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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37013
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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I sold a house which had had some water damage. This was

Customer Question

I sold a house which had had some water damage. This was repaired to the best of my ability, and the purchaser was advised of our work. The purchaser did not have a home inspection by a reputable licensed contract. The purchaser was delivered a Residential Closure statement, It was signed by both purchaser and seller. The closing was held on 12/11/2015. A tornado came thru the area of Tappahannock during February with lots of rain and the basement area got wet. When they had someone come in to look at the damage, they found some rotted wood behind the baseboard, are claiming that I did not advise them of earlier water damage. The purchasers are now after me to pay half the costs of repair, or they will sue. Do they have a legal right to do this? I have read Title 55, chapter 19, and have read the property disclosure act of VA.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 9 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA.Ray here to help you today.

If the buyer sues it appears you have some good facts to dispute.Not having an inspection here makes any claim from the buyer hard to prove on their part.I would suggest here that you forward any correspondence to your prior homeowner insurer to see if they would pay any part of it here.This might avoid a suit if they pay and then if they deny it and you are sued they may be obligated to defend you.

I think having the insurer involved might help, they might send their own inspector or adjuster to look at the damage claim here as well.Then you might have a professional neutral party verify or disqualify the claim.It certainly doesn't hurt and may well protect you here.This costs you nothing except the time to report if you had such coverage up to the time of sale.

I think that this is a means to resolve the matter, it certainly would be hard for them to claim you didn't disclose this since they failed to inspect.The issue that clouds here is whether the repairman noticed anything as far as rotted wood.And I am assuming you did not disclose it at time of sale either because arguably unaware.These are potential issues of such a lawsuit.

I hope the homeowners might offer them some resolution and you can avoid a suit on the matter.You appear to have some facts to defend such a suit but involving the insurer can only help you here in Virginia.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

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