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legalgems
legalgems, Arbitrator
Category: Real Estate Law
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We bought a house in Surprise Arizona, and the owner said

Customer Question

We bought a house in Surprise Arizona, and the owner said they treated for termites, and rodents, when we closed in house we started to remodel, we found termites in walls, and rodents (mice in actic) had tunnels etc got us 15000.00 for installation in roof and 7000.00 for termites, air conditioner broke, and now water line broke. can we go back on previous owner,
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Surprise Arizona
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: what kind of paper work
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: we have spend 75000 dollars already
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Even if the parties agree that the standardized disclosure documents will not be exchanged, the seller has an affirmative duty to provide the buyer with disclosure of known, material facts - this generally is understood to include infestations, along with the condition of defective/old appliances.

If thee Residential Real Estate Purchase Contract of the state realtor association was used, paragraph 4 requires the disclosure form to be used. However even if it is not used, in every contract there is an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which has been interpreted, for property sales, to require disclosures of known material facts.

There is case law - a 1986 AZ case, Hill v Jones, where the court found that the seller was not liable when the disclosed termite damage turned out to be more excessive than expected, because the buyer was notified of the problem and failed to exercise due diligence. But if there is no disclosure at all, that would be considered failure to disclose a known material fact.

Misrepresentation is when a party does the following: (1) a representation was made; (2) that was false; (3) that when made, the representation was known to be false or made recklessly without knowledge of its truth; (4) that it was made with the intention that the plaintiff rely on it; (5) that the plaintiff did rely on it; and (6) that the plaintiff suffered damages as a result. It can also include an omission when there is a duty to disclose.

Generally the seller must reimburse for actual damages suffered- i.e. repair costs; and possibly attorney fees (usually that is addressed in the real estate contract)

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

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