Real NEastate: Can I sue over a leaky roof? [republished]

Realtor Stacey McCarthy will return with new Real NEastate installments after the Labor Day holiday week. This post was originally published in September 2011.

Q: I bought my house in Bustleton only two months ago and now the roof is leaking. The home inspector said I had another two to three years before I had to do anything about the roof. My real estate agent said it’s my problem now. I feel like it’s only been two months so the seller should have known! Can I sue the seller?

A: There are too many unknowns, so the answer may vary. Whether you can sue anyone is a legal question for an attorney to answer. Contact a lawyer that specializes in real estate and he/she can explore your options, if there are any.

There are some documents from the sale that you should have available for your attorney to examine, such as:

  1. The Agreement of Sale – Your lawyer will need to check if there are any built-in remedies in your contract.
  2. The Seller’s Disclosure – The basis of a case against a seller would be that the seller knew the roof leaked and did not disclose that fact. If it’s in the seller’s disclosure, you should have known, but if not, then you’d have to prove the seller knew about the leak.
  3. The Home Inspection Report – If the home inspector said you had another two to three years, he probably didn’t guarantee that statement, but you can check to see if he did.
  4. Any documentation or certifications the seller may have provided about the roof.

Good Luck!

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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