Home Insurance in Fairfield>Question Details

Lmarielmm, Home Seller in Fairfield, CA

We bought a home may '10. This winter, the sunroom addition leaked the 1st time it rained. The sellers did not disclose, what recourse do I have?

Asked by Lmarielmm, Fairfield, CA Thu Mar 31, 2011

The sunroom addition leaked the first rain and continued to leak all winter. (We live in CA) There is evidence of prior caulking on the interior, at one of the leak points and flashing on the roof that makes me, and the repair man who looked at the roof, believe they had prior knowlege. Besides that the roof leaks so bad it cannot be a new problem. The sellers did not disclose a leak. Repairs for just the roof are estimated at $7000. Not to mention there is water damage on an interior wall and mold growing.. The way the sunroom is connection...it cannot be closed off, as one of the major leaks was above the french doors leading to it. All winter long we had to keep the doors open (the sunroom connects to our family room) and have buckets and pots under every drip. What kind of recourse do we have. How can we prove the owners had prior knowlege? Will title insurance help us at all? Please help! I live in CA by the way.

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Sameer Punjani’s answer
Sorry, oh, I forgot to ask if you had a home warranty? If you bought in 2010, there is usually a 1 year home warranty that gets bought. Find out if you have this warranty. Call your REALTOR that helped you with this purchase. They should be able to tell you. Also, you can look at you HUD 1 and it will say if a home warranty was ever bought..

Thanks
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
The law says that the seller must disclose whatever is known to them. Also, as the other agent is asking, did you get a home inspection done on the home? Also a roof inspection? All these inspections should have caught this issue.

Also, if its a sun room, was this permitted? A lot of sun rooms added on are usually not permitted.

I would follow Anna's suggestion and consult a real estate attorney.

Thank you

Sameer
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Have you tried your home insurance agent? I assume you had a home inspection completed before signing off on the sale, it will be very difficult to prove prior knowledge, and very costly to go legal.


David Cooper Las Vegas Foreclosure Investor in Bank Owned houses with Cash Flow. FReee List +1-7024997037 not a real estate agent Ask about limited partnerships
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
There were some very astute answers here but I must give my overall vote to Laura. she's covered most of the bases. All a previous homeowner has to do is plead ignorance. The burden of proof is on you to prove otherwise. This is usually an uphill battle that never gains you any ground let alone satisfaction.

The only issue you may have to fall back on it the mold issue as I see it. If any evidence suggests that that was a long term issue, which mold usually tends to be, then you may have a feather in your cap. But that's a long shot. Mold can and usually is related to a long term pre existing condition. Is there any forensic evidence that they may have covered it up? Look a little deeper. This may be your only hook.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hello Lmarielmm,

Your first step should be to contact the company that completed your home inspection and any company that you may have contracted to complete a roof inspection. This would allow them to verify if this was a pre-existing condition. If it was pre-existing, then why was there no mention in the inspection report(s)? This re-inspection should take place prior to any repairs being made. You should speak with an Attorney that specializes in Real Estate law to determine what options you may have. Make sure to bring ALL of your paperwork from the sale when you speak with the Attorney. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Hello,

Im sorry you are in such a sad situation first of all. However, you will need to prove the prior owner knew about this which may be very difficult to do even though there is evidence. They can say it was done before they moved in, etc etc. If you worked with an agent to purchase this property, you should contact them and see what can be done at this point, however, I doubt there is much. Real estate attornies can be quite expensive so I always suggest people contact the DRE legal hotline...it's free to consumers and they will guide you as to the next step you can take. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
I would consult a real estate attorney. Here are questions I have? Were you represented by a Realtor and were the seller's? What kind of disclosures did you get from them? Did you do a home inspection with a qualified inspector? Did that inspector state you should get the roof inspected prior to close? Did you get a roof inspection? Was this a REO (real estate owned) property? Did you sign anything stating "as is"? Did you ask for any repairs after your investigations? You will have the burden of proof that the seller's had prior knowledge so keep that in mind.
Title insurance only protects against you getting the house free and clear of any liens. This sounds like you need to contact your home owner's insurance.
Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
Was a home inspection conducted on the property before you purchased...title insurance insures title, not repairs; as for any legal recourse you may have, consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate, see what options you may have and then go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 31, 2011
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