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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116154
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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What can I do if I bought a house that was listed in the MLS

Customer Question

What can I do if I bought a house that was listed in the MLS as a 5 bedroom home and then as I placed my own kids as well as my foster kids in the two bedrooms in the basement I am informed by CPS and EPS that the two rooms in the basement cannot be used because they do not have Windows?
I needed all five bedrooms and now it seems the builder( whom I bought the house from) the agent that represented the builder and my agent neglected to tell me, let alone market this house with the proper number of bedrooms.
What can I do to either make the builder buy it back, build two more bedrooms above ground, or charge the sellers agent, the builder, and my agent so I can move to the house we need with 5 bedrooms?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Under the building codes, this is the definition of a bedroom in KY:

D. Bedroom requirements. Every bedroom shall comply with the following requirements:

  1. Area for sleeping. Every bedroom occupied by one person shall contain at least 70 square feet (6.5 mm) of floor area, and every bedroom occupied by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet (4.6 mm) of floor area for each occupant thereof.
  2. Access from bedrooms. Bedrooms shall not constitute the only means of access to other bedrooms or habitable spaces and shall not-serve as the only means of egress from other habitable spaces except in units that contain fewer than two bedrooms.
  3. Water closet accessibility. Every bedroom shall have access to at least one water closet and one lavatory without passing through another bedroom. Every bedroom in a dwelling unit shall have access to at least one water closet and lavatory located in the same story as the bedroom or an adjacent story.
  4. Prohibited occupancy. No person shall use any kitchen, nonhabitable or public space for sleeping purposes, nor shall food be prepared or cooked in any room used for sleeping purposes, except in an efficiency apartment. In an efficiency apartment, that portion of the room designated for sleeping purposes shall not be within ten feet of that portion of the room designated for cooking purposes. The ten feet shall be calculated as the shortest straight line distance between the sleeping area and the stove. The ten feet requirement shall not be a violation when the ten feet distance is separated by a permanent divider wall of a height of at least 50% of the height of the room.
  5. Other requirements. Bedrooms shall comply with the applicable provisions of this chapter including, but not limited to, the light, ventilation, room area, ceiling height and room width requirements of this section, the plumbing facilities and water-heating facilities requirements of this chapter; the heating facilities and electrical receptacle requirements of this chapter; and the smoke detector and emergency escape requirements of this chapter.

If your home does not meet those specifications for the bedrooms in the basement, you have grounds to sue the builder for breach of contract and misrepresentation and seek not only your actual damages, but possibly triple damages as punitive damages plus attorney's fees for them intentionally misrepresenting the rooms as bedrooms. If the builder does not agree to make modifications or rescind the sale, then you would need a local attorney to file suit against hm for the breach and misrepresentation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am confused by number 2. When you state habitable spaces shall not serve as the only means of egress from another other habitable spaces except in units that have fewer than two bedrooms. What does this mean?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
It means that if you have a bedroom, people cannot be forced to use that bedroom to go through to get in and out of the building. So if someone has to walk through the bedroom to go upstairs, that would not be a proper bedroom.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does this mean without an egressed window it cannot be called a bedroom. Such as if the finished area of the basement that has these two rooms that they marketed as bedrooms #4 & #5 was on fire and there was no way out of these rooms because there are no windows, these cannot be marketed as bedrooms and are just areas that people would probably burn alive because the is no window. How do I find an attorney to sue this builder and both realtors?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If there is no way out of these rooms in event of fire, then they should not be considered bedrooms. It is a safety issue. You can find a local attorney at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.hg.org or http://www.lexmundi.com and you are looking for a real estate or construction law attorney.