Real Estate Law
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1. Did you disclose to your buyers that they would be responsible for payment of the repairs to be performed by the city ?
2. If so, did they agree in writing to be resposible for payment of these repairs once they were performed by the city ?
Hi, Chris, I'm afraid that your real estate agent is mistaken because simply informing the buyers that repairs would be made without disclosing that they would have to pay for these repairs and having them sign to be responsible, does not make them liable.
By the same token, I cannot see where you would have had to credit them with the cost of the repairs at settlement because (a) you would not be benefitting in any way from these repairs; (b) the new buyers would be occupying the property when the repairs would be performed; and (c) the buyers would be benefitting from the repairs; and (c) you would not know what the cost was at the time of settlement.
The City cannot put a lien on the property because you no longer own the property and the buyers do not have a legal obligation to pay for these repairs since they were not the party who incurred the debt.
What I would do if I were in your position would be to not mention to your buyers anything about your liability for payment of the repairs and just give them a copy of the bill and ask that they pay it since these repairs were disclosed to them. If they do not pay, and if the City sues you, then your argument to the Judge would be that:
1. The repairs benefit the owner of the property;
2. When you signed, you were the owner of the property;
3. The City did not perform the repairs in a timely fashion;
4. The City's delay in performming these repairs should not make you liable for payment since you no longer own the property and would not benefit in any way by these repairs.
5. The party who actually benefits from these repairs should be responsible for payment;
6. Had you known that you would be responsible for payment for the repairs, you would have made an appropriate adjustment on the price you placed on the house when you put it on the market for sale;
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That would have been part of the disclosure that the seller would give to the prospective buyers because the buyers' attorney or real estate agent would not know whether or not you were given a cost figure.
Nevertheless, I still do not understand the rationale the City is using to hold you liable because you no longer own the property, nor will you derive any benefit from the repairs. You should write to the City, preferably to someone in authority and enumerate the reasons I specified in my previous Answer as to why you are not responsible or liable for payment. If worse came to worse and the City sued you, I think that a Judge would accept the reasons as a valid defense to the City trying to hold you liable for payment,
Thank you for the compliment, my Mom thinks I'm great, too, but that I should still strive to be better!!!
Fantastic advice. I hope it doesnt come to the sue thing, but I will write to the city and use your points. Have a great day!
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