necessary repairs, you probably won't have a case against the sellers. However, if you had to pay out-of-pocket for any of the repairs or related work, then you'll want to speak with a real estate law professional to get the legal process rolling


16 April 2015

confusing terminology used in owner financing real estate contracts

Are you trying to buy a home using owner financing options? Do you know what you are reading when you read through the many pages of the contract? There are likely several terms in that contract that you don't understand. I know that when I read through the contract that I had signed, I had no idea what it said. Fortunately, I decided to take the contract to a real estate attorney to have it looked over. Had I not done that, I would never have caught the fact that I was getting seriously ripped off on the house and I would have signed the legal document locking me into the agreement. To learn the confusing terminology used in these documents, visit my website.