Home Selling in Laguna Beach>Question Details

diane.jones1…, Home Buyer in Laguna Beach, CA

Should a seller have informed the buyer that the manhole is in the dinning room of the extention?

Asked by diane.jones147, Laguna Beach, CA Mon May 6, 2013

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I tend to agree with Alexander that it's most likely crawl space access. Many of the older homes and cottages are not built on a slab but a raised floor. This is actually a good thing as it allows you access to pipes and vents which you might not. I always walk through the disclosures with my sellers and we do talk about these kinds of things. I think that it's important for buyers to be aware of all openings either to the crawl space or attic so that they can investigate that area as well....I sleep better when I've tried to disclose everything we possibly can.

Do remember that sellers can only disclose what they are aware of....they are not required to do investigations of their own to find things out. In this case, if the opening was not visible say by carpet, and the sellers bought the home that way, they might not know about it either.

Hope this helps. Welcome to Laguna.....such a great place to live!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 17, 2013
Wow....manhole inside a residence? If the sellers are aware they should have disclosed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
If the seller knew then that's a big fat yes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
When in doubt...disclose...that's how I was trained. Better to be safe than sorry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
I believe you must be referring to the crawlspace access. Normally crawlspace access and covers are located outside or in a closet where it would be less obtrusive. Assuming that, there are a number of reasons why it might be located in the dining room. On "atypical" lots for example if the foundation is built on a slope (as is often the case in Laguna Beach) it might be part slab part raised. If only the "extension" where the dining room is a raised foundation and there was no other place to locate the access, you'd end up with an access in a less than "ideal" location. Not really a problem, just aesthetically inconvenient.

Now if you truly have a storm drain access "man hole" cover in your dining room then yes you really have a legitimate concern and material fact that should have been disclosed. As suggested below you'd best contact the city regarding permit records for that "extension" as I doubt that could ever be kosher.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
I've never see a proper manhole (access to city sewer or city utilities) inside a residence. Are you talking about the access to the crawl space under the house?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Hi Diane,
I'm in agreement here that a manhole (to the sewer?) is covered by an extension of the dining room. I would certainly check to see if a certificate of occupancy is on file with the town as this seems rather suspicious that covering the manhole would be allowed.

Best wishes!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Wow - Absolutely! It's also a question of permits for the room. I suggest a call to you title insurance as well and see where they may offer assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
The seller has a legal duty to disclose any material fact that he or she is aware of. This sounds like sokmething that should have been disclosed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Manhole to the sewer system? Did you fo your inspection and check for permits on the room?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
Diane, You might be able to identify what this ties into. If it is a storm drain or sewer line, you may be able to relocate the man hole cover to an outside location. It may be the previous owner was not aware it was there, if covered by carpeting, and that may be the reason it was not disclosed. All the best!
Flag Wed Oct 16, 2013
Couldn't inspect as it was covered by a carpet, has suppose to be have been checked by building consent at the time and law firm is suppose to have checked the consent of the extention as well as the surveyor didnot pick this up either. It was well and truelt hidden and would hve stopped the purchase of the house had i known.
Flag Mon May 6, 2013
Absolutely. You should disclose what you know about the property.. Sounds like you should. Can you see it or is it cover up? There are more questions to ask about this...
Are you asking your agant this question. They should be helping you if you are working with one and under contract.. Check with their broker if you are not getting any response from the agent..

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 6, 2013
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