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Old 08-15-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Need help with unexpected issue


Hello, being new/green to the home purchasing scene, i wonder if someone could help with out with a major problem i have.

i purchased a house december of last year, and had a home inspection done. During the inspection the inspector noticed there was some water damage in the floor of the basement, and he believed it was cost by a crack in the foundation from the base of a window to the floor. I had this fixed right away, and other then that, there was no mention of anything else (from inspector or previous owners)

Since the spring, there has been constant water flow through my weeping system into sump hole. my sump pump runs everyday about 7-10 minutes between cycles (yes major concern). When talking to the friendly neighbour, he informed me that the previous owners had major problems due to a artesian well that drains into the weeping system.

So now i am waiting for a specialist to asses the situation, and give me a quote on having to fix this issue, my main question is, since none of this was stated anywhere by the previous owner, can anything be done legally ? I mean, this was a problem that they were well aware of ?

Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
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I just purchased my first house in May. I remember all the paperwork I signed releasing all liability of the previous owner. This gave me the impression that even if they hid something I would still be practically without recourse because I ample opportunity to have it inspected.

I am curious about this question as well. The sellers disclosure indicated no foundation repairs done, but the neighbor tells me they definitely had foundation repairs done. I am wondering if something happens if I would have recourse. I would expect not.

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Old 08-15-2012, 03:47 PM   #3
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Thats what lawyers are for
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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I take it your in Canada? If so, not sure how the disclosure laws work there.

Here in the US, the seller signs a disclosure statement that basically says he/she has disclosed all known issues with the house. If something crops up they didn't know about...then the new house (and old house) insurance covers the issue...if it happens within the first year.

If you find something and the previous owners knew about it but didn't say anything....now you have some legal grounds...I don't know what the time limit it....I seem to recall 5 years where I live.

When we bought our house....the sub floor in the bathroom was damaged....we eventually rebuilt the whole thing.....but, I found out during a phase of insurance shopping that the owners had filed an insurance claim for the damage...1 month before putting the house up for sale...claim was denied....and damage was never disclosed. In our case, when I found out the info, it was past the time limit....

Call the insurance company...ask them if claims have been filed on your house....if so, you have proof they knew the problem was there.

Good luck
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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Contact your lawyer and see if there is anything that can be done. You will need to proove that the previous owners knew about the issue. The neighbour can useful in that respect.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Here in Ontario disclosure guidelines are based on common law, whcih does not imply any promises of quality habitabliity.

Otherwise known as Caveat emptor... " let the buyer beware"

There are some exceptions to this principle.

The most usual exception is when both parties agree by contract that the Seller does state, represent or warrant certain matters. (The form is known as a SPIS..seller property information statement..and are totally optional at the time of the contract) ( I never ask my sellers to sign one)

Another exception is when a court finds that there is a significant difference between that which was bargained for and that which was obtained where there is total failure of consideration.

Sellers can be held liable for misrepresentation which would include lying when specifically asked about a latent defect. However Sellers do not need to voluntarily disclose most material latent defects unless they make the property unfit for habitation, as in the case of say a grow house.

Unless your place is flooding it just sounds like a huge hassle and not a health or safety risk. I doubt you have any recourse regardless if the Sellers knew the sump ran continuously. Won't hurt to run it by your solicitor though

Last edited by creeper; 08-15-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:38 PM   #7
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andwu, what do you mean by water damage on the basement floor? If it is concrete, it can not be damaged, same as the foundation.

As for Sump pumps, they are installed to keep water out of the living area, basement, etc. There is nothing you can do when you have a high water table. But also water problems around the foundation can be caused by other problems around the outside of the home. Poorly drained downspouts & poor working gutters that do not allow for rainwater to be moved at min. six feet from the foundation. Neighbors who do not manage their drainage systems also cause problems.

As for the home inspector, they do not have x-ray vision, and will place on the disclosure that you also signed, or the seller signed, stating that they agreed that the report is truthful in all extent that the inspector was able to find problems or not. All parties have a chance to call the HI on the spot if they find something amiss, or know something was missed, that is clearly in sight.

As for being a home owner, welcome to the world of being a manager of your property. It is not a easy task, but once you get ahead of the problems, it becomes easier in the long run, and you do not have to spend as much time later on, as long as you keep on top of problems when they pop up.
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Old 08-15-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Assuming the inspector and yourself were there for at least a few hours, plus any showings you attended, did you not notice the pump starting every couple of minutes ?
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:29 AM   #9
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Where is the sump pump discharging to? If it is just going outside the basement wall, all the water might be going right back to the weeping system. You need to make sure the discharge gets far away from the house, preferably down hill. Then check and make sure the downspouts also get far away from the house, and that the grading is running away from the house. Once you know that all the water is getting away from the house, then you can start looking for other causes.

I do not think you will have much luck with the previous owner. It sounds like everything is working the way it should and you just have an abundance of ground water. Even if they knew the source, you might have trouble getting it classified as a "defect" they could be held accountable for.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andwu View Post
my main question is, since none of this was stated anywhere by the previous owner, can anything be done legally ? I mean, this was a problem that they were well aware of ?

Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
What exactly was written on the disclosure form.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
What exactly was written on the disclosure form.
As originally stated by the op, the seller did not disclose anything.

Disclosure forms are not mandatory here in Ontario
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper View Post
As originally stated by the op, the seller did not disclose anything.
The poster never said the seller did not disclose anything. You are leaping..lol

here is what the poster said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by andwu View Post
since none of this was stated anywhere by the previous owner, can anything be done legally ?
So the way I interpret it is the seller did not disclose any of this. "This" being the issue the poster is writing about. I may be leaping too.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
The poster never said the seller did not disclose anything. You are leaping..lol

here is what the poster said:



So the way I interpret it is the seller did not disclose any of this. "This" being the issue the poster is writing about. I may be leaping too.

Huh ??

You are splitting hairs.

It is obvious from my statement, that when I say " anything" I am referring to the issue the op is writing about.

What the heck else would I mean
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creeper View Post
Huh ??


It is obvious from my statement, that when I say " anything" I am referring to the issue the op is writing about.
Not really.

But I asked in post #10
"What exactly was written on the disclosure form." Isn't it obvious from my post that I was not only referring to the issue the poster has? Which was my intent.

So maybe I should of asked, What if anything was stated on a disclosure form about anything?

Nice talking with you again.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammerlane View Post
Not really.

But I asked in post #10
"What exactly was written on the disclosure form." Isn't it obvious from my post that I was not only referring to the issue the poster has? Which was my intent.

So maybe I should of asked, What if anything was stated on a disclosure form about anything?

Nice talking with you again.
Or maybe if you had read post #6 which comes before # 10 you would have read that disclosure forms are optional here in Ontario. Then perhaps you would not have asked what was written on the form, because you would have concluded from post #1 coupled with post # 6 that indeed no disclosure written or otherwise was forthcoming.

Good day to you too!

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