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 socallegalwork Your Own Question
socallegalwork
socallegalwork, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 119
Experience:  Attorney and licensed real estate broker (and Certified Distressed Property Expert), specializing in real estate matters.
63833317
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
socallegalwork is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My insurance company is cancelling my homeowners insurance

Customer Question

My insurance company is cancelling my homeowners insurance because they said I need a new roof. The inspector I hired to inspect my home didn't tell me I needed my roof replaced. This is my first home, I depended on my inspector to do his job and I wouldn't have bought the house without getting a roof replaced. What do I do?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 4 months ago.

Hello. I believe I can assist you. In this type of situation, there are typically two questions. First, was there a failure to accurately disclose (or an outright misrepresentation) by the seller. Second, should any material conditions concerning the property have been noted by people working for you- your agent, your inspector, etc.

With respect to the inspector, if the roof was in poor shape and required imminent replacement and this should have been observed and reported to you by an inspector as part of his job, then you may have a cause of action against him. The problem is, home inspectors very often will have language in their contract with you stating they are NOT roof inspectors, don't specialize in roofs (along with other certain other specialties like pests, electrical issues, etc.) and if you have any concerns about the roof you should hire a licensed roofer to look at the roof. You will need to review your contract (contained in the paperwork your inspector gave you). If the inspector specifically inspected the roof, actually went up and observed the roof, you may have a cause of action against him for professional negligence- as you arguably could have insisted the seller give you some sort of credit to offset the cost you would eventually be facing to replace the roof. At the very least, you may be able to re-coup the cost of his inspection.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He went on roof, noticed some shingles missing. They fixed the missing shingles. However, the person that did fix the missing shingles told me that he told the seller she needed to replace the roof. This happened prior to closing.
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 4 months ago.

Okay. So the person who fixed the shingles told the seller she needed to replace the roof before closing. Were you told by this person that the roof needed to be replaced (or that he told the seller that) before closing?

If you were aware of this before closing, you probably will have a difficult time pursuing the matter, as you were put on notice of the problem before closing.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I was not aware before closing.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He told me he told seller.
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 4 months ago.

Okay. Then it sounds like the inspector AND the seller knew and failed to advise you. From this set of facts, it sounds like you may be able to pursue the matter against the inspector and the seller (the seller and her agent should have disclosed this to you).

How long ago was the purchase date?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
May 6th this year
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My neighbor also told me that the seller told her she needed a new roof. Hearsay I know.
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 4 months ago.

Yes, but your neighbor can probably be called to testify or provide a sworn written declaration. There are exceptions to the hearsay rule.

I would consider consulting an attorney in your area specializing in these types of matters.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I can't really afford a lawyer or know how to find one.
Expert:  socallegalwork replied 4 months ago.

The American Bar Association has an attorney referral service. Your state bar and local bar associations (county and municipal) may also have keep a list of attorneys on their respective websites.

Some attorneys will take up matters on a contingency basis (payment is contingent on the outcome). You will need to discuss their fee arrangements with them up front.

I wish you the best of luck.

Related Real Estate Law Questions