Legal

Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Legal
This answer was rated:

In September of 2012, I bought a 3bd 2bth home for 125k from

the seller who agreed per...
In September of 2012, I bought a 3bd 2bth home for 125k from the seller who agreed per contract (drawn up by our broker) to install a new hoa approved septic within a certain amount of time following the purchase. The septic system was completed in November 2012 by the seller, and the whole process was overseen by our broker. I was not involved or consulted during the process of the installation nor was I able to live in the home during these months; I was simply informed when the installation was complete. Now I am currently trying to sell the home. I received an offer for 128k from a potential buyer and we entered a contract. Inquiries from this potential buyer about the status of the septic system led me to contact the engineer who designed my septic system and he revealed that he was given the wrong information by the previous owner on the size of my house. He was told it was 2 bedrooms, not 3 bedrooms. The state requires a septic system's capacity to be 120+ gallons per bedroom. So the system he installed has a capacity of only 240 gallons for my 3 bedroom home, which is 120 gallons short of state requirements. While the state and the hoa approved this system, they did so relying on the information that the previous owner (and perhaps the realtor) gave them when they pursued the installation of the septic according to contract. This information on the size of the house was clearly a misrepresentation since the home has 3 legal bedrooms and has always been represented in real estate as such. Consequently, the potential buyer for my home has backed out and other buyers have walked due to the concerns with the size of the septic system. And so, my question is: what can I do to make this right? It would seem that the previous owner who installed the septic system is at fault for misrepresenting the size of the house which he knew very well since he had it advertised as 3 bedrooms. There is limited space on my lot and I doubt that the septic could be expanded at this point. What are my options?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Answered in 13 minutes by:
4/27/2013
John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,632
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
Verified
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

Did your contract with the previous seller specifically require the septic to meet the state regulations?
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

The contract reads "HOA approved septic system to be installed post closing but no later than...." This is a gated lake community in rural Ste. Genevieve county, MO. The hoa must approve all septic systems prior to the purchase of a property, but all new systems must be approved by the state before the health dept will permit installation. So, the health department permitted the installation of this septic system based on the misinformation that was given that the home had only 2 bedrooms.

John,

Sorry for the delay. The failure of the seller to have a proper septic system installed is likely a breach of contract. While you would be much better off if the contract was clear that it must comply with state regulations, it is generally implied that contraction contracts must be properly inspected and meet regulations prior to being completed. If this requirement was written in your contract rather then HOA requirements then Your case would be clear cut. The seller is going to defend the suit by saying that they met the explicit terms of the contract because they met the HOA regulations which do not have the same volume requirements as the state.

You do have enough of an argument that state regulations must be met on all constructions so they are in technical breach of contract. Given your contract it is not a slam dunk. Your next step should be to demand the instillation of a proper fitting septic.

If they refuse you are going to have to sue for breach of contract. The damages you are entitled to are not for the lost sale but just for the cost of bringing the current system up to code. If this requires replacement then you can sue for the cost of replacement.
John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,632
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
Verified
John Legal and 87 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Thank you for the positive rating. Please ask for me if you have another question.
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thanks for your help. What would be the best way, in your opinion, to try and resolve this situation? The broker used both by me and by the previous owner in the transaction also worked as a developer of the community, and he was responsible for ensuring that the contract went as planned. I was thinking about talking with him to see if he could mediate a resolution with the previous owner rather than taking the approach of litigation. Is there any danger in this approach? If it is advisable to take such an approach, is there anything legal that I should be aware of before doing so?

Very good questions. I think it is a great idea to go back to the broker and point out that the original septic tank did not meet state requirements. I would suggest starting out asking for their help to get it corrected to assure that it meets requirements. I would suggest no threats, yet. If the broker is on your side then you have a much better chance of getting this settled. There is no risk of trying to settle the claim. Nothing that you say in the course of settlement negotiations are admissible in court. So long as you file suit within 5 years from the date of the breach of contract then you have no risk of spending some time to settle.

John
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Hello, I have a update to the situation I discussed with you, and I am hoping you might help guide me. I contacted the broker and the previous owner of the house-both of whom claim ignorance of the size septic that was engineered to be installed. In any case, as it turns out, there is no space to expand the septic system. So, I cannot force the previous ower to expand the system. I am stuck with a 2 bedroom septic system for a 3 bedroom house. Now, given the fact that the previous owner was under contract to install an approved septic system for said house, can I still litigate even though the system cannot be expanded? In other words, can I sue for damages, to receive the difference in value between a 2 bdrm and 3 bdrm home in the area, for instance? What suggestions would you have here?
Thank you for following up. You can absolutely sue for damages. Your damages would be the decrease in value of your home because it can only be called a two bedroom home. You are correct. Your expert would be an appraiser giving you a value based on both a two bedroom and one bedroom home in the area. In fact, I would imagine your damages would be even greater since it cannot be expanded.

