We recently found a hazardous red tag that had fallen and was hidden in our furnace saying that there was a crack in our heating element. We found this 3 years after we purchased our home when we finally serviced it (no apparent problems, just check-up). Are we too late to receive partial/full reimbursement? This was on a short sale in California and not disclosed to us.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You might have a claim for failure to disclose against the Sellers, but if they short-sold the property, odds are pretty good they are broke and don't have money to satisfy a judgment. The reason I say you may have a claim is that there are many variables that go into determining if a Seller failed to disclose a fact to you. If it was known to them, then yes, they had the duty to disclose it. Hopefully the red-tag has a date which will help you ascertain when it was placed. If that was during a time that the Seller owned it, presumably they knew about the problem and were legally obligated to disclose it. If, however, it was red-tagged prior-to your sellers owning the home, it becomes substantially more complicated. Did the seller ever attempt to fire the furnace, was it ever serviced, etc... The other factor is that during the course of your due diligence period (inspection, etc...), would a reasonably-prudent buyer have had the furnace inspected? If so, your claim gets much weaker. I suggest you contact a real estate attorney in your area to discuss the facts in much greater detail, and determine your rights.
*Due to the limitations of the LawGuru.com Forums, The Gibbs Law Firm, APC's (the "Firm") participation in responding to questions posted herein does not constitute legal advice, nor legal representation of the person or entity posting a question. No Attorney/Client relationship is or shall be construed to be created hereby. Further, information you provide to the Firm through this website is not confidential - it is available publicly to anyone visiting this website. The Firm shall have no obligation to keep the information you provide herein confidential in any context. The information provided herein by the Firm is general, and requires that the poster obtain specific legal advice from an attorney. The poster shall not rely upon the information provided herein as legal advice nor as the basis for making any decisions of legal consequence. As required by 11 U.S.C. §528, we must now disclose that, "We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. Assistance we provide with respect to Debt Relief may involve bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code."
Related Questions & Answers
My brother's home is up for Trustee sale Oct. 9, 2012. Lender agreed to STOP sale if... Asked 10/04/12, 12:43 am in United States California Real Estate and Real Property
I've recently moved out of an apartment in San Diego, CA with my two roommates. I... Asked 10/03/12, 11:35 pm in United States California Real Estate and Real Property
I am the sole owner of my property. I want my wife to get the house if I die. I also... Asked 10/03/12, 6:06 pm in United States California Real Estate and Real Property
I quitclaimed a home to ex-spouse during a divorce. He subsequently quitclaimed it... Asked 10/03/12, 4:47 pm in United States California Real Estate and Real Property
If you are a California Resident, and own (inherit) Real Estate in another State... Asked 10/03/12, 4:02 pm in United States California Real Estate and Real Property