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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102505
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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I have a realtor that was suppose to take care of my house

Customer Question

I have a realtor that was suppose to take care of my house in Lawton OK. After almost 10 years of asking them what my house look like and what condition is it, they finally do inspection of my house and my house has been destroyed. I want to sue them for not letting me know about the major damages of my house. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only 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.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. When you say "take care," what do you mean?

1) Were you leasing it out and they were managing the tenant? Or, were they caretakers for the home while it stood empty?

2) Did you pay them?

3) Was this agreement in writing or verbal?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my housing was being rented out and yes they were suppose to be managing the tenants. Yes I paid them. They would take take 10 percent of the rent. Yes the agreement is in writing.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. And you mean that the tenancy just ended? Or, when did it end, exactly? And it was the tenant that destroyed the property?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No the people are still in the house. The damage has occurred during these tenant and ones before them. Point is I was never informed by the realtor of know of the damage. For example the roof, my insurance could have taken care of that years ago I would have known. The realtor only told me about plumbing problems not holes in my wall and ceiling.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Than you. Who caused the damage - the tenant?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. One last question. Does your contract with the realtor specifically state (check the verbiage) that the realtor will - on a regular time or from time to time do an inspection on the inside of the property?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are to do inspection every year. I left my house in their care 2006, they finally do the inspection 2016
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

Okay, so I take it that you mean that the language in your contract with the agent states that they have to do an inspection every year.

To sue in a state court, one needs to have a "cause of action." There are numerous causes of action, such as "breach of contract," "negligence," "fraud," "unjust enrichment," etc., as well as causes of action rooted in statutory law. Every state has their own although they are very similar to each other in every state because they all stem from the same common law. A pleading in Court needs at least one cause of action, although it is not unusual to have more than one.

If so, then there may be a case here since the tenancy is still ongoing, to sue one's agent for negligence for failure to notify the owner (i.e. you) of the damage in a reasonable amount of time. Negligence is defined by the following elements: (1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, (2) the defendant breached the standard by which his or her duty is measured, and (3) consequent injury. Mullins v. Commonwealth Life Insurance Co., Ky., 839 S.W.2d 245, 247 (1992), citing Illinois Central R.R. v. Vincent, Ky., 412 S.W.2d 874, 876 (1967).

However, this is a subjective case. The Court will have to decide whether or not the agent was negligent in failing to mention the damage. If the agent did not even DO the inspection every year, then this makes the case stronger.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please 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 experts get credit for our time. 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 with a positive rating.