Who Can You Sue When You Notice Undisclosed Property Defects? Find Out

Posted on: 2 December 2022

Some people buy homes on the grounds that they won't have to spend additional fees on the property. Unfortunately, some issues become apparent after moving in, forcing them to dig deep into their pockets. For instance, they might notice structural problems that require renovations to make the house habitable. 

Some of these defects are natural, in which case you should pay for the repairs from your pocket. However, other parties should be obligated to take care of your losses if the defects existed before you purchased the property. Therefore, you need to consult a legal advisor to help you identify the wrongdoers and file claims against them. Some of the culprits may include:

The Seller

Many states have regulations that compel property sellers to advise buyers on all known damage in the building. This should all be included in a report so that buyers can make informed decisions. Unfortunately, some property owners remain quiet about defects in order to make their property appear more valuable. 

Some sellers even go as far as purposely trying to hide the damage. For instance, they might paint over cracks so they can't be seen. Such acts are unlawful, and you can sue a seller for misleading you when buying the property. A legal advisor can help you to get the information needed to hold the seller accountable. They will then institute legal measures against the wrongdoer to ensure that they face justice for trying to take advantage of you.

The Agent Representing the Seller

The agent who represents the seller may also bear part of the blame if they knew the house had structural problems but did not inform you. However, it is usually challenging to sue agents because they are not obligated to inspect properties before the sale. Even so, since the law prohibits them from lying to potential buyers, you can hold them accountable for hiding essential information from you. Your legal advisor may help you prove that the agent must have known about the defects, e.g., due to their access to the property. This will go towards ensuring that they face the law for failing to advise you accordingly.

Your Inspector

Your inspector must thoroughly inspect the property and point out any defects, including those that may not be easily identifiable. This is a crucial step that helps prevent the seller from taking advantage of your unfamiliarity with the home to sell you a damaged property at a top price. Nonetheless, if your inspector disregards or fails to detect some defects, you may incur huge losses in unexpected repairs. In such a case, your attorney can prepare and file a claim against your inspector to compel them to take responsibility for the expenses of repairing the property.

You do not have to pay repair costs of undisclosed property damage from your pocket. Instead, hire a real estate attorney to hold the offenders accountable. This way, you will get money to pay for the repair costs.