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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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can i sue the previous owner of my home for the cost of repairs

Resolved Question:

can i sue the previous owner of my home for the cost of repairs of my bathroom if he didn't fix it properly and new that there was mold?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 8 years ago.
How do you know he knew there was mold?

Did he try and cover it up?

Did you have an inspection?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
when we viewed the house the realtor stated that he had recently renovated the bathroom. the home ispector said that there may be moisture in the wall but it was a minor problem and would be fine for 5 to 10 years without remedy.
Expert:  Debra replied 8 years ago.
Generally the law with respect to the purchase of a house is that the purchaser has the right to inspect the house for defects. If the Purchaser decides to buy the home then generally the law can be summed up by the well known phrase "buyer beware." The legal term for this phase is the Latin phrase caveat emptor.

However, at the same time the Vendor is not permitted to misrepresent, fail to disclose or actively try to hide defects.

As well the vendor has a duty to disclose a latent defect if it's substantial. This usually includes defects that the premises uninhabitable of unfit for the use the Purchaser is planning for. It would also include the situation where the cost to repair is going to be substantial as well.

As you did an inspection and the inspection was positive you may very well be able to go after the inspector because the inspector was clearly not correct about the 5 - 10 years.

If you can prove the Vendor knew about the mold you may be able to succeed against him.

As a next step what you can do is sit down with a lawyer and review the facts, the listing and the offer and the inspection report and get an opinion about your options, if any.

The lawyer should tell you:

- what your chances of success are
- what you are likely to be awarded
- how long will the process take
- how much will it cost in legal fees
- what the risks are of you losing and having to pay their costs

I don't know the extent of the cost to repair or what province you are in but you should talk to the lawyer about the idea of suing in Small Claims Court and self-representing. If you end up doing that you can post on this site again and I can guide you through the process.

If you don't know any lawyers what you can do is contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the names of three lawyers and can consult with any or all of them and the first half hour will be free.

I hope that clarifies things.

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