Home Buying in Newton>Question Details

Jean, Home Owner in Newton, MA

What legal recourse is there for a house that was purchased as fully renovated but found both bedroom and basement floors are original. They squeak.

Asked by Jean, Newton, MA Sun Feb 6, 2011

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You've already closed on the house? Your legal recourse may be quite limited. You have the right, at your own cost, to inspect the house prior to closing, did you waive this right?

As for squeaky floors ... are they hardwood? Carpetting? It's possible for them to squeak even if the surface is new (either refinished or replaced) if the supports were not reinforced or adjusted. Did these rooms squeak when you first walked through the house? When did you notice the squeaking?

Did you use an attorney with the purchase of this house? If so ... he/she would be the best place to start.

I guess, like everyone else seems to be indicating, I see no obvious recourse. There are many steps put in place to try to prevent this sort of misunderstanding and the key would be how these squeaky floors managed to get past all those checks ... if, at any point, there was some sort of active misinformation or misrepresentation about those floors, then you are more likely to have a case. More so if you have it in writing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
Depends if you had an inspection / due diligence period and also what the exact property condition disclosure was when you purchased the property. These scenarios can be tricky so your best bet is to get your hands on the original listing sheet, disclosure doc's and all the correspondences as it relates to the property condition and call your real estate attorney.

Good luck!

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
Renovation is not a new construction, there will be some old, some new. Most legal problem in real estate transactions are disclosure related. You must look closely into what had been disclosed to you. If they said the floors are new, then you may have a good case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 17, 2012
At this point you have no recourse.

Once inspected and any problems are sorted out you are buying the home as is. No matter what you find afterwards even if it shows that the home was blatantly mis-represented you are stuck with it.

Most important persons in this process are your inspector and your lawyer (not your realtor)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 2, 2011
Did you have a home inspection done and if so, have you decided to go forward with the purchase after the inspection?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 21, 2011

"Fully" is a subjective word and one that will be hard to uphold in the court of law. I just sold a renovated home and there were many things that were not done. We allowed the buyer a home inspection and they understood that if it was completely new the home would have been 100K more. I would just bring in a contractor to fastened the floors and you should eliminate the squeeking. Best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 21, 2011
Hi Jean,

Rennovated does not mean everything is brand new. It means the property has been updated. When you did your home inspection it should have been apparent that some items were not brand new. Squeaking floors are not uncommon and they are actually pretty easy to fix http://www.squeakyfloor.com/prodsqueak.html. There is another product called squeak no more. Both cost under $20 and about an hour of your time. I'd try this before I pursued legal recourse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
and in event you have no luck, you may find this link helpful on how to fix

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
I tend to agree that "fully renovated" is not a legal term which everyone would automatically agree with. I also agree that squeaky floors would not require an inspector to discover and would have been evident to you and anyone else in the home.
You should seek a legal opinion if you feel there is a good reason, but it doesn't sound like a wining case to me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
That should have been apparent in the viewing and the home inspection. Everyone would have their own interpretation of fully renovated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
Your attorney would be the best person to ask this question. However, assuming you had an inspection done before the purchase, you've already purchased the house the way it is. I would say, first contact your attorney, and then contact a qualified inspector to see if he can figure out where the issue lies and how/if it can be corrected.
I'm sorry you're dealing with this!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
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