makethewiser…, Home Owner in Los Angeles, CA

Statute of limitations to sue on disclosure of home? Los Angeles.

Asked by makethewisertoo, Los Angeles, CA Tue Oct 30, 2012

I believe the sellers of my house witheld information about the geological condition of a house I bought two years ago. What is the amount of time I have to file a claim if it comes to that? The home is in Los Angeles, CA.

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10
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
Hi makethewisertoo,

I believe you will find the consensus of the collective Trulia community is to contact a Real Estate lawyer. By the way, non-disclosure of material fact(s) is the predominant cause for legal action in CA.

The Statute of limitations for contracts in writing (California Code of Civil Procedure section 337) is 4 years from the date the contract was broken. You appear to be well within the four years. Furthermore, if you were in fact outside of the four year limit and you suspected fraud (Seller misleads or misrepresents facts and Buyer relies on facts Seller provided) I believe the statute of limitations would be 3 years from the point you realize the fraud.

You really have not specified the nature of the geological condition. This would help if you are looking for more input.

Before moving forward with a Real Estate lawyer you may want to review your transaction file to check the Seller disclosures and the Natural Hazards Report. Then again, the issue that has you worried may be completely valid.

Best Regards, Steve
2 votes
Bikermamma20…, Home Buyer, Hermitage, PA
Tue Sep 29, 2015
when I bought my home in 2009, I informed my realtor of all the issues that I seen and if it would be corrected. she said yes. when I reviewed my disclose documents, it was blank. the seller never indicated any problems with the home. so far, I've had 3 major floods. the foundation of the home is slanting and cracking slowly, and once again, the seller NEVER filled out the disclose form of these major issues. is it to late to contact a lawyer regarding this. we are in the process of selling our home now due to these major (not minor) issues, and several interested candidates have decline in purchasing the home as they would say *sever foundation problem*
0 votes
Sona Gallatin, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
How do you know that he sellers knew about the soil issues? Is there a record of an inspection or a claim against the builder? Didn't you have an inspection? Did you have an agent representing you or did you buy directly from a seller or builder?
You probably can sue but I would check on getting all the facts straight first.

Good luck
0 votes
Douglas Perez…, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
Great comments are already given.
I would say it is 5 years though, but double check this with a real estate attorney advise for free at http://avvo.com

Good luck.
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
My two cents, just because you may have a claim it does not mean that it is financially best to sue someone...

Think about 2 or 3 years of litigation.. hefty attorneys fees... then a likely settlement that does not make either party happy... or if you get a judgement, how likely is that you will be successful collecting... another often ignored fact is what are your damaages? can you quantify them? are they worth two or three years of stressful litigation?

Just sayin'

Best of luck! If you find my answer useful give it a Thumbs Up por favor!

RonE
0 votes
carlos parra…, Other Pro, Monrovia, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
Based on my knowledge and experience I believe Steve is correct
0 votes
Marilyn Jenne, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
This will require either more research or a learned legal opinion. Check this out:
http://www.courts.ca.gov/9618.htm
Depending on whether it is considered damage to property (3 years) or breach of a written contract (4 years from discovery), those would be avenues to investigate further.
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
You need to talk to a real estate attorney in your local area. And keep in mind, proving willful lack of disclosure is not easy so think hard before you go after someone.

Best Regards,

Lance King/Owner-Managing Broker
lance@fixedrateproperties.com
415.722.5549
DRE# 01384425
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Wed Oct 31, 2012
You need to seek legal advice but I think it's within one year from when you discovered the problem.
0 votes
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Tue Oct 30, 2012
I believe it is either 3 or 4 years, depending on what this falls under. But you should consult an attorney.
Web Reference:  http://www.homejane.com
0 votes
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