John
Ask Your Own Legal Question
Ask John Legal Your Own Question
John Legal
John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4,632
4,632 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.

John Legal is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

8,775 satisfied customers

JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

24,353 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

INFOLAWYER

INFOLAWYER

Attorney

20,727 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses

JPEsq

JPEsq

Attorney

2,132 satisfied customers

Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor

Law Educator, Esq.

Law Educator, Esq.

Attorney

42,358 satisfied customers

JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law

Ellen

Ellen

Lawyer, Consultant

8,238 satisfied customers

25 years of experience helping people like you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

Attorney

292 satisfied customers

7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.

< Previous | Next >

Related Legal Questions
Breach of contract EMPIRE TODAY- I have a contract for
Breach of contract EMPIRE TODAY- I have a contract for install and removal for flooring. It's day 35! The disaster started 1st day, the salsa person measured incorrectly the worker showed up- yelling … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,686 satisfied customers
I have a breach of contract issue that I believe would or
Hello I have a breach of contract issue that I believe would or should meet the Threshold of special damages, even punitive damages. … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
1,959 satisfied customers
Recently I sent a Cease and Desist w/ breach of contract to
Recently I sent a Cease and Desist w/ breach of contract to a company in Texas because they no longer offer a product and do not have the product anymore that was listed on the original contract. I or… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,317 satisfied customers
Breach of contract far as im concerned.wife used store
breach of contract far as im concerned.wife used store credit card without permission.she doesn't have a card and name not on account.3 names on card;me,issuing bank,and store name.if the 3 of us do b… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I was named in a Breach of Contract Notice but I am not
I was named in a Breach of Contract Notice but I am not contracted with this party, I am contractor with the sub. Not sure how to proceed to make sure I get paid … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,317 satisfied customers
Is it a breach of contract if the custodial parent moves the
Is it a breach of contract if the custodial parent moves the children to a different medical insurance without notice?From the Final Decree: The court finds that Health and Dental Insurance for the children is available at a reasonable cost to the Father....If, at some point in the future, the Mother becomes eligible for insurance and wants to move the Children to her policy and Father agrees, Father shall be responsible for 50% of the cost of insurance; Father may refuse to transfer the Children to Mother's policy if his portion of the cost of such policy exceeds the premium he then is paying for comparable coverage through his employer.Today: I discovered, the Mother now has free insurance for the children. She switched the kids over to the new policy 2 years ago. However, I've been paying about $450 per month. Which means, I'm paying $450 for no reason. Is this willingly breaching a contract with the intent to cause financial harm? Or, what would be the outcome of this?… read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,317 satisfied customers
When someone breaches a contract what happens with the
When someone breaches a contract what happens with the contract by law? … read more
Bill Attorney
Bill Attorney
law
1,585 satisfied customers
I have a breach of contract against me that began according
i have a breach of contract against me that began according to the paperwork 08/12/04 … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
24,353 satisfied customers
I received a summons for breach of contract with Lowes
I received a summons for breach of contract with Lowes credit card. My income is Social Security, I am 64. My husband is not on the contract, but is 76 years of age and is also on Social Security and … read more
John
John
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,853 satisfied customers
I have someone who breached their contract by breaking an
Hello, I have someone who breached their contract by breaking an NDA and I am trying to find out if the evidence I have is enough to bring charges against them. … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
987 satisfied customers
I am being sued for breach of contract by a financial
I am being sued for breach of contract by a financial advisor who has sent me an a time list of "extra services he has performed that,he claims, outside his contractual fees. He is suing me for $33,00… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
How can I resend a deed do to breach of contract and fraud?
How can I resend a deed do to breach of contract and fraud ? … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I had a breach of contract with a venue, they did not want
I had a breach of contract with a venue, they did not want to host my event again despite having a paid in full contract with them months prior to the event date---i want to take them to small claims … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires
second opinion] I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires a declaratory judgement affirming the contract's validity. Defendant claims the the contract is flawed due to drafting erro… read more
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq.
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
42,358 satisfied customers
I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires
second opinion] I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires a declaratory judgement affirming the contract's validity. Defendant claims the the contract is flawed due to drafting erro… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,686 satisfied customers
I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires
I have a breach of contract action in progress that requires a declaratory judgement affirming the contract's validity. Defendant claims the the contract is flawed due to drafting error and has made c… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
20,727 satisfied customers
The attorney for the defense, in a breach of contract civil
The attorney for the defense, in a breach of contract civil suit, while talking to the pro se plaintiffs admitted that his client did in fact breach our contract. What can the pro se due with this adm… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,127 satisfied customers
If someone sues me for a breach of contract and they are
If someone sues me for a breach of contract and they are trying to add up debatable if not erroneous monies indirect of the contract (like pain and suffering, missed vacation etc) they want to recover… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,127 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x