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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12902
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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I purchased a home 7/12/13. As my wife & I began to move in

Resolved Question:

I purchased a home 7/12/13. As my wife & I began to move in we keep noticing a smell. We began pulling back the carpet in one corner and found the carpet, subfloor and wall soak with pet urine. The smell had been masked with powders and deodorizers. When we were showed the house we were told the carpet had been shampoo, the house had been closed up. All of the flooring will need to be removed, approximately a 6x6 area of subflooring will need replaced along with approximately one foot up the walls, the drywall will need replaced. The home is unlivable due to the odor currently. This was not disclosed. The contract indicates sold as is. Through a home inspection we were alerted of some other issues we agreed to take care of, but the carpet was not discovered by the home inspector. What recourse do we have?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Alex Esquire :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex Esquire :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

yes

Alex Esquire :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex Esquire :

I am sorry to hear about this unfortunate situation.

Alex Esquire :

Do you have a copy of your written agreement with your home inspector?

Customer:

Yes

Alex Esquire :

Does the agreement with the home inspection company has any statement limiting the liability of the home inspector?

Customer:

I'm not sure. I will need to go back and read it again

Alex Esquire :

Generally, the home inspector's contracts limit their liability for anything that they miss to the amount of money you had paid for the home inspection.

Alex Esquire :

What is the amount that you will have to pay in order to replace the carpet and flooring?

Customer:

Will not know until tomorrow when the flooring company comes out to give us the figures. It is approximately 1500 to 1700 sq feet.

Alex Esquire :

I understand.

Alex Esquire :

Well, you would need to review the contract that you have signed with the home inspector and document the missed issue with the carpet and based on what is stated in the contract, you might be able to pursue legal claim against the home inspector for professional malpractice.

Alex Esquire :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

I read over the inspector contract. It indicates the inspector's liability for mistakes or omissions in this inspection or report is limited to a refund of the fee paid for this inspection and report. Client assume the risk of all loses greater than the fee paid for the inspection

Alex Esquire :

Unfortunately, if you did sign this agreement, then your legal recourse would be limited to getting a full refund for the inspection fee.

Customer:

In addition, I truly believe the seller and the realtor knew and didn't disclose the issue. As when I began pulling up the carpeting I notice in this particular corner the mob boards had been changed, they do not match the rest of the home.

Alex Esquire :

Unfortunately, the seller does not have to disclose such minor defects and the realtor will always claim that she/he had no knowledge of it and it is very difficult to prove otherwise.

Alex Esquire :

It is up to the buyer generally to conduct the due diligence prior to closing and to make sure they house is fully and thoroughly inspected and the fact that the house was sold in "As is" condition does not leave many options.

Alex Esquire :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

Basically, I have no grounds for further action if I'm understanding correctly.

Alex Esquire :

Generally, you can demand for the inspector to refund your inspection fee.

Alex Esquire :

Please understand that I cannot provide you with any type of legal opinion or advice, as such can be done only by your local attorney, upon full review of all facts and documents, but I can only provide you with general answer to your legal question. You should always consult with your local real estate attorney for specific legal advice.

Customer:

That is $360.00. I'm expecting to replace the flooring to be somewhere around $6000. to $7500. I will file complaints with the state against my realtor, she to have are interest in this transaction and the selling agent and her brokerage

Alex Esquire :

I agree

Alex Esquire :

If you feel that the realtor was aware of the issue but failed to disclose it, you can file formal complaint against the realtor and the home inspector.

Customer:

Is this the only action I can pursue?

Alex Esquire :

Generally yes.

Alex Esquire :

Unless you can prove that the inspector was grossly negligent, but it does not appear to be the case, based on the limited facts you have stated.

Alex Esquire :

Unfortunately, the situations similar to yours are not uncommon and it is important to be extremely cautious when purchasing a used house without any warranty in "as is" condition.

Alex Esquire :

Unfortunately, most people do rely on the home inspectors, even though I always advise my clients to have 2-3 inspections done by independent licensed home inspectors, as generally many inspectors do tend to miss something.

Customer:

Thank you for your information

Alex Esquire :

I wish you the best of luck. Please click on the "excellent service" rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.

Customer:

Even though Mr. Esquires' answer were not what I wanted to hear, his service was clear & comprehensive

Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12902
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
Alex J. Esq. and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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