You searched for the right house. You thought you had found it. You bought it. You moved in, still brimming with excitement.
Eventually, you noticed that something was not quite right. Maybe you tried to look past it at first, but it could not be denied. Something was definitely wrong. You called in experts and discovered the problem. Maybe it was a roof or window leak. Maybe it was a mold infestation. Maybe it was a plumbing, electrical or foundation defect. Whatever the case may be, it is going to be expensive to fix.
You may be angry that the seller did not tell you about the defect. You may wonder if the sell has any responsibility to address the problem. You may be able to take action.
Filing A Lawsuit For Failure To Disclose A Property Defect
In California, sellers of real estate are obligated to tell buyers about material defects. All defects should be revealed in a disclosure statement to the buyer. If a seller, or even a real estate agent or broker, conceals or lies about a defect, they may be liable.
Before moving forward, it is important to distinguish a material defect from other problems, such as those associated with normal wear. The reality is that parts of a home will wear out over time, and then problems will occur. These problems could begin after a person moves into a home. An old furnace could give out. A past-its-prime roof could start to leak. These are normal problems that the seller is not responsible for. However, if there is evidence that the roof leaked or the furnace stopped working prior to the sale, it could be an example of failure to disclose a defect.
An experienced attorney can help you determine whether you have a claim for failure to disclose. If you do, your attorney can guide you through the process of seeking compensation to cure the defect or finding another resolution. This may involve a lawsuit against the seller, the realtor or broker.
Of course, problems like leaky roofs often need to be addressed immediately and cannot wait for a legal process. Your attorney can provide you guidance on what you can do now to deal with the defect without jeopardizing your claim.