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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100043
Experience:  Lawyer
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My girlfriend and I purchased a home two weeks ago and we discovered

Customer Question

My girlfriend and I purchased a home two weeks ago and we discovered that there are mouse burrows in the backyard. Further, we needed to tear up the walls in the basement due to a burst pipe (pre-purchase damage that was also undisclosed) and found mouse droppings in the walls.
We spoke to our neighbors and they indicated that this is a well known issue in the area and that steps need to be taken to ensure that they do not penetrate into the house.
This was not disclosed to us at the time of purchase and would have definitely impacted our decision on whether or not to purchase the home. What, if any, steps can be taken on our end to collect damages from the previous owners on this issue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry to hear this. Have you discussed this with your real estate lawyer at all?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We do not currently have a real estate lawyer nor have we discussed this with the real estate agent. I wanted to get some information prior to moving forward with this to ensure that I get the best possible start dealing with this issue.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
Generally the law with respect to the purchase of homes is that the purchaser has the right to inspect the home 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 phrase for this 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 render the premises uninhabitable or 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.Your next step then may be to sit down with a lawyer and review all the relevant facts with the lawyer. Bring in all the documentation of course, including the inspection report if you had one. It may be that you will have a case against the Vendor or the inspector.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, if I understand what you are saying, we may or may not have recourse?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
Yes but based on your facts this information was known and withheld and so you have a strong case.

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