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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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In the "Seller Property Questionnaire Addendum" the Seller

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In the "Seller Property Questionnaire Addendum" the Seller answered he is not aware of : "Any current or proposed construction that will affect existing views", and "Any current or proposed construction, near the property, of public or private facilities, such as highways, hi-rise buildings or commercial development".
These statements are incorrect. Construction of a 21 new apartment project right across our home on the adjacent 1/2 acre canyon lot that had been in the planning with the city for the past three years just begun. This development poses a significant impact on our home as the planned 4 story complex will block our view, access to its underground parking just across from our home will solely be possible through "our" alley, and construction noise will occur over the next 16 months. We purchased this home due to its tranquil location at the dead end of an alley to avoid traffic noise and enjoy un-obstructed canyon view which the planned development will both ruin forever. Had the seller disclosed these plans to us we would have reconsidered the purchase. Need help deciding on the next steps.

Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Do you know that the sellers made this representation knowing it was false when they made it?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information.

You can sue them for fraud and misrepresentation. You would need to be able to prove that they made that representation of no planned construction knowing that it was false and for the purpose of inducing you to proceed with the sale. In other words it was a misrepresentation of a "material fact" and, based upon that representation, you bought the property.

Your damages would be the difference in value between the property with unobstructed views and the value of the property you actually got. Additionally, if you prevail on a fraud claim you may be awarded punitive damages, as well.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
According to the developer and neighbors, there had been multiple communications sent to the neighborhood The seller knew about this project as it had been in planning since he bought this place.
What are the statue of limitations on a case like this and how long it may take to get a resolution?

The statute of limitations for fraud is 3 yrs, but it starts running from the time of discovery or the time you should have reasonably known.

As far as resolution, it depends on how aggressively the seller defends the claim and how amenable you are to settle. It could take months or it could take years. There is no way to tell at this point.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you Loren.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello Loren,
my question is on the "proof" the seller knew about the construction: Apparently in 2014 every property owner within 300 feet of the project was sent a notification by the City and anyone with interest was invited to 3 presentations that were made to the neighborhood planning committee between Oct 2014 and June 2015 (where the Seller was residing here). The project developper also told us anther notice was sent in July 2016 (when we had moved in) but we never received such notice!Based on this information, is this sufficient "proof" in your eyes?

Yes, that is certainly sufficient proof. Hopefully the notice was certified mail to the seller and you can get the signed receipt through discovery.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry Loren, but I don't know if it was certified mail. Is that still a go?

If it was required by the municipality as a condition for issuing permits or a zoning hearing then it would have to have been certified.

Either way, all you need is for the developer to testify that he mailed out notices to the seller.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Loren,
Another big negative for us is the new development's garage, which will house 21 household worth of cars and traffic is only accessible thru "our alley" right in front of our garage/front door. Can we get the Developer make changes to the plans after the plans have been approved?

Probably not.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
ok, thank you!

You are very welcome.

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