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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I purchased a house just under 6 years ago and went to sell

Customer Question

I purchased a house just under 6 years ago and went to sell it and when the potential buyers had the inspection done, 7 broken trusses were found in the attic. Some showed signs of previous repair and there was evidence of a fire. The inspector that I hired marked on his sheet that only visual access to the attic was available so therefore did not find and the previous owners marked on the disclosure that there were no repairs were needed due to fire. Since the buyers backed out and I'm looking at $25k to repair, can I go after the inspector or previous owner? The house had only been owned by one family and found out from the neighbor that there was in fact a fire.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Even though you bought the house 6 years ago, you have just discovered this breach of the contract, which is fraud by failure to disclose the fire and damage, then you have the right to sue for breach of the contract and failure to disclose the damage. You would have to sue the seller and seek your damages from the seller for the failure to make mandatory disclosures.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
nothing on the inspector that didn't go into the attic? Also, the family that owned it had 5 kids, one with the power of attorney is an attorney here locally and she had us sign a document that states that we can not go back to them regarding anything found after the purchase was completed does this hold any weight since they did not disclose?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If the inspector stated he could only make a visual inspection, it is not the inspector's liability. It is the liability of the seller for failure to disclose. Furthermore, if you took a home warranty coverage, you need to file a claim with them and seek coverage there as well.
If they committed fraud and knowingly concealed and not disclose, you did not sign the waiver KNOWINGLY and fraud is grounds to void any such waiver you signed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the inspector could get into the attic but chose only to do a visual inspection unlike the inspector that the potential buyers had hired.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply.
The inspector's liability is questionable, because he disclosed to you only a visual was done, so he did not misrepresent the inspection to you. You could try to sue him as part of your suit for negligently conducting the inspection, but he would likely argue that you could have asked for more than a visual when he disclosed all he did was a visual inspection and that would be a tough case.