Kmcmullan84, Home Owner in Galloway Township, NJ

NJ Full Disclosure Question

Asked by Kmcmullan84, Galloway Township, NJ Tue May 3, 2011

We went under contract for our current house in late August, 2010. We made settlement Oct. 22, 2010. The seller was notified via certified letter in late September that he was responsible for converting the old septic system to the sanitary sewer system. He did not mention this to us at all. I just received a letter the other day from our township stating this should have been taken care of before closure. Now they want us to do the conversion and pay for it. Did someone screw up here? Should the seller have told us? Is he legally responsible? I need some help, it's too expensive and the township is making it seem like it's not an option! We just bought a house and don't have $4K to do this at the moment. Any help is appreciated... thank you!

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I wish you the best in might have to hire an attorney to track the owner down. Good Luck! Let us know how you make out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Thanks, your answers confirmed what I thought. In the beginning, the seller had a different agent. Then we had a dual agent (my agent) because the seller's agent just left for something else. My agent is actually helping me here, and she's been really great so I don't want to hold her responsible. Unfortunately, the seller has literally disappeared. His mail still comes here and I have to return it to the post office. The address he put on file at closure was one of a friend's I believe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Check with a lawyer. I'm not a lawyer, and, further, don't know New Jersey practices. However . . .

I would guess (only a guess) that when the seller was notified that the old septic system had to be converted, he was obligated to notify you. But he didn't.

You're the owner now. And if the township is requiring it, they'll look to you, not to a previous owner. (Again, this isn't legal advice.) I'm guessing a lawyer will say that you've got to do it, but that you may have recourse against the previous owner (and against the real estate agent representing the owner, if that agent was aware of the letter and the requirement). So you may be in a position where you have to do the work, then collect from the previous owner (and maybe the agent).

Meanwhile, you may be able to get the township to delay further action. Again, a lawyer can advise you. It's unlikely they'll just back off but it's possible they'll be willing to wait a while, perhaps until you can recover money from the previous owner.

Again, you need a lawyer.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
You'll need to speak to an attorney, after checking with your agent to see if he or she has any documentation that the work was completed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 3, 2011
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