They may have known and maybe not. I had something happen quite the same. They quoted 5-10k to repair the line from house to street and did not include any equipment they needed to rent. Now the good news, A very dear friend of mine had me call a Leak Detection company. They can find the pipe issue very easily with their equipment. I called, within 20 minutes he found the broken pipe. Dug up the entire area, replaced the broken pipe and filled back at a cost of $350. A far cry for 5-10k. i would consult an attorney but given the short sale, i agree there is no money there. You may have different rules about repair than we do here, but I know it cost me a fraction to repair the break rather than the entire line. Good luck
There probably was no knowledge of a problem as you lived there for a week without a problem and then this happened. It can and it will and is part of the joy of owning property. It is unfortunate and hard to swallow but........you will need to fix it.
Prior knowledge or cover ups are a different matter! Check with your city since from what you write it seems to be a city system to see of there were prior calls or issues with this property.
Speak with your buyers agent
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Often things like this happen when a new family moves into a house. The house may be older, the plumbing may be older and the people that lived there used the plumbing less than you do now. The plumbing got used to the old owners. You may have more people or just different use habits.
I bought my parents house. Right after I moved in the waterheater went out and had to be replaced. My dad told me it had worked for him and my mom fine for the last 20 years.
Sewers go out. Often when homes change owners. Sucks.
How unfortunate for you. As others have said, it is likely that the seller did not know about the problem and even if they did they must be in extreme financial difficulty.
Most people do not have a sewer line inspection even though they have the right to. I am assuming you didn't have this inspection. It is an expense most people do not want, but in a case like yours it would have ended up saving you this headache.
Best to you!
For example older ceramic piping is notorious for roots growing into the pipes at the joints causing cracks (or cracks in general from other causes) and eventual failure. The conditions in the home would be slow drainage which can sometimes be corrected with drain cleaners that kill the vegetation temporarily.
As a short sale its unfortunate that this happened to you but there is little recourse. Do call your agent. Do call the listing agent.
The last piece of bad news is that trying to litigate a 10k problem isn't worth the bigger headache of lawyers and cost of litigation.
In certain cities, sewer lateral testing is mandated, and if it fails, it needs to be replaced within so many months from closing date. If this is a requirement, and your realtor fairled to advise you appropriately, you may have some recourse.
I am wondering if you signed off on a document waiving your right to inspections against the recommendation of your realtor.
At what point does the problem start? The city is responsible up to the curb leading to your house. You sound as if you've already done the test and have identified or confirmed that the sewer lateral will need to be replaced. You may want to get a second opinion as to the cost of replacement by reputable companies.
Yes, I'm sure you got a full set of Disclosures when you bought the home, but even if you find a problem that the seller knew about (or should have known about) and did not disclose, getting any compensation is unlikely. The seller is most likely already in financial difficulty, otherwise, why was it a Short Sale? You can't get any money from somebody who doesn't have any. This is one point that all agents should be making clear to potential buyers of Short Sales.
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If a reasonable person should have known there was an issue then you have options! Even if the property is sold "AS IS" it does not mean the Seller is not still obligated to disclose material issues.
Assuming you used the CAR Residential Purchase Agreement to purchase the property, and this is very important, review Para 17 "Dispute Resolution" to obtain a basic understanding of your options. Note that you can file a suit in Small Claims Court up to $7,500. See the following link for more information:
Here's another idea:
As you call around for contractor repair quotes, ask if the contractor has any records of prior work being done at your new address as this could substantiate the seller's prior knowledge of a sewer issue.
The other problem is that this is a short sale, short sales that I have sold in the past are usually "as is". If that seller has finanical problems that has caused them to have a short sale, then odds are that there is no money for any repairs.