Who Do You Sue If Property Information Is Withheld
- Posted on: Jun 30 2022
If you have ever purchased a home in the past and found that something was wrong with it after the fact, who would be ultimately responsible if you were never told about the issue? Regardless of how long ago it happened, you will likely be feeling bothered over it for a while. However, you should not be feeling bothered about it for long because it was someone else’s fault.
When cases like this occur, the party responsible for the misrepresentation may decide to help rectify the issue. If not, then you can take your case to court. Normally, the issue is able to be resolved out of court. However, if it is not and you have no idea of who should be held responsible, then you should consult an attorney to discover fault.
Is the Seller Responsible?
Although not everyone can be sued, the seller will be the first party to approach in this event. The reason why is because laws govern home sales and the fact that all information pertaining to them must be disclosed to a buyer.
When defects exist, they must be listed on a disclosure form prior to the completion of a sale. The disclosure must be made whether the home was sold ¨as is¨or not.
The form used for disclosure will ask the seller about the features of the property and check off areas that are based on their condition at the time. If a disclosure list does not have a certain issue as a choice to select, then a disclosure may not be required. Plus, the seller does not need to do an inspection of the home prior to selling it.
When a space on the disclosure page is not checked but you think the seller knows about it, then you need to be the one finding out if they truly knew about the issue or not. You would be able to discover this by talking to neighbors about the home and see if any information about it comes up that should have been included.
When you do bring a lawsuit to the seller, you may be able to under one of the following reasons:
- Breach of warranty
- Breach of contract
Is the Real Estate Agent Responsible?
Depending on the state where you live, the law may hold a real estate agent as being responsible if full disclosure is not made. This is especially true if the seller specifically told them about it but ignored the issue. Oftentimes the real estate agent duties may be limited, so it is best to consult your state laws concerning disclosure to determine if the problem would have been an apparent one.
Is the Home Inspector the Responsible Party?
It is always a good thing to have your home inspected prior to buying it. When you do, the inspector needs to disclose everything that they find wrong with the house so that repairs can be made. When an inspector overlooks an issue that is apparent, then they will be held liable for the miss.
Make sure that you give your home inspection a good look over and review the problem area if listed on the inspection. It is important to be aware that there may be a fine line for exclusions if the issue is not listed on the inspection as an issue to point out.
When you have issues with your home after buying it, you should be aware of how and why there is a problem. You also should know who is responsible if the issue was never made known to you. If you are experiencing this, then you should call us today to get it all figured out.
Posted in: Real Estate Law