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!
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.
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.
Prudential Connecticut Realty
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