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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 30903
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Hi. I would like to know the statue of limitations regarding

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Hi. I would like to know the statue of limitations regarding a major issue that was determined on the real estate property we purchased in November 2005. When we started having water problems in our basement, after a big storm several years ago, we hired a contractor to excavate around the house to determine if there was a problem. We discovered that an old basement was built on the property years ago and was covered up and smashed in the group about 10 feet from the front of our home. The contractor discovered large concrete slabs about 8 feet underground that had disrupted field lines coming from our horse pasture and this water is leeching in the home basement tiles causing problems during a 2-3 inch rain. This burying of debris was validated by the county supervisor and informed us that the contractor that destroyed the basement lives behind us. We lost over $10,000 worth of personal property and we paid a contractor $15,000 to try to correct the problem but there is still a problem. We feel this was failure to disclose, negligence, and breech of contract by the former owner. Can we make the former owner liable. What are statues of limitations. Thanks.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

There is a thing known as a statute of repose that holds a contractor liable for a construction defect for up to 10 years of the date of completion of the work. Thus, under Illinois law, no action can be brought after 10 years from the time of such act or omission, but if act or omission is discovered prior to the expiration of 10 years the plaintiff shall have 4 years to bring his action. 735 ILL. COMP. STAT. 5/13- 214.

Thus, you would have to find out when the previous construction was completed to know whether or not you still have time to sue the contractor for negligent construction (you don't have to be the owner that hired to contractor to do the work in order to have a right to sue).

As for having the right to sue the seller for misrepresentation/failing to disclose, etc., the statute of limitations is 3 years after the cause of action accrued. 815 ILCS 505/10a(e). Thus, the statute of limitations is likely out on suing the sellers.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He Kirk. Thanks for the response. You stated that statute of limitations is 3 years after the cause of action accrued. The actual occurrence and finding the problem was August 10, 2010. Therefore is was before the 3 years right? Am I correct to think I have a month to file this claim?

When the damage is not readily discoverable, the cause of action "accrues" when you actually discover the damage/injury.

Thus, if you can prove that the cause of action didn't accrue until until August 2013, you would still have time, but you need to see a lawyer ASAP.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much. I will start working on my case tomorrow. Many thanks. Excellent response.

Glad to help and I wish you luck with this.

Let me know if you have any additional questions.

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