How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 101381
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We just bought a house and have had 3 issues (so far) 1. They

This answer was rated:

We just bought a house and have had 3 issues (so far) 1. They left an unmarked canister of chlorine out by the pool in a tub with kids toys in it. I opened it up and ended up in ICU. Then we discovered that if the hose is on outside we have no water inside. Then last night the roof began leaking in several spots. We had the house inspected prior to closing and their disclosure had nothing to indicate any such problems. Any thought?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me: is this a brand new home purchased from the developer, or, did you purchase it from the previous occupant?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We purchased from a couple who had renovated an old farmhouse. We also just had a roofing contractor look at the roof and he didn't even go in the attic and found multiple problems just from a visual inspection of the roof . Also, does the house inspector have any culpability in this?

Thank you for your clarification.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state.

Your inspector holds the most liability, arguably. This is the reason why you retained them. They may be civilly liable for negligence.

Here, this may be a cause for negligence. To establish a cause of action in negligence, a plaintiff must prove the following three elements: (1) a duty of care owed by defendant to plaintiff (i.e. here for them to spot any issues for what they were hired to do); (2) breach of that duty by a negligent act or omission; and (3) damage proximately resulting from the breach of duty. E.g., Bishop v. South Carolina Dep't of Mental Health, 331 S.C. 79, 502 S.E.2d 78 (1998).

As for the seller themselves, they may or may not be liable for the roofing issue, depending on whether or not they knew (or should have known) of the issues in their non-disclosure. If they did not disclose and DID know or SHOULD HAVE, then they may also be liable. However, such cases are often questionable.

This is likely not actionable, as you has time to inspect the home and raise this as a matter before purchase.

As for the canister issue, they may also be liable for NEGLIGENCE under the same theory, based on the fact that they had a common law duty to clearly mark the canister or at least warn you about it.

An attorney is recommended. May I recommend the SC Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Again, surely you prefer that I be honest in my answer – please remember that rating negatively due to receiving bad news still hurts the expert – it is simply the way that the system is set up. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. (You may always ask follow ups free after rating.)
Ely and 3 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Real Estate Law Questions