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Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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After a home inspection revealed extensive rotted wood, the

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After a home inspection revealed extensive rotted wood, the seller agreed to replace the deck and carport. After moving in, I have discovered dry rot under the deck that was not replaced and in the one wall of the carport that was not replaced. Is the seller responsible for the repairs not being done properly?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 10 months ago.
Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.

Who did the work?


Did you get evidence that the seller completed such?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

The repair agreement lists "repair carport per inspection report which is to include a new roof and replace rotted lower walls" and "replace bad parts of decking understructure w/treated lumber and replace all decking boards w/treated lumber." The seller hired a licensed contractor who did the work. Although decking that is more than 30" off the ground is required to have a permit (according to the Clackamas County clerk), it was not permitted. The carport was not permitted either. My only evidence of completion was that these two structures existed when I moved in (I lived out of state when the repairs were done and did not have access during the process). I only discovered that dry rotted wood was not replaced when I had other work done on the house and another contractor found that the ledger board for the new deck was nailed to rotted wood in two different places. Additionally, there is still dry rotted wood at the bottom of some of the boards that were not replaced in the carport. I know I have no claim against the contractor because the contract was between him and the seller, not me. Can I hold the seller responsible even if he claims he didn't know the contractor did not do the work properly?

Expert:  Law Pro replied 10 months ago.
OK, thanks for that explanation.

Yes, the seller is liable for the poor and/or faulty workmanship of their contractor.

What usually happens is - that you sue the seller and they add the contractor by filing a cross claim against them in the matter.

That although the seller is liable to you - the contractor is ultimately responsible and liable.

Then if there is any problem - the dispute is between the seller and contractor regardless.

What you need to do is get your contractor to send you and affidavit stating what the problems are and that the seller or their contractor didn't correct the problem. Your contractor will be your "expert" in the matter and give an estimate of what it will cost to correct the problem as it should have been corrected to begin with. That's the amount you sue the seller for.

Now the seller may have claims against their contractor and be entitled to some money back or whatever - but that's between them and not you.

The seller breached the contract with you.

So get an estimate and if the seller won't pay - then file suit.


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Customer: replied 10 months ago.

The estimates I have gotten are between $7,000 and $10,000. Since small claims court goes up to $10,000, do you think I should hire an attorney or go to small claims court. It would be a real financial hardship on me to lose.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 10 months ago.
Oh, I would go to small claims court for the $10k. It may go from there but that's where I would tell you to file suit.

I would take your contractor to court with you so that they can give their opinion in the matter and judge can ask questions of them. It's very clear that you will win - just need an expert to testify on your behalf.

Small claims court have quick procedures - so you should have your hearing within 30 days.


Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

Please keep in mind that, even though you have already paid your deposit money over to JustAnswer, until you rate me highly for my service, I will not be paid for having assisted you with your questions.

If you have additional questions, you may reply back to me using the Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in your future.
Law Pro, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23605
Experience: 20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
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