We recently moved into a house where the owners were smokers but claimed not to have smoked inside the house, only on their screened porch. They paid for a remediation on the porch to remove the smoke smell and we decided to do the whole house as a precaution. The owners had two ozone treatments done prior to listing and also repainted the entire house. The paint job was a "hack" job where there was no primer used and the paint is now peeling off the cabinets and porch floor. So, the nicotine was not sealed properly. The previous owners did get a partial refund from the paint company for the hack job.
We made an offer on the first day of listing because we live in an area where the market is highly competitive. We asked about smoking in the house and were told emphatically "no" by the owners' daughter, who was also their real estate
agent. We would have never bought a house that was smoked in.
After the remediation, the nicotine started leaching out of the walls and wood and there was a residual nicotine/tar film on everything. Orange yellow is literally seeping from the surfaces. The remediation team came out to reinspect and said it was the worst case they had ever seen.
The smell is horrific and I have 2 small children, one of which has a rare genetic disorder which makes her more highly susceptible to cancer.
We have all been sick since we moved in and I ended up in Urgent care, where they told me most likely I had nicotine poisoning from the month-long cleaning I'd been doing.
The owners refuse to take any responsibility for lying to us about smoking in the house and our estimate to sanitize, re-carpet and repaint is currently around $50,000.
We are now forced to stay with my parents because we feel nicotine is incredibly toxic to our family but especially to our children.
Do you think we have a right to sue?
Thank you for your time,
Allison and Jared LaBonte