Question Details

Lindsay, Home Buyer in 80205

Seller did shoddy plumbing work that's costing me thousands

Asked by Lindsay, 80205 Mon Dec 17, 2012

I bought a house in March from a gentleman who had remodeled it to sell. The house passed inspection. Not two weeks into ownership the plumbing began to fall apart. I have gone through thousands of dollars and several plumbers to try and fix it, all of whom say the plumbing was not done even close to up to code. I also have checked and no permits were pulled on the house for the remodel at all. Do I have grounds to Sue the seller/remodeler or the home inspector for the cost of redoing the plumbing and fixing the water damage it has caused?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi, this is an old thread but just in case anyone is looking right now--PLEASE PLEASE do yourself
a favor and spend a hundred dollars and hire YOUR OWN independent LICENSED MASTER PLUMBER to do an analysis of the plumbing BEFORE you buy. DO NOT rely on the inspections.
You have to remember, all of those parties have a vested interest to get you into that home. They are
not always looking after your best interest. IF the seller lied on the disclosure/ and the property was not being sold "as is" and you can prove it. You might have really good legs to stand on. I would consult a lawyer.

We saved ourselves from getting the shaft--by hiring our own people to tell us what we are looking
at. Right now we are still in the process and will be hiring one more expert to make sure we are
protected. Is it money out of pocket? yes. Is it fair that you have to do it? No it is not. You should be
able to get honesty out of the seller and your real estate agent should protect you--but A. they are
salespeople you must remember that, and B. they are not experts so may not know.

Above all: do your research/ check to see if any permits were pulled/ if not then work was probably
done by the seller and not a licensed contractor. Also--check with possible previous owners before this seller. Sometimes you can find out from a neighbor or from city or township records, names of previous. You are not into this house until you sign on the line--remember not to let yourself be
swept up in the "urgency" to buy!!!!! Both the lender and the agent will tell you that there is a timeline.
PHOOEY, you set the timeline, YOU ARE buying--it will be you on the hook for 1000's of your dollars!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 25, 2016
I think the most important thing is that you've repaired the problems as quickly as possible. It could be more complicated if you would have waited until after you figured this out to repair it. I would suggest talking to a lawyer. Bring all of the information you have about the sale, and the plumbing work. You should also bring information about how much you paid for repairs. With all of that information, you should be able to get this resolved fairly quickly.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 10, 2015
Who was your home inspector? They should have noticed right away that the plumbing wasn't up to code. If I were you, I'd try to talk to a lawyer about it. Having quality plumbing is so important, so I wouldn't just twiddle my thumbs. Good luck getting everything fixed. Hopefully, the bad plumbing didn't cause any water damage.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 20, 2015
Your best bet is to talk to a real estate attorney. We are not attorneys and can't give legal opinion. All the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2014
I am not sure if at this point you would be able to get a good lawsuit. It's been quite some time since you bought the home, so it may be difficult to prove the damages. I would just talk to some various plumbers to see if there is any way that you can get all the work done for a good deal. Next time you buy a home, I would probably get a different inspector and make sure they are thorough.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 22, 2014
I would think that it's very likely that you have a case. The one weird thing I see in your story is how the house would pass inspection if the plumbing was bad. That doesn't add up very well. I would talk to the inspector and see how that happened. You definitely should get it all figured out as well as you can. If for no other reason than to make your spent money back.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2014
The inspector is usually hired by the real estate agent on your behalf/ so whom do you think they are biased toward? It happens quite frequently.
Flag Mon Jan 25, 2016
I'm really sorry to hear about that. I don't think a lawsuit will do you much good. You signed for the house as is. I think your best bet now is to hire a good plumber to fix things before they get worse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
That has got to be really difficult to have to deal with. I agree with Calvin, your best course of action will be to hire a plumber to get everything fixed up. There's not a lot that you can do now that you've purchased the house, but you want to make sure that the problem doesn't get any worse.
Flag Mon Dec 1, 2014
I'm really sorry to hear about that. I don't think a lawsuit will do you much good. You signed for the house as is. I think your best bet now is to hire a good plumber to fix things before they get worse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 5, 2014
I'm sorry to hear about that. I know that for me, I always make sure permits were pulled or I don't even consider buying. In fact, i used to do all of the work myself in my home, but just in case we decided to move, I don't any more. I don't want people to end up in your same situation. Good luck!

Mark Leach |
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 29, 2014
I do the same thing. It's really important to make sure everything, like the plumbing, was done properly. I'm sorry this happened to you! I think you would be able to sue. If the work wasn't done up to code then there is a real problem. I hope things go well for you.
Flag Wed Nov 5, 2014
It is unfortunate that you ended up on the raw end of this deal. I am surprised that the inspection did not detect such severe problems. Usually, a bank will not lend to you if there are issues this big. Now that the deal is done, I don't know if there is much to be done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 26, 2014
I'm really sorry that you had to go through all of this. I hope that you're able to get the plumbing work that you need done on your pipes. I agree with Eugene, there isn't a lot that can be done at this point.
Flag Mon Oct 27, 2014
Plumbing is one area that I look into with the buyer whenever we are looking at older homes. If work is done, we do find out if the work was permitted whenever remodeling work is done. un-Permitted work is
a huge "Red Flag" not only for the type of work, but for the loan.
As far as your rights to sue, I'm in California and you can sue here if the coffee is too hot in McDonalds!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 24, 2014
That is very unfortunate that the seller would leave the home in that condition. Our pipes froze last week and now we have a few leaks in our basement. I am looking for some good plumbing services to hopefully fix the problem and prevent it from happening again.
Flag Thu Oct 23, 2014
Definitely contact the plumber directly and try talking to them. It could be easier for everyone involve if you attempt civil contact before drawing in lawyers. Be sure you are comfortable with the plumber you want to fix the work. Maybe have them come for an estimate.
Michael Foster
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 18, 2014
I'm sorry! That is a terrible situation. I hope it doesn't cost too much to repair!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 11, 2013
How has this thread become the central headquarters for Calgary Plumbing posts?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 6, 2013
Thats always horrible to hear stories like this. But there are a lot of good plumbing companies that have been good experiences, for me at least. Hopefully you can get everything settled!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2013
Anyone can sue for any reason under the sun. Lawyers are happy happy to bill you for their time at incredible prices per hour. The big questions is will you win or get anything? That is a big Who Knows, but you can sue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
It is my first house and I had the contract reviewed by an attorney who said it was all standard. I had the home inspected by a licensed inspector who claimed to have checked the plumbing so obviously I did not think it was even an issue.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
It sounds like you might have a case. If an inspector told you the plumbing the up to standard, then part of the blame lies with then. It's going to be hard to prove that the seller knew there was a problem, but it might still be worth a shot.
Flag Tue Apr 21, 2015
As the others have advised you an attorney will need to be consulted regarding this situation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
Definitely talk to an attorney. Someone should have checked on permits before the closing. Did you use an attorney to DO the closing?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
First thing is the plumbing should have been checked more closely to start and permits checked before you purchased. At this point you will need to see an attorney. It will depend what the seller wrote on the sellers disclosure form and what the listing agent put on the listing form.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
Off the Record; probably.

But Realtors are not allowed to give LEGAL advice:
You probably should talk to an Attorney.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 17, 2012
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