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usmc5811

undisclosed defects

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I recently purchases a home in new orleans. Upon moving in i discovered mold and termites. upon further investigation i discovered three large holes that had been jackhammered through the slab in order to reroute the plumbing. Each hole was for a plumbing drain line for a tub and each was completely enclosed by the sheetorck walls with no trap opened. It was determined by the mold remediation experts and the pest control company that the holes were the primary cause of both issues. my question is; is there any way that the seller can make the case that the holes are not a defect in the slab and therefore did not need to be included in the disclosure? it should be noted that the home was a completly gutted remodel and the seller was the builder. ("realestate developer" is what he calls himself)

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No. it was concealed within the walls as was all of the above mentioned damage. the seller also admited in writing (email) that he knew about the holes. he also said that he has pictures of the holes from before the walls were closed in and sited those pictures as proof that their was no mold at that time. he is not to bright!!

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Just off the top of my head it looks like you would have two distinct issues here:

1) Action against the building inspector (most likely your remedy would be limited to whatever you paid for the inspection). Most of the service contracts like that would expressly limit any liability to only the cost of services as they wouldn't want to be liable for the purchase price of a home that they incorrectly inspected.

2) Action against the seller.

Generally sellers are required to disclose all defects that they know of (latent defects). It is clear that the seller was aware of these defects at the time of sale, so you are faced with the issue of showing/determinging that these were in-fact defects.

Your next stop might be to research what consitutes a 'defect'. Look to the general theory of what a defect is (maybe as broad as something which would prevent a building from 'meeting code') instead of an enumerated list.

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First, a real estate attorney would need to review all of the written and verbal disclosures that were made prior to the close of escrow.

Second, it would be helpful to know whether you received a termite inspection report and a home inspection report prior to the close of escrow. These reports are standard practice in most states.

If nothing was disclosed, and no reports were provided, you may still have a claim against the seller and the real estate brokers involved (if any) for failure to disclose patent defects. A patent construction defect is one which would be noticeable during the course of day to day living in the house.

Edited by FindLaw_AHK
As per the Community Guidelines, links to personal web pages or blogs may be included in the signature line. Other personal or identifying information in this post has been removed. -Moderator

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Termites are worst and getting rid of them is not that easy. Few weeks ago when I noticed termites in my house, I tried some natural measures to get rid of them but to be honest natural measures doesn't showed any result. Then once I was just browsing on net and came to know about orange oil treatment from termite inspection sacramento team site. I immediately sprayed orange oil on all wooden material and I found it very helpful.

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If you had a termite inspection (which you should have had) then the responsibility to treat the termites is on the company that failed to notice them I would assume. The seller isn't responsible for that aspect. It sounds to me like you didn't have your own real estate agent? The seller could be found guilty of concealment if they knew about the holes and did not disclose depending on what your specific state laws are. If you did have an agent or attorney helping you with your purchase, reach out to them first. If you did not have anyone helping you, I strongly suggest a consultation with an attorney before getting too deep into things. Good luck, sounds like a tricky situation. 

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