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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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Purchased a vacant lot. After closing, find that it floods

Customer Question

Purchased a vacant lot. After closing, find that it floods with storm water drainage issues and may be "unbuildable." Do I have recourse if I know the seller knew about the drainage issues?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) the site allows experts not to participate in phone calls and I may or may not be able to participate in this feature.I am very sorry to hear about this situation. Yes, this may be actionable. IF the builder knew of the issue, and knew that someone in your situation would miss it, then they may be liable in a fraud action. The elements of actionable fraud are that the defendant made a material representation that was false, that he knew when he made the representation that it was false, and that he made it with the intention that it should be acted upon by 177*177 plaintiff, and that plaintiff acted in reliance upon it and thereby suffered detriment. D & H Co., Inc. v. Shultz, Okl., 579 P.2d 821 (1978); State ex rel., Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. v. Brown, Okl., 519 P.2d 491 (1974).Unlike residential property, there is no specific listing for what does have to be disclosed for purchase of a lot. So it may be a little harder to prove the fraud, as the seller can argue "he had a right to inspect it," etc. In the end, the Judge or Jury decide.I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